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For the first time a research platform provides a combination of private content and literature management with social tools like Wikis, project management and a social network. "" has applied the successful principles of Web 2.0 to research and thus has made them fruitful for science.

How do researchers use the internet in general and especially Web 2.0? And how can these technical possibilities be used for scientific research? These two questions dominated the interdisciplinary research project "Scientific Work in Web 2.0" at the University of Würzburg. Two results have emerged: The "Online Survey: Scientific Work in Web 2.0" (in co-operation with the department of applied cognitive psychology and media psychology at the University of Tübingen), which is also published in this issue, and a new online software for academic writing (in co-operation with the Better Research SDG GmbH).

Researches know the problem: One has tons of good ideas, definitions, concepts und links. But when specific data is needed, it is not at hand. A long search begins. And if one wants to write papers in cooperation with other colleagues, data management gets even more complicated, not mentioning working in larger project groups.

"" faces these very problems. It offers a kind of virtual study for researchers, where they can organize their data online in a sophisticated data management system. Furthermore knowledge management is combined with a research network which enables users to create a profile with a curriculum vitae, research focuses and a list of publications. Thus researches can team up, make new contacts, find relevant colleagues and new knowledge.

At one can capture all kinds of data (thoughts, excerpts, formulas, graphics) in notes and assign every note to an unlimited range of different folders (projects, sources, keywords). Everything stays private and secure, but every folder can be made accessible for a defined group of colleagues or for the whole community. Thus team work can be done more easily, as well as sharing knowledge in the style of Wikipedia. There are also distinct work groups for chairs and bigger projects.

From the beginning of 2008, the functionality of "" has been tested in various closed beta phases by international researchers. During this time the developers have upgraded the software and adapted it to the needs of the users. After these successful test runs the team around project director Daniel Koch has opened the platform for all researchers.

The system is meeting with much approval in the academic world. Some universities are already thinking about integrating "" into their IT structure to connect their researchers and students, to ease group projects and to support individual research. The first licences will be granted within the next weeks.