Completing essays, project reports or final theses can sometimes be a real challenge. How can I start writing my assignment? Where can I find the information I need? How can I overcome writer’s block? Answers to these and many other questions were provided on Essay Campaign Day at TIB on 3 March 2022 – in keynote speeches and one-to-one consultations. During the online event, staff from the Key Competence – Academic Writing team of Leibniz Universität Hannover and TIB provided all kinds of information on academic writing – not just on literature search and reference management, but also on text production.
The war of aggression on Ukraine, which has been raging since February 2022, poses an immediate threat to the country’s cultural heritage, causing damage and total destruction of some cultural assets. The massive damage to the digital infrastructure also leads to a loss of important data and documents on works of cultural heritage. Together with partners from all over Europe, TIB is working on two projects to save Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
The international initiative SUCHO (Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online) is committed to preserving Ukraine’s digital cultural heritage: in the form of websites, online publications and databases of numerous cultural and educational institutions. This valuable digital heritage is being preserved and managed by a large international group of librarians, researchers and technologists.
This work requires digitisation equipment such as scanners, cameras and computers on the ground in Ukrainian cultural institutions. SUCHO cooperates with the National Research Data Infrastructure NFDI4Culture and the National Library of Sweden in the procurement of digitisation equipment, and coordinates the aid shipments. The NFDI4Culture consortium, of which TIB is a partner, provides a dedicated helpdesk that brings together donor and recipient institutions, and offers technical support and training. Detailed information on the initiative, including its history and outlook, can be found on the TIB Blog in the article by Lozana Rossenova.
The objective of the “Documenting Ukrainian Cultural Heritage” project is to ensure the photographic documentation of war-threatened buildings in Ukraine which – in the event of their destruction – is to serve as a substantiated basis for their later reconstruction. The Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (German Documentation Centre for Art History) and TIB joined forces to help document Ukraine’s built heritage, which so far has rarely been done. A monitoring group of Blue Shield Deutschland has been collecting, structuring and evaluating reports on war-related damage to cultural property in Ukraine since March 2022, which are to be linked to the photographic documentation of culturally significant buildings. TIB is responsible for establishing a sustainable infrastructure to make it easy for citizens to contribute to the emergency documentation.
Scholarly work is mainly communicated through publications, in the form of texts. Considering the ever-growing number of publications issued, researchers are finding it increasingly difficult to follow the literature that is relevant to them. The Open Research Knowledge Graph (ORKG) aims to address this problem by describing research papers in a structured manner, and making the content of papers both human-readable and machine-actionable as well as FAIR, i.e. findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
In 2022, TIB invited applications for the second round of ORKG Curation Grants for researchers from various fields. This year’s successful applicants will again make regular contributions to the ORKG in their field of research and raise key research questions related to the ORKG. In this way, they contribute to one of the biggest challenges in research – better organising the content of scholarly publications – and gain visibility and reputation in their field of research.
The ORKG is an innovative digital infrastructure for academic knowledge. It constitutes a rethinking of scholarly communication by making academic publications readable for both humans and machines. The ORKG enables knowledge to be researched in a completely new way, given that the relevant literature is automatically identified and linked. Fascinating lecture videos and tutorials in → TIB’s AV-Porta show how the ORKG works.
The number of open access publications and journals has been growing steadily for years. And yet, many authors are unaware of relevant, quality-assured open access journals that would be suitable for publishing their research results. B!SON, a recommendation service for open access journals, aims to close this gap. The tool helps authors to select an appropriate journal for publishing their research results. By April, the time had come to release the beta version for all those interested.
The tool is quite simple to use: after the title, abstract and/or references of a manuscript have been entered into B!SON, the system recommends a list of suitable open access journals that can help publishing authors in the decision-making process. The recommendations can be further filtered, exported or sorted. Moreover, additional information can be obtained for each journal. A score indicates the basis on which B!SON makes its recommendations, making the output transparent and comprehensible.
B!SON is primarily aimed at publishing researchers. The local integration of B!SON (for example, into library services) will be possible, meaning that the tool can also be used for publication support services.
Enjoy trying out → B!SON
Björn Thümler, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Science and Culture, visited the L3S Research Centre in April 2022. During his visit, he learned about artificial intelligence (AI) research projects.
The L3S undertakes a wide range of AI projects such as AI applications in medicine, business and science; trustworthy AI; cooperation with start-ups; and machine learning with quantum computers. During a tour of a poster exhibition on AI projects, the minister gained an insight into specific projects and was impressed by the opportunities that reliable and trustworthy AI presents to business and society.
Professor Dr Sören Auer, TIB Director and member of the L3S, presented the CoyPu project at the research centre. CoyPu, an AI-based information platform for efficient crisis management, is a project involving the L3S, TIB and other partners: in the face of complex economic challenges, the platform networks, analyses and evaluates macroeconomic, industry-specific and internal company data. The analysed facts are used to derive impact correlations and up-to-the-minute forecasts to support crisis management.
