European Commission

Germany Permanent Representation to the EU

EOSC-A Mandated Organisation

Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur (NFDI) e.V.

EOSC Steering Board representatives

Andrea Herdegen, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Marion Steinberger, Federal Ministry of Education and Research

With one the most vast and diverse research landscapes in Europe, Germany has for more than two decades been involved in the progress of Open Science in Europe. Open Science is currently practised and encouraged by the largest scientific institutions in the country (e.g. the Max Planck Society, Helmholtz Association, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, German Funding Association (DFG), Leibnitz Association...) as well as many universities and research performing or funding organisations; it is also endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) which provides substantial funding. With the introduction in 2021 of the Data Strategy and Open Data Strategy and the approval of the Act Governing the Use of Public Sector Data (DNG), the importance of Open Science remains a hot topic in the current political agenda.

The mandated organisation and national structure, the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), was founded in 2020. They have been allocated a budget of up to 90 million Euro annually for ten years to promote and adopt Open Science in the different research fields, with which Germany has all the necessary elements to contribute and become fully integrated in the EOSC enterprise. NFDI is already involved in several EU initiatives (ELIXIR, several ERICs, ESS, DARIAH…) and connects almost 220 institutes and organisations divided over the 16 federal states of Germany with the ambition to grow. All things considering, Germany looks bound to stay ahead of the curve.

Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur (NFDI)

The German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) has been selected as EOSC mandated organisation in Germany, and also forms the national structure. NFDI, based in Karlsruhe, is a joint initiative of the Federal Government and the Federal States in the framework of the Joint Science Conference (GWK). Its main purpose is to promote science and research through a national research data infrastructure that establishes and develops research data management in Germany and increases the efficiency of the entire German science system. This will be achieved by establishing a networked information infrastructure in area-specific consortia, developing sustainable interoperable research data management, and creating a reliable range of data-based services for science and research. In addition, NFDI will also be linked to international initiatives such as EOSC and participate in its development.

It’s important to note that in Germany the creation of a national structure for EOSC is done through a national programme. This implies a well-structured approach to EOSC, as national programmes are “technical cooperation initiatives that develop a comprehensive approach towards open science and FAIR principles, engaging relevant stakeholders into action within a country and to provide a common platform for different aims unique to the country” (full document).


Open Access Network

Another national effort that has not been reported as National Open Science structure but works on an aspect of Open science is the Open Access Network: The project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), is creating a new information and networking offering that will activate and trans-regionally connect existing initiatives and sustainably improve exchange within science on open access. Information on open access will be available in a trans-disciplinary, centralised, and reliable way. Newly developed, freely accessible materials as well as continuing professional development and training offerings will broaden the skills of actors and multipliers in science and libraries and transfer competencies in practical, organisational, and legal matters.

To achieve this, a group of project partners have come together that have extensive and diverse expertise in information provision, competency development, and networking in the area of open access and have been very active members of the open access community for many years. The collaborative project is managed by the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) at the University of Konstanz. The other project partners are the Open-Access-Büro Berlin at the Freie Universität Berlin; the Helmholtz Open Science Office, which is located at the Helmholtz Centre – German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ); TIB – the Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library in Hanover; Bielefeld University Library; and Göttingen State and University Library.


National events

24 November 2022 | National Tripartite Event


Post-event report

Recap of German NTE

Event programme

Video of the event



Germany has not an Open Science national policy in place, but the topic has been part of the political agenda already for some time. The Digital Agenda 2014-2017 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) made a start to update the intellectual property rights and adapt the legal framework to Open Access in science and education. The resulting Act to adapt copyright law to the current requirements of the knowledge society of 2018 regulates the use of copyright protected material for scientific and educational purposes. This is well aligned with the corresponding EU directive 2019/790 on copyright in the single digital market. Together with specific strategies for Open Access, citizen science and science communication, Germany seems on track to install Open Science in its legislation. The federal states must also put strategies in place to regulate Open Access at regional (i.e. federal state) level. Progress has been made here, but the majority of Länder has not developed the corresponding strategy yet. Open Access was also included in the third Covenant for research and innovation[3] for the period 2016-2020 signed between the Federal Government and the Federal States, and is expected to appear also in future versions.

