Note: This is a reblog from the RDA Europe website.

From March 8 to 11, I spent several insightful days in Southern California – at the 5th Plenary of the Research Data Alliance in San Diego to be precise. The RDA, for those of you not familiar with the organization, is a global consortium of individuals and organizations with a common goal: building the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data in research. It’s vision is: “Researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.” The organization has high-level backing: among its supporters are funding heavyweights NSF, NIH, and the European Commission.

My stay in San Diego was made possible by the generous financial support provided by RDA Europe’s Early Career Programme. I applied as I was especially interested in the Data Citation working group headed by fellow Austrian Andreas Rauber and his co-chairs Ari Asmi and Dieter van Uytvanck. I was closely following the activities of this group throughout the meeting and acted as a scribe for the group in the working group meeting, their presentation in the plenary and the Data Publishing interest group. The Data Citation WG has come up with a way to make dynamic and highly volatile dataets and parts thereof citable. Data citations of this kind are very important for reproducibility of science and they are not supported by current solutions. I was very impressed with the results of the working group – and by the pilots and workshops that are being carried out by NERC, ESIP, CLARIN, and NASA. If I have sparked your interest, I’d encourage you to check out the website of the WG and join the group.

In a way, the Data Citation WG embodies the RDA’s spirit: solution-oriented, focused and implementation-driven. Nevertheless there was also plenty of room for high-level talk at the meeting. I was impressed by the keynote by Stephen Friend of SAGE Bionetworks (check out the recording of his and other talk here). He provided a look into a data-driven future in biomedical research illustrated by a number of projects that have turned heads beyond the research community. These include Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) and Apple’s ResearchKit.

Bibliometrics and altmetrics, which are two of my main research foci, were also discussed in the course of the Plenary; most notably during the Publishing Data Bibliometrics WG of course, but also in the Publishing Data Interest Group. There, I presented two recent studies that I had been part of, dealing with the distribution of data citations and altmetrics. More information can be found in the accompanying slides.

I also contributed to the event by presenting a poster on the overview visualization of scholarly materials that I have developed in my PhD. More information on that in the poster below and in this blogpost. Discovery was also the main topic in the Data Description Registry Interoperability (DDRI) session. Amir Aryani presented the Research Data Switchboard, which connects datasets over repositories using semantic relations. Can’t wait to try this one out myself!

The RDA meeting was a unique experience. I did get to meet many fascinating people, and it was awesome to see just how many people are working towards promoting and enabling sharing research data in an open manner. I will certainly follow the work of the working groups that I participated in and I will try to contribute as much as I can – and I would encourage everyone interested in open research data to do the same!


Photo by Cory Doctorow, Slides by Lora Aroyo

Photo by Cory Doctorow, slides by Lora Aroyo

I spent last week at Web Science 2013 in Paris. And what a well spent time that was. Web Science was for sure the most diverse conference I have ever attended. One of the reasons for this diversity is that Webscience was collocated with CHI (Human-Computer-Interaction) and Hypertext. But most importantly, the community of Webscience itself is very diverse. There were more than 300 participants from a wide array of disciplines. The conference spanned talks from philosophy to computer science (and everything in-between) with keynotes by Cory Doctorow and Vint Cerf. This resulted in many insightful discussions, looking at the web from a multitude of angles. I really enjoyed the wide variety of talks.

Nevertheless, there were some talks that failed to resonate with the audience. It seems to me that this was mostly due to the fact that they were too rooted in a single discipline. Some presenters assumed a common understanding of the problem discussed and used a lot of domain-specific vocabulary that made it hard to follow the talk. Don’t get me wrong: most presenters tried to appeal to the whole audience but with some subjects this seemed to be impossible.

To me, this shows that a better insight is needed on what Web Science actually is and more discussion on what should be researched under this banner. There seems to be a certain uncertainty about this, which was also reflected in the peer reviews. Hugh Davis, the general chair for Websci’13, highlighted this in his opening speech:

I think that Web Science is a good example where Open Peer Review could contribute to a common understanding and a better communication among the actors involved. I have been critical of open processes in the past because they take away the benefits of blinding. Mark Bernstein, the program chair, also stressed this point in a tweet:

Nowadays, however, I think that the potential benefits of open peer review (transparency, increased communication, incentives to write better reviews) outweigh the effects of taking away the anonymity of reviewers. Science will always be influenced by power structures, but with open peer review they are at least visible. Don’t get me wrong: I really like the inclusive approach to Web Science that the organizers have taken. The web cannot be understood with the paradigm of a single discipline, and at this very point in time it is very valuable to get input from all sides on the discussion. In my opinion, open peer review could help in facilitating this discussion before and after the conference as well.


I made two contributions to this year’s Web Science conference. First, I presented a paper written together with Sebastian Dennerlein in the Social Theory for Web Science Workshop entitled “Towards a Model of Interdisciplinary Teamwork for Web Science: What can Social Theory Contribute?”. In this position paper, we argue that social scientists and computer scientists do not work together in an interdisciplinary way due to a fundamentally different approach to research. We sketch a model of interdisciplinary teamwork in order to overcome this problem. The feedback on this talk was very interesting. On the one hand participants could relate to the problem, but on the other hand they alerted us of many other influences to interdisciplinary teamwork. For one, there is often a disagreement at the very beginning of a research project about what the problem actually is. Furthermore, the disciplines are fragmented as well and have often different paradigms that they follow. We will consider this feedback when specifying the formal model. You can find the paper here and the slides of my talk below.

In general, the workshop was very well attended and there was a certain sense of common understanding regarding opportunities and challenges of applying social theory in web science. All in all, I think that a community has been established that could produce interesting results in the future.

My second contribution was a poster with the title “Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics” which I co-wrote with Kris Jack, Christian Schlögl, Christoph Trattner, and Stefanie Lindstaedt. As you may recall, Head Start is an interactive visualization of the research field of Educational Technology based on co-readership structures. Head Start was received very positively. Many participants were interested in the idea of readership statistics for mapping. There were some scientometrists but also educational technologists who expressed their interest. Many comments went towards how the prototype could be extended. You can find the paper at the end of the post and the poster below.

Head Start

Several participants noted that they would like to adapt and extend the visualization. Clare Hooper for example is working on a content-based representation of the field of Web Science, and it would be interesting to combine our approaches. This encouraged me even more to open source the software as soon as possible.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable conference. I also like the way that the organizers innovate in the format every year. The pecha kucha session worked especially well in my opinion, sporting concise and entertaining talks throughout. Thanks to all organizers, speakers and participants for making this conference such a nice event!

Peter Kraker, Kris Jack, Christian Schlögl, Christoph Trattner, & Stefanie Lindstaedt (2013). Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics Web Science 2013

iknowToday, the keynote speakers for i-KNOW 2013 have been announced:

I would like to use this opportunity to draw your attention to the Call for Papers. Science 2.0 is an important part of the conference. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • New Publication and Research Processes
  • Opportunities and Challenges for Researchers and Research organizations
  • New Indicator Systems to Measure Scientific Quality
  • Awareness-support for Science 2.0 Activities
  • New