WissKI started as a joint venture of the Digital Humanities Research Group of the Department of Computer Science at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen, the Department of Museum Informatics at the Germanic National Museum (GNM) in Nuremberg and the Biodiversity Informatics Group at Zoological Research Museum Koenig (ZFMK) in Bonn. The Software development was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2008 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2017 and is currently funded by the NFDI4Culture Consortium within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). WissKI is now supported by the Association for semantic data processing (IGSD e.V.) and has a continuously growing community.
As a full-featured virtual research environment WissKI is scalable from small single person ventures up to large institutional projects. WissKI is part of the open source content management system Drupal and therefor provides all the advantages of an constantly maintained and developed webapp. WissKI has everything to fulfill the research data lifecycle: beneath the fundamental possibilities to create, read, edit and delete content, users can create revisions and translations, open the access to the data with a wide range of interfaces and integration options, but also restrict it via detailed rights management. The data is stored in an external triple store, reachable trough own endpoints and therefore independent from Drupal or WissKIs architecture. The data modelling follow an ontological approach, preferably, but not exclusively according to the CIDOC CRM. Furthermore, the basic functions of WissKI can be extended with a variety of Drupal modules. This turns WissKI to a software optimized for research data management, and suitable for a wide range of application areas.