The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) in Munich is a central institution of the Max Planck Society. It supports Max Planck Society (MPG) scientists from all 84 institutes with a broad service portfolio and provides easy access to data, scientific literature, commercial software licenses, scientific communication tools and services, and research-related software applications.

In the era of digital information, big data, the internet, and network-based collaboration, MPDL makes a substantial contribution to the Max‐Planck Society’s competitiveness in the international science community. It has a transformational influence on commercial product development and the scientific publications market which benefits the MPG and science in general. The MPDL combines its specialist knowledge, market influence, and products into a central service portfolio which, in conjunction with the Max Planck institutes’ local libraries and IT units, creates an optimized, cost-efficient working environment for MPG scientists.

The MPDL and its predecessors have featured as one of Europe's largest purchasers of scientific information for more than 15 years. It organizes access to a wide range of scientific databases and a wealth of open access publication services. Together with the local libraries, it makes sure that an excellent supply of scientific information and opportunities for publication is in place.

Since 2007, teams from the MPDL have played an active role in processing and supplying research data and research results from the Max Planck Institutes, now 86 in number. The MPDL has worked for many years with data collections from both the Max Planck Society and commercial sources, developing cyberinfrastructures and specialist applications for research data. It regularly combines data flows from hundreds and hundreds of different sources and performs ongoing analyses of usage statistics and constantly growing, complex data pools with entry volumes in the order of 1011 or more. From 2018 onwards, the MPDL has also delivered the operational services of MPDL Services GmbH, which makes publication and access services relating to the major scientific publishers available to almost 1,000 German scientific institutes on behalf of the Alliance of Scientific Organisations in Germany under the “DEAL” label.

The MPDL is one of three central IT service units (MPDL, MPCDF, IKT) of the Max Planck society which, together with the institutes’ local IT departments, provide the entire portfolio of IT services for the MPG. Our goal is to create generic, optional, digital services which will be available to all Max Planck institutes and which complement the services of the local IT and to some extent research coordination units, as well as the local libraries. The MPDL eases the institutes’ workload in areas where it can extract synergies from similar needs of multiple institutes and offer very high quality, sustainable, immediately usable services.