International networking aims to improve access to information resources
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The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is the fourth partner in the Knowledge Exchange network, a joint initiative between the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, which aims to promote the use of information and communication technology (ICT) within research and higher education. The initiative's focus is on the development of joint strategies and the identification of common or compatible best practices, with the aim of providing scientists and students with user-friendly systems that cross national boundaries and give them access to all scientifically relevant information.
The use of ICT in research and higher education is gaining growing importance due to the increasing formation of international networks within science. Knowledge Exchange therefore aims to replace the noncommittal international cooperation that has existed to date in terms of the information infrastructure with firm structures. The partners in the network – the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) in the United Kingdom, SURF (SURF Foundation) in the Netherlands, and the DEF (Denmark's Electronic Research Library) in Denmark, in addition to the DFG – aim to develop a common information infrastructure and services based on common standards. This involves redesigning both the technological backbone as well as the services provided to researchers.
In addition to improving the sharing of information and knowledge transfer, the closer cooperation is also intended to create and secure a joint structure for digital learning, teaching and research. The creation of international virtual research environments, for instance, would provide German scientists and academics with a complete communication environment within their discipline. Through their concerted efforts the network also hopes to influence European development of information technology.
The network will be coordinated from a central Knowledge Exchange Office, which will, for the first three years, be located in Copenhagen together with the Danish DEF. Organisationally it is part of the Danish National Library Authority. The Knowledge Exchange Office will start up during the summer of 2005.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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