Open access – free access to scholarly publications – offers many advantages. As surveys show, however, some researchers still have reservations. The study entitled “Wirkungen von Open Access. Literaturstudie über empirische Arbeiten 2010-2021” (The effects of open access. A literature review of empirical studies 2010–2021), conducted by TIB on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), now provides a comprehensive overview of empirical study results on the effects of open access from previous years.
Dr David Hopf, lead author of the study, reported the key findings: “The literature reviewed confirms several advantages of open access: open access leads to increased usage and to a professionally and geographically more diverse readership. At the same time, open access publications make a greater contribution to knowledge transfer than traditionally published research results. Moreover, the publishing process – the time between the submission and acceptance or publication of articles – is shorter. What is more, a number of negative concerns assumed in relation to the effects of open access – for example, that open access publications are of an inferior quality and lead to disadvantages in print edition sales – have been dispelled.”
Surprisingly, however, not all empirical studies confirm that open access publications are cited more frequently than non-open access publications, which means that an OA citation advantage cannot be conclusively confirmed empirically. In light of a high level of plausibility and methodological difficulties in this area, however, it can still be assumed that such an advantage exists.
Just one finding indicates a negative effect of open access: where so-called article processing charges (APCs) – publication costs incurred by many open access publications – exist, authors with fewer resources may be discouraged from publishing open access, e.g. due to low income levels in some regions of the world or a lack of institutional funding. However, this is not an effect of open access per se, but rather an effect of a particular business model for financing open access publications.
The MediaFutures initiative presents 24 new and exciting projects in which start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and artists work together to develop innovative ideas to fight disinformation by using data.
“In a world of increasing complexity and tension, we are reminded, once more, of the significance of access to factual information that would enable us to make appropriate and informed decisions. At MediaFutures, we are proud and thrilled to welcome our second cohort,” stated Alexandra Garatzogianni, Coordinator of MediaFutures, who is also responsible for EU projects at Leibniz Universität Hannover and TIB’s knowledge and technology transfer.
The project ideas are incredibly diverse, ranging from an artwork that aims to raise awareness of digital pollution caused by information overload and fake news, to a map app for tourists that focuses on the cultural, historical and artistic heritage of destinations in Europe, to an independent local newsroom from Nuremberg that delivers forward-looking and solution-oriented journalism together with citizens of the city. An app by the Ukrainian media platform Kunsht, which turns screen time into time for children to learn media skills – not least with the support of a virtual dinosaur – is aimed specifically at children. And these are just four of the total of 24 new projects in the MediaFutures initiative.
These projects receive financial support, mentoring and training in the context of three different funding programmes. Five projects are funded with up to €30,000 in the residency programme for artists, nine start-ups and ten cooperation projects between start-ups and artists receive €5,000 and one month to develop their idea.
They then have the opportunity to win one of seven places in the next phase of the programme in a pitch competition, with prize money of up to €80,000.
All 24 projects on our → TIB-Blog.
The premiere of the first German Open Science Festival was a resounding success: featuring a colourful mix of formats based around open science, 150 participants from Germany and abroad gathered at the Welfenschloss, Leibniz Universität Hannover, on 30/31 August 2022 to share ideas on open science.
Open science depends on the implementation of science practices based on transparency, reproducibility, reusability and open communication. These were the very aspects addressed under the heading “Meet. Share. Inspire. Care.”
Leibniz Universität Hannover and TIB initiated the Open Science Festival 2022 based on the Dutch model. And, given the success of the premiere, a sequel is to follow: the second edition will take place on 4 and 5 July 2023 in Cologne.
All those who were unable to attend the Open Science Festival in Hannover or who followed the keynotes and panel discussions in the livestream can view them on TIB’s AV-Portal. The video recordings offer a glimpse of the festival in Hannover.
In contact with the communities: TIB offers a variety of platforms for networking and exchange at the interfaces of science, business, politics and the information sector. A selection:
The German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) began its third mandate term in November. New to the RfII is Professor Dr Sören Auer, Director of TIB and Professor of Data Science and Digital Libraries at Leibniz Universität Hannover.
The RfII was established by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) to advise the Federal Government, the Länder and scientific institutions on the further development of scientific information infrastructures and other issues associated with the digital transformation. Professor Dr Sören Auer, one of Germany’s top 100 researchers in the field of computer science, is now one of the 24 members, who work in an honorary capacity. Members are appointed from among information infrastructure facilities, scientific users, the public as well as federal and state ministries of science.
In its first position paper entitled “Performance through Diversity” (2016), the RfII recommended the establishment of a “Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur” (National Research Data Infrastructure, or NFDI) to ensure that valuable science and research data can be systematically developed, networked and made usable for the entire German science system in a sustainable and qualitative manner. TIB has been deeply involved in establishing the NFDI, and specifically in several NFDI consortia, from the very beginning.
More about → RfII