It was generous support from the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation that laid the foundation for the establishment of the MPDL as a hub for information management. From 2001 to 2006, the Heinz Nixdorf Center for Information Management (ZIM) conducted a series of innovative projects building the key infrastructures and tools for managing scientific information within the Max Planck Society. These initiatives linked existing activities at the time and helped develop some of the key areas which still form an integral part of the MPDL's work today.



Max Planck eDoc Server - institutional repository of the Max Planck Society to provide open access to research results.

With the "Max Planck eDoc Server" the ZIM developed a platform for Max Planck Institutes to capture their intellectual output in digital form and to expose it through the World Wide Web to a worldwide audience. The eDoc Server implements internationally recognized, open metadata standards and interfaces. It aims to integrate this institutional digital archive carefully into a worldwide distributed network of scholarly digital collections and thus to increase the visibility of information resulting from research conducted at Max Planck Institutes. Since 2007, the MPDL developed PubMan, an improved repository software, which is part of the eSciDoc infrastructure (see below). The process of migrating publication data from the eDoc repository to the central installation MPG.PuRe of the PubMan software started in 2009. The MPG repository PuRe continuously grows since then.


eSciDoc - an integrated information and communication platform for the MPG.

A 5 year project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), eSciDoc forms an important component of the Max Planck Society wide information management program "sInfo". From 2004 to 2009, it established a sustainable infrastructure for scientific information, communication and distribution of research results via Open Access, using the example of the Max Planck Society. This joint project of the Max Planck Society and the FIZ Karlsruhe contributed components for the emerging global knowledge network by offering these to other interested communities as reusable solutions and is updated by various scientific partner organizations including NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science, Japan).


Living Reviews - extension of the editorial concept of the online journal Living Reviews in Relativity to other areas of research.

Living Reviews in Relativity was a pioneer open-access online journal project, which started operations in 1998. The Max Planck Institute of Gravitational Physics in Golm (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) and the ZIM cooperated on the extension of the Living Reviews concept, aiming to make a significant contribution to the innovation of scholarly communication and knowledge exchange in the Internet era. The scope of activities ranged from providing core technical infrastructures and services for the production and management of Living Reviews journals to the development of open source publishing tools. Five further Living Reviews online journals have been set up since, with topics as diverse as Solar Physics, European Governance and Landscape Research.


Max Planck Virtual Library - integrated access to information resources for Max Planck researchers.

In addition to the above activities, the ZIM aimed to set up an information portal with a common search interface for distributed resources and a reference linking system which is sensitive to the Max Planck context. The provision of Max Planck online library catalogs, A&I databases and relevant web repositories was the starting point for a Virtual Library for Max Planck researchers. Today, the Max Planck Digital Library combines all of the above activities as a permanent service unit of the Max Planck Society and offers its members the widest range of academic online resources of any research institution in Europe.