Access to digital data, methods and tools

From the provision of data and their processing with digital tools to the backup and archiving of results: Digital research infrastructures greatly facilitate the academic work of the humanities and social sciences.

Tunnel aus "Nullen" und "Einsen"; © Thinkstock


Digital research infrastructures lead to new methods, virtual forms of work, and results that extend far beyond specialist disciplines. The best example of this is the relatively young discipline of "Digital Humanities": It combines the humanities and computer science and develops new methods for the representation, visualization and analysis of data. With its constantly evolving methods, it enables new, fascinating views on topics in the humanities.

More on this at Digital Humanities

The aim of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is to improve access to and use of qualitative and quantitative data for the humanities and social sciences. In recent years, the BMBF has supported the establishment of the CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE research infrastructures in the humanities: Both provide digital research data, such as text and image collections, dictionaries or audio data, as well as digital tools for editing and researching them.


Since spring 2019, the two research infrastructures have been merging their services into a common digital infrastructure called CLARIAH-DE, funded by the BMBF. This is a major plan which is being implemented by twelve institutions in various working groups, ranging from the harmonisation of research data and standards to the merging of services, and up to the training and promotion of young academics. The aim is to create a common space for cooperative, digitally supported research in the humanities, cultural sciences and social sciences in Germany and Europe. Through its two partners, CLARIAH-DE is also part of two European Research Infrastructures Consortia (ERIC).

The BMBF funds:

  • research and education carried out in the humanities and social sciences using digital methods and tools
  • networking of the specialist disciplines in the humanities and social sciences
  • the establishment of digital research infrastructures for the exchange of resources, methods, data and knowledge