The project IUWIS was founded to deal with the growing uncertainty in the German research community on copyright questions. IUWIS is the abbreviation for “copyright infrastructure for research and education” (in German: „Infrastruktur Urheberrecht für Wissenschaft und Bildung“). The project is financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Being an infrastructure project, it is not devoted to directly producing research outputs but to helping researchers to learn about the restrictions and potentials of copyright.

The purpose of IUWIS is to provide an integrated information and communication platform on copyright issues for the German research community; to reduce the uncertainty about what is allowed when publishing, or employing copyrighted material for teaching; to help finding the best way to publish research outputs; and, last not least, to enable researchers to express their needs and problems with regard to the current copyright regime.

IUWIS aims at building an active network of copyright experts such as scientists, researchers, teachers, lawyers, librarians, information specialists and other professionals affected by copyright legislation. IUWIS is also open for politicians and journalists to join the discussion and express their copyright concerns. The internet platform will make use of the newest communication tools of the “Web 2.0”. It will also integrate different databases and other sources of knowledge that deal with copyright questions, and provide the network partners with all the information they need to argue for a better and more research‐friendly legislation.

IUWIS as an internet platform intends to be, by the end of the project runtime, the pivotal access point for any questions on copyright issues in the education and research sector in Germany, and the main base for political action and lobbying on any of these questions. IUWIS will develop a business model to remain in existence after the funding period has expired.

The project leaders are Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen, formerly professor of information science at the University of Konstanz, and the director of Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Prof. Michael Seadle, PhD, who established the project at Humboldt‐University of Berlin. IUWIS is based in Berlin and the internet platform can be visited at http://www.iuwis.de .