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German Research Foundation Grants Funds for Developing Academic Online Encyclopedias

Cooperation between Freie Universität and Bavarian State Library in Munich

№ 150/2016 from May 12, 2016

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funds for a project based at Freie Universität Berlin that aims to set up academic online encyclopedias. Within the project "Open Encyclopedia System" (OES), researchers at Freie Universität and the Bavarian State Library in Munich are developing a standardized working environment for the creation and use of online encyclopedias that will be made available as open source software. The participating bodies at Freie Universität are the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), the Friedrich Meinecke Institute (FMI), and the Center for Modern Greece (CeMoG). This project is expanding upon the "1914-1918 online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War" ( project that first went online in 2014. The DFG is contributing more than one million euros.

During the next three years the participating scholars plan to implement innovative concepts in the field of online encyclopedias. These include multimedia, interactivity, collaboration, versioning, and the integration of additional functionalities for libraries as well as web-based editorial workflows. They aim to develop functionalities for collaborative editing and updating of electronic publications to facilitate interactive work and the publication environment. These would also be accessible for various forms of user participation as well as various methods of quality assurance. The focus of the project is to ensure the availability of online encyclopedias with open access criteria and to promote electronic publishing of scientific research. The Bavarian State Library is planning long-term archiving for online encyclopedias that are implemented within this project and on the basis of the project.

The online encyclopedia of the First World War, "1914–1918 online," and a CeMoG Encyclopedia of German-Greek relations are intended to be the first applications of the Open Encyclopedia System. Plans are underway for other academic encyclopedias to follow. With this project, Freie Universität Berlin is making its presence visible in the fields of digital history and digital humanities and is contributing to current developments in the open source software of electronic publication systems.

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