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Using Alfresco in Research Projects. Any experience yet?

Question asked by harald_wohlfeil on Apr 30, 2010
Hello everyone,
I am wondering if there's anyone using Alfresco as collaboration plattform in research projects, willing an able to share their experiences.

Why do I ask?
We - a research center at a german university - are currently planning a quite large scale interdisciplinary research programm in the area of humanities (around 60-100 people would be involved).
Drawing from experiences with similar projects, a suitable collaboration plattform seems to be a cornerstone to achieve excellent results and create sustainable data. Our basic needs are communication-plattforms, joint document/data-access and archiving as well as publication-workflows. All this must implemented in such a way, that even technology-averse professors or Ph.D. students - and we have got quite a lot of those - may be convinced to participate. So we are looking for an Virtual Research Environment (VRE) with a focus on collaborative workflows. Additional features for the use in reasearch projects are the inclusion of bibliographical data, enabeling the use of joint lists of literature and enabeling advanced cross referencing between documents within and beyond the plattform.

As far as we know, no such plattform has yet been implemented, although there have been various attempts, for example the sakai e-learning plattform (, or in an more "facebook-kind-of-way" within the project
Since none of those approaches really seem to fit all our needs though, we plan on extend an existing plattform. To do this, we are applying for an special funding within our research project that would enable us to contribute considerable ressources to the further developement of an existing plattform over several years.  

Alfresco seems to offer a very good starting point for such an expansion, but also for us to use in it's existing form during the development of additional features, since it already offers most features needed.
This is why I'm looking for people that are already using Alfreco or different  plattforms (e.g. sakai)  in this way or have similar ideas.

Any hint or comment will be greatly appreciated!