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Social science database membership ‘will greatly improve research’

Germany has joined a pan-European library and database for the social sciences and humanities—the Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure.

Germany joined CLARIN on 26 July, promising to contribute €8.5 million to the set-up and running of the system over the next three years. Participation in the project will be coordinated by the University of Tübingen.

The online library and database stores data for humanities research, including research results on rare languages, digital media, high-resolution images of artefacts and culturally relevant text material.

The system also connects the continent’s largest research libraries, giving researchers access to rare books and documents.

The German research ministry said the system would greatly improve humanities research, as it would allow scientists to track and share information across continents.

“On the basis of such virtual research infrastructures we can ask completely new questions and achieve fresh scientific knowledge,” said Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, a state secretary in Germany’s research ministry.

“Digital databases are just as important for [humanities and social sciences] as genome databases are for the life sciences. I am proud that Germany is a strong partner in this,” she said.

Participation in the CLARIN system was recommended by Germany’s science council, which advises the government on research spending, in January this year.