Virtual Research Environment – VRE

Research Support


Virtual Research Environment – VRE

Research has become more and more interdisciplinary and goes beyond the boundaries of one’s institute. Virtual research environments facilitate this evolution by combining filesharing, communication and collaboration in one tool.

The University Library offers the Virtual Research Environment (VRE) powered by Microsoft SharePoint as a collaborative platform. The VRE facilitates the production of joint research papers. Multiple collaborators from different institutions and locations can edit shared documents within a VRE.

A Virtual Research Environment has a secured place on a UM server, so collaboration takes place in a secure environment, accessible anytime and anyplace and is fully integrated with Microsoft. VREs facilitate online communication and sharing sources of information with integrated tools like wikis, blogs, shared calendars and discussion forums.

The main functions included in the Maastricht University VRE are:

  • project web portal: create your own window for peers or anyone interested
  • project management and planning
  • storing and sharing documents & data: all possible formats of Microsoft documents, PDF, statistical data files, video formats
  • shared writing: writing simultaneously in the same document
  • document workflow and version management
  • tasklist / agenda / calendar
  • discussion pages / weblog
  • shared links
  • project portfolios


How to start a VRE for your project or research group

  • Contact a VRE specialist by using our web form below
  • She/He will send you an application form and schedule a meeting to develop a plan to build a VRE that meets your needs.
  • The library also supports your group after the VRE is in operation.




Service specialist


Page information


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Testimonial about collaboration

Testimonial about the ease of use

Testimonial about secure environment


Contact & Support

For questions or information, use the web form to contact a library specialist.

For more information on collaboration tools in general, please contact Erik Jansen, Specialist Research Data Management (Phone: 82615).


Ask Your Librarian - Contact a VRE specialist
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