e-Library: sharing knowledge worldwide

Feb 8, 2017

In 2016, the Ministry of Education in Germany presented its strategy for free access to scientific knowledge and research media. T-Systems platforms provide the suitabletechnological infrastructure for digital libraries.
Digital library: T-Systems' platforms provide free access to scientific knowledge.
"Knowledge is the only thing that grows when shared."
What the Austrian writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach already recognized back in the nineteenth century is all the more valid today. Digital libraries especially facilitate access to this valuable commodity. Thanks to such platforms, researchers, students and interested citizens no longer have to acquire specialized media in printed material or borrow them in the library, but they can read scientific data and publications online, or download, print and share them – anytime and worldwide. In providing such platforms, universities, research facilities and institutions are implementing the recently published Open Access strategy of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Their goal: easy and convenient access to scientific content – free of charge and without technical or legal hurdles.

Open Access: supporters and obstacles

The strategy is part of the German government's "Digital Agenda 2014-2017". Prestigious organizations such as the German Research Foundation or the Max Planck Society have been campaigning for this since 2003. The main reason for the hesitant implementation is the new financing model: publishers do not get their income from the user as previously, but from the research institutions that pay for the publication of their results. In the new OA2020 initiative (Open Access 2020), scientific organizations are now working to change the business model, since a shift in the funding of scientific publications is possible without additional costs – as shown in a study of the Max Planck Digital Library.

Powerful platforms, comprehensive service

Today, many online libraries already comprise well over hundreds of thousands of eBooks, digital research papers or data. E-Library platforms must be correspondingly powerful. T-Systems provides these platforms based on the ePrints software package. The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary modifies and implements the package according to customer's exact requirements. The company also takes care of the subsequent support and hosting. T-Systems is equally responsible for release changes for the digital libraries – including adaptations and extensions as well as subsequent data migration.

Public or not – the customer decides

Even in a digital library, not every research contribution must be automatically accessible to a wide audience. This means, when publishing, publishers decide for themselves whether publications should be visible online for everyone or only for a specific user group. T-Systems provides the e-Library platform as a multi-client-capable system so that libraries, in turn, have the advantage of being able to publish different publishers on a uniform technological base on the same system.