Research infrastructures provide a stable foundation for research in any academic discipline; the instruments and institutions they deliver are a fundamental support in the process of gaining academic knowledge and, in many cases, such infrastructures facilitate the initial connection to previous studies and findings.
At the Georg Eckert Institute the Digital Information and Research Infrastructures department (DIRI) works in close and continuous collaboration with the Research Library, and the other departments, providing research infrastructure services, which are of central importance for the institute and the research discipline as a whole. The department also conducts autonomous research into the development, improvement and application of digital research infrastructures and methods. The department therefore upholds the GEI’s “circular model” and simultaneously benefits from it.
The department focusses on the following fields:
- Provision of the information technology infrastructure for institute staff and for external users who use these IT services on site, such as library users or research fellows, and those that access internet-based research infrastructures hosted by the GEI.
- Conceptual development, provision and maintenance of digital information services, in particular the GEI’s internet services. Research findings and data from the other departments, including the library always form the backbone of this online content.
- Creation and expansion of Digital Humanities processes to further develop new digital capture tools and methods derived from discipline-specific issues and based upon the large digital inventories of the GEI and its partners, which the department was instrumental in creating. Such processes are tested in close collaboration with the experienced historians leading the projects, and within the other departments, and are evaluated as the projects progress. The department enables the effective application of digital research infrastructure as well as allowing users to carry out independent research regarding improvements to services in terms of inventory and semantics.