Best practices

Creation and Validation of an Open-Access Dictionary for Text-Based Personality Assessment - University of Mannheim

Digitalisation and the big data revolution provide unprecedented amounts of textual data. Previous research has shown that it is possible to predict personality from such textual data. This offers unprecedented possibilities for personality psychologists. First, it allows to assess personality fast and in unprecedented magnitudes. Second, it gives access to persons or groups which are difficult to access otherwise. However, currently, there are high methodological entry barriers to conduct such research. Specifically, even for the most widely studied personality taxonomy (i.e., Big Five traits) there exists no open-access tool to extract personality from text-data. We here introduce a novel data source (transcripts of famous TV-shows) to create exactly such a free, easy to use, open-access tool for text-based personality assessment.


The German Rectors’ Conference was tasked by the Alliance of German Science Organizations to institute Projekt DEAL to negotiate nationwide transformative “publish and read” agreements with the largest commercial publishers of scholarly journals on behalf of all German academic institutions including universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, state and regional libraries.

The objectives of Projekt DEAL are to achieve:

  1. Immediate open access publication of all new research articles by authors from German institutions, (2) Permanent full-text access to the publisher’s complete journal portfolio & (3) Fair and reasonable pricing for such services articulated with a simple and future-oriented model based on the number of articles published.
  2. These goals are in alignment with the objectives of the global Open Access 2020 Initiative, the LIBER principles for publisher negotiations, and the principles of Plan S. Learn more about negotiation principles for transformative and open access agreements at the ESAC Initiative. makes open data of authorities, data from the federal government, states and municipalities available to and acts as a "meta data portal" - that is, access to the data in different places stored data is made possible centrally via this portal. The records remain with the providing institution.


The Helmholtz Association was one of the initial signatories of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2003. This commitment towards open access was then formally approved by its Assembly of Members in 2004 with the decision on the implementation of the Berlin Declaration.

Since 2016, an Open Access Policy offers a clear and predictable framework for the transformation towards open access. According to this policy, all publications by scientists in the Helmholtz Association will be made freely available within at most 6 months (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities). Since 2013, a corresponding regulation is ensuring that beneficiaries of the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund make their publications freely available to the public on the internet.

In 2016 a position paper on the management of research data in the Helmholtz Association was adopted by the Helmholtz Association's Assembly of Members: next to the access to research data, this position paper also raises topics such as the training of data specialists and the resourcing of information infrastructures including their organisational and financial safeguarding. Sustainability concerning research software is also a concern of the Helmholtz Association.

Die Herbonauten

The Citizen Science project “die Herbonauts” has been a joint project of the Botanical Garden and the Botanical Museum since 2016 in Berlin. The aim of the project is to form a scientific database of around 4 million "herb specimens" (i.e. glued-on plants or parts thereof) to create a "herbal archive". They have the aim that researchers can access this database digitally from all over the world to research the development of biodiversity. For the findability of the appropriate herbal specimens it is therefore essential to digitally store the data written on the labels, some of which are centuries old. Because the often handwritten labels that cannot be reliably read by machines, citizens, the "herbonauts", enter this information. This time-consuming work would be done by the researchers alone cannot be afforded. The citizens create the basis for the research work. In addition to help with creating the archive in return, the committed citizens learn a lot about working with herbal documents. The project is divided into various “missions” that relate to focus on certain topics, such as aquatic plants or manuscripts. Depending on their skills, the herbonauts can then choose missions. They can also work their way up to higher levels, by passing rounds of quizzes. The higher you climbed, the more information fields will be released for entry. Since the beginning of the project, several missions have already been completed.


EOSC Association Members and Observers

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


KIT, “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, creates knowledge for the society and the environment to make significant contribution... Read more

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open science for open societies - os4os gemeinnützige UG (haftungsbeschränkt)


open science and for open societies - os4os is a non-profit organization that focuses on the transfer of research results to civil society and indu... Read more

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rasdaman GmbH


Rasdaman GmbH develops and operates massive Earth datacube services, including the EarthServer Datacube Federation.... Read more

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TIB Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology


TIB provides academia, research and business with literature and information.... Read more

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Verein zur Förderung eines Deutschen Forschungsnetzes (DFN)


DFN-Verein is the German National Research and Education Network.... Read more

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ZBW - Leibniz Information Center for Economics


With about 300 employees and an annual budget of €26 million, the ZBW has been working in the fields of electronic publishing and research data man... Read more

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