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WissKI (Wissenschaftliche Kommunikationsinfrastruktur) is a free and open virtual research environment for managing scholarly data. Extending Drupal's content management framework, WissKI provides benefits of the semantic web technology while supporting simple and common input interfaces.  It is designed for scientific projects especially in memory institutions (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) to collect, store, manage and communicate knowledge. Therefore it addresses many facets of research in a network environment like persistence of information, long-time preservation and accessibility, digital documentation standards and e-publishing.

WissKI was initially a joint venture featuring three partners from different institutions and scientific domains: The Digital Humanities Research Group of the Department of Computer Science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), the Department of Museum Informatics at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) in Nuremberg and the Biodiversity Informatics Group at the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK) in Bonn. Software development was primarily funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) from 2009 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2017.

WissKI implements the FAIR-principles on different stages. As a webapplication, WissKI has all the advantages of the internet, such as location-independent collaboration or constant availabilty of the data. WissKI's content is citable by internal persistent identifiers and revisionable by Drupal's version control.

As part of Drupal, thousands of extensions are openly available and you can benefit from the distinctive permissions and author management. The data modeling is designed for a graph-based implementation of the CIDOC CRM international standard (although any other standards can be used). Whether Excel spreadsheet, REST API or SPARQL endpoint, the data will find a way to the downstream user. Even on the Internet, sometimes you have to move - migration is facilitated by WissKI's native resolvers.

Dynamic content management mechanics and design possibilities based on linked open data. Create online publications where internal and external texts, media, data, and enrichments can be perfectly entangled.

WissKI links living publishing with semantic enrichment. Through the graph-based data structures, links between existing data can be created quickly and easily. WissKI takes care to avoid redundancies and offers the possibility to integrate norm data, for example from the DNB or geonames. 

Since WissKI itself is a Drupal module, any number of other Drupal modules can be used in combination with WissKI. This allows, among many other possibilities, for example, the creation of user-friendly data entry forms. Depending on the requirements, additional functions and display options can be added, making the system as flexible as its users.

Choose from tens of different data formats to correctly enter and display text, numbers, dates, lists, media or entire entities and design forms and views according to your needs.

You can also import existing data from a SQL database and re-export it in various formats or communicate directly with the SPARQL 1.1 endpoint.

As a core element of WissKI, the pathbuilder ... is the place where you define the WissKI structure, configure groups and fields and tell WissKI to which adapter it should send the queries. You can export/import your pathbuilder setup. The administrative name of a pathbuilder could something like Collection and Collection Items or Named Entities. provides a graphical user interface to create ontology driven structures and serves as a translator between Drupal and SPARQL endpoints. Pathbuilder helps to model RDF structures, stored in a triple store, and Drupal takes care of the input forms and output display - without writing any query or code!
The Pathbuilder only designs the data structures, which means that external endpoints can also be requested and their data can be implemented into the own system, for example from Geonames or other WissKI systems, if they use the same semantics or a mapping has taken place.

WissKI's data models are based on ontologies to transfer domain knowledge from the minds and processes of the projects into the research data. Even though WissKI is ontology-agnostic, it is optimized for the CIDOC CRM OWL implementation ECRM, which is maintained and kept up-to-date by Germanisches Nationalmuseum staff. Feel free to adapt your ontology corresponding to your knowledge domain with external editors and reimport at any time.

WissKI automatically detects the hierarchies and relationships between classes and properties and suggests appropriate choices to make data modeling as simple as possible.

We support multiple languages to enable the usage of a virtual research environment in the context of interdisciplinary and intercontinental work. Drupal supports many different languages for the user interface out of the box and offers the possibility to translate the research object itself and its related contents.
This significantly increases accessibility to the actual research content and the understanding, especially of data from cultural contexts, which contain different information in their original language. The translations are stored as taged RDF literals, which enables an easy and Drupal independent access.

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