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National and international cooperation

Support is offered to German information centres for the purpose of setting up facilities and services that form part of the global network of information systems through collaborative partnerships.

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange

The DFG is a partner within the "Knowledge Exchange" expert network. This joint initiative of national information-infrastructure funding institutions from the UK (JISC), the Netherlands (SURF), Denmark (DEFF), Finland (CSC) and Germany serves the development of information and communication technology (ICT) for research and higher education. It focuses primarily on the development of common strategies and the agreement on unified or compatible technical solutions. They are intended to ensure that researchers and students gain access beyond national borders to all scientifically-relevant information, with user-friendly systems.

The aim of these activities is always to ensure that researchers have access to all scientifically relevant information and data on an international basis with user-friendly systems.


Current Activities

For the years 2013 to 2016, special attention has been given within Knowledge Exchange to the areas of Open Access and Research Data. In the following years the focus of the activities will be on Open Scholarship. Other topics are also addressed in the form of Partner Exchanges, although on a slightly smaller scale, for example the sustainability of research software, the persistent identification of individuals and the digitisation of texts and objects. An overview of the current and past working areas of Knowledge Exchange is available on the initiative’s website:

Current topics, workshops and reports on the main working areas of Knowledge Exchange are available here:

Other Selected Activities and Publications

NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Programme

Since 2008, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has been collaborating with the National Endowment for the Humanities in the United States to fund bilateral projects in the digital humanities. The partnership supports German-American collaborative projects designed to establish or further develop digital information infrastructures for research in the humanities. The key funding criteria are the quality of the collaboration, the innovative approach taken by the project and the accessibility and dissemination of the results.

In 2014/2015 there was again the opportunity to apply for grants for bilateral project proposals (deadline September 25, 2014). Thematically, projects were sought in relation to innovative methods for indexing and digitisation of research material, the development of tools and processes for scientific information management, the management of research data, or the ongoing development of electronic publication tools.

In a very competitive round, DFG and NEH received a great variety of applications. In May 2015 the decision was made that six particularly convincing project proposals will receive funding (see information below).

No further calls are planned owing to the current situation. As soon as there is news regarding further funding options, we will announce it here.

If you have questions about the program, contact Dr. Angela Holzer (Link auf E-Mailangela.holzer@dfg.de).

Science Europe

The activities of the Scientific Library Services and Information Systems (LIS) division within Science Europe are based on the roadmap presented in 2009 by EUROHORCs and the ESF for the creation of a globally competitive European Research Area. Chapter 9 of this roadmap proposes the development of a joint policy for open access to scientific publications and research data.

As part of the implementation of the roadmap, the Open Access working group carried out a survey on policies, mechanisms and workflows of member organisations which are geared towards bearing the costs of open access publication. The goal is to draw up recommendations as to how the member organisations can bear these costs and under what conditions. The working group also contributed relevant input on open access in Science Europe recommendations on the European Research Area. At the beginning of 2013 the group presented a paper outlining a set of principles for the transition to an open access-based publication paradigm.

The Research Data working group held its first meeting in early February 2013. One of the group's first tasks will be to revise the aspects of the roadmap relating to research data. Other activities will probably be concerned with the improvement of the infrastructure to allow the use of publicly funded research data.

Further Information

More information on this topic:

Project Proposals

German Partners

German partners can apply to the DFG for funding for expenses arising from their participation in an international cooperative project. Such expenses can include staff, equipment, and travel, provided they are needed specifically for the international component.

International Partners

For projects conducted in cooperation with partners in other countries, the DFG generally expects that the international partners' research be financed by other sources. DFG funding for the international partner is only possible if, and insofar as, the collaboration is essential and outside funding is either not available or cannot be provided in a timely manner. Funding for the international collaborative partner will be provided to the principal investigator in Germany, who is accountable to the DFG for the use of funds.


The proposal must include a declaration on the funding of the foreign partner's share of the project for each partner, stating either that the funding has been secured or when, and from which foreign institution, the funding has been applied for. After completing its own review, the DFG will give its approval subject to the international partner's funding.

Further Information

Coalition of Networked Information (CNI)

The Coalition of Networked Information (CNI) is a US association of academic libraries, information facilities and data centres, which promotes the active sharing of information and experience in the area of digital information infrastructures. This information-sharing takes place primarily at CNI Membership Meetings. As a member of CNI, the DFG can enable team members on projects funded through LIS programmes to attend these meetings and support the sharing of experience between German and US information infrastructure projects.

The requirements for taking part in CNI Membership Meetings and the process for applying to the DFG for travel expenses are explained below. The submission deadlines are 15 August and 15 December of each year.

Further Information

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