Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL)

Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL)

The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) in Munich is a central unit of the Max Planck Society that supports scientists from all Max Planck Institutes with a broad portfolio of services in the fields of information provision, publication support and research data management.

In the era of digital information, big data, the World Wide Web and web-based collaboration, the MPDL makes a substantial contribution to the Max Planck Society's competitiveness in the international science community.

The MPDL and its predecessors have featured as one of Europe's largest purchasers of scientific information for more than 10 years now. The MPDL arranges for access to a wide range of scientific journals, eBooks, specialist databases and extensive open access publication services. Together with the libraries at the Max Planck Institutes, it takes care of an excellent supply of scientific information and opportunities for publication.

The MPDL conceives itself as one of the four central IT service units of the Max Planck Society (MPDL, MPCDF, IKT und GWDG), together with which it provides the overall portfolio of IT services for the Society. At the same time, the MPDL forms together with the institute’s libraries the librarian system of the Max Planck Society, in which the MPDL - pursuant to the subsidiary principle - takes on only those tasks which achieve true additional value creation.


Amalienstr. 33
80799 München
Phone: +49 89 38602-0
Fax: +49 89 38602-199

New momentum for Open Access

December 10, 2015
A new approach should give a fresh boost to Open Access, the unrestricted online access to scholarly research articles. This is the result of an international conference in Berlin, where a process was initiated to transform subscription journals to Open Access. The key to this lies in the hands of the scientific institutions and their sponsors: Public resources that are currently spent on journal subscriptions would have to be converted into open-access publishing funds. more
It allows open access publishing without administrative obstacles or cost barriers more
A new study calculates a redeployment of funds in Open Access more
Expert communities consider the online series Living Reviews as their first port of call for information more

Knowledge for everyone

November 10, 2011
The Max Planck Society has been working intensively for ten years with Copernicus Publications and also cooperates with other providers of Open Access journals more
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Electronic laboratory notebooks in the Max Planck Society

2017 Franke, Michael; Weraach, Jalal; Haarländer, Markus
Computer Science

More and more, computerized documentation systems find their way into scientific laboratories. They promise efficient, cooperative and easy working, standardized input and filing as well as connections to other electronic applications. MPDL investigated the current situation in the MPG, examined which demands researchers have on such a system and what barriers might arise when implementing it. Eventually, in 2016, laboratory notebook software was licensed by the MPDL, which can be used locally in the institutes or as a central MPG platform.

For more than ten years, researchers have pushed for open access initiatives. While the amount of freely available scientific papers on the internet is growing continuously, no joint strategy is on the horizon yet to achieve a large-scale shift in the near future. In 2015, the Max Planck Digital Library published a much-noticed study showing that a large-scale transformation to open access publishing is possible without added expense. Based on this analysis an international initiative has been launched in December 2015 with a view to pursuing the open access transformation on a global level. more

Open Science

2015 Boosen, Martin; Franke, Michael; Geschuhn, Kai Karin; Vengadasalam, Sandra
Computer Science

Digital transformation enables transparent working and cooperation methods in research – Open Science. MPDL experts explore these opportunities to support Max Planck researchers in handling it. They represent the interests of the Max Planck Society in various alliances. MPDL hosts several events to connect further professionals for information exchange and the setup of new networks. Innovative services and technologies are established for the institutes to facilitate the realisation of new requirements.


How research data become digital residents

2014 Kleinfercher, Friederike
Computer Science
There is rising awareness in the research world to not only archive and provide publications as the main outcome of a research process, but to also enable access to the related research data. With its open source web application imeji, the Max Planck Digital Library offers a software and a service for the sustainable publication of research data. In one sentence, imeji creates citable research items by describing, enriching, sharing, exposing and linking data. more

Libraries want to provide comfortable access for the scientists to several digital information resources – not only to the library catalog. Discovery systems support this objective by allowing the integration of all sorts of data sources into one index. The Max Planck Digital Library and five Max Planck Institute libraries carried out a pilot project to establish a discovery system, which is simplifying the access to the libraries' information resources significantly.


Development of ebooks in the Max Planck Society

2012 Planck, Tina
Computer Science Cultural Studies
Ebooks are gaining increasingly more importance among the researchers in the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Digital Library meets this demand by negotiating central ebook licenses as well as framework agreements with publishers that provide conditions for individual ebook purchases by Max Planck libraries. This strategy was developed in an ebook working group within the Max Planck Society. The licensed ebook titles are accessible via a special Max Planck ebook catalog. more

10 years "Grundversorgung" (basic provision): Excellent information services for excellent research

2011 Ralf Schimmer, Margit Palzenberger
Computer Science Cultural Studies
At the end of the 1990s, the Max Planck Society was timely and thoughtful in responding to the challenges of the internet by introducing a society-wide electronic resources licensing program – known as “Grundversorgung” (basic provision). Under this program and operated by the Max Planck Digital Library electronic journals and other information resources are made available to the researchers at the Max Planck Institutes. In ten years of continuous development a digital library could thus be established which sets the standard in Germany and far beyond. more

PubMan – a Repository for MPS

2010 Tschida, Ulla
Computer Science Cultural Studies
PubMan ( is an application which allows members of a research organisation to store, manage and enrich their publications and provide the data for re-use by other web-services. The solution is based on the eSciDoc infrastructure, a joint project by the MPS and the FIZ Karlsruhe. The Department of Research & Development at the MPDL develops the solution and supports the users at the Max Planck Institutes. PubMan is introduced in the MPS since May 2009 and will gradually replace the current repository eDoc ( more
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