The four consortia in the humanities, NFDI4Culture, NFDI4Memory, NFDI4Objects and Text+, published a Memorandum of Understanding in the beginning of July. This memorandum is the basis for the joint establishment of a national research data infrastructure (NFDI) in the humanities and cultural sciences. It is the goal of the four consortia to build up a joint academic research data infrastructure in order to “[p]reserv[e] the extensive collections of data that already exist in the humanities and cultural studies across generations and the ones that are created anew on a daily basis and [to] mak[e] them accessible for research” (MoU, p. 1). In the MoU, a seven-point plan is introduced which defines the responsibilities and the form of the cooperation between the various partners. The goal is, among other things, to meet the diverse needs of the various research areas in the humanities with regard to questions of research data management.
In doing so, the initiatives comply with a recommendation of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructure (RfII) which, in 2016 already, pointed out the necessity of a “national collaborative network that grows over time and is composed of various specialised nodes” (p. 2).
On July 12, the submitted NFDI letters of intent were published by the DFG. A total of 24 initiatives handed in a binding letter of intent regarding the submission of a proposal in 2019. Text+: Language- and Text-Based Research Data Infrastructure is among them as well as the Consortium for research data on material and immaterial cultural heritage (NFDI4Culture). A non-binding letter of intent was handed in by 23 further initiatives regarding a submission in 2020, and 3 other initiatives declared their intention regarding a submission in 2021.