Securing and Disseminating Digital Knowledge


These days, digital data are a product and a focus of research. RWTH scientists produce them daily in large amounts and great variety. Sustainably securing and archiving these data is a challenge in many ways – strategic, organizational and technological.


RWTH Aachen has accepted this challenge and has formed a special "Research Data Team." Experts from the IT Center, from the University Library and from the administrative Research Funding division have all joined forces to this end.

It is extremely difficult to create an infrastructure locally and all by one's self to guarantee the longterm availability of data accross different applications or changes in technology. That is why, at the current time, there are different local, regional, national and international approaches in place for different specialized needs .

As part of their "Digital University NRW" offensive, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has launched the project "Long term Availability for Universities." This also fulfills the latest demands of leading German scientific organisations and sponsors. In charge of the project is the University Libarary Centre in Cologne, hbz for short, which has gained a good amount of experience and expertise in the area of digital publications over the years. The federal state is financing the acquisition, setup and startup procedures of a statewide solution, which is based on the "Rosetta" software by the "Ex Libris" company. Different offers for a diversity of subjects with regard to long term availability are being devised. In order to cater to the diverse needs of NRW universities, the system can be used as a local module as complement to existing solutions or as part of centralized hosting. The IT centers and university libraries of RWTH Aachen and the University of Cologne will create the new offering together with the hbz initially while at the same time making it suit their university's personal needs. In this pilot phase, the partners will implement different scenarios for use and application in a prototypical manner. These preliminary steps will later on ease other NRW universities' first steps into using the offering.

RWTH Aachen is well interconnected – scientifically and structurally. For this, the IT Center provides tremendous technological resources as well as expertise and the university library secures access to the research findings by means of coding meta data with regard to publications and research data in a manner compliant with the rules. Furthermore, with the RWTH Publications program, the library offers a way for RWTH staff to publish research results and data. Both, the IT center as well as the university library, are collaboratively organized on a state level. The Research Funding division of the administrative department coordinates and supports scientific projects and initiatives even beyond the needs of RWTH Aachen.

Source: Press and Communications