Karlsruhe, December 16, 2019 — The Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal States are to support FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure in a strategic paradigm shift: zbMATH (Zentralblatt für Mathematik), the world-renowned mathematical information service that up to now has been available for a charge, will be transformed into an open access platform. Its financing has just been decided by the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz - GWK) based on an evaluation by the Leibniz Association. This marks the creation of a unique research tool that will be freely accessible to the mathematical community worldwide from 2021.
As early as 2014, the International Mathematical Union formulated the following vision of a Global Digital Mathematics Library: A coherent and sustainable open platform in which all mathematics-relevant information and data can be brought together, comprehensively accessed and used free of charge under a uniform interface. zbMATH Open is now to become the nucleus of this new world of mathematics information. In the future, all mathematics-relevant information and information services from a large variety of sources will be included and made accessible at several stages of development - the vision will become reality.
A new research tool with open interfaces
A growing number of mathematical publications are now available in open access, for example through digital libraries such as arXiv and EuDML. Community platforms like MathOverflow are also playing an increasingly important role in the creation and exchange of scientific information. Recently, zbMATH has started to network with them and thus received additional feedback on the publications on offer.
With an open access platform accessible free of charge, the previous restrictions on the mutual networking of many of these external sources are eliminated. This means that considerably more content is available for collaborative work in mathematics and related fields, for further research and for new research questions.
Prof. Dr. Klaus Hulek, Editor in Chief of zbMATH, is enthusiastic about the new opportunities: "zbMATH Open will be a unique research tool for the mathematical community and beyond. With zbMATH Open, science will receive innovative support in search and analysis as well as in the assessment of mathematical information".
Prof. Dr. Volker Mehrmann, President of the European Mathematical Society (EMS) emphasizes: “Open interfaces enable the mathematical community to build on existing research results and to contribute its own developments to the scientific value-added process. This helps to tap new innovation potential and to sustainably strengthen the development of science.”
Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, President and CEO of FIZ Karlsruhe, adds: “The outreach that can be achieved with the new zbMATH platform can be seen in a variety of application scenarios. One of these is the transfer of knowledge by networking with educational platforms that are relevant to mathematicians. We want to promote this in a targeted manner, also with the aim of promoting young people's interest in MINT topics.”
zbMATH is an information service for mathematicians in research and teaching, with networked information on mathematical topics, authors, publications, references and software. It provides detailed information on mathematical publications dating back to 1868 and provides access to more than 4 million bibliographic references from the world's literature and mathematical software. A unique selling point is the mathematical formula search. Author profiles offer collected information on authors and their networks as well as on journals. Users of zbMATH can thus identify research trends and evaluate mathematical research. Summarized and evaluated by an international network of more than 7,000 scientists, the articles assure a scientific quality that becomes transparent to the public. This quality assurance process is highly appreciated by the community.
FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit limited liability company. As one of the largest non-academic information infrastructure institutions in Germany, we have the public mission to provide researchers and scientists with scientific in-formation and to develop the appropriate products and services. To this end, we edit and index large data volumes from manifold sources, develop and operate innovative information services and e-research solutions, and carry out research projects of our own. FIZ Karlsruhe is a member of the Leibniz Association which comprises more than 95 institutions involved in research activities and/or the development of scientific infrastructure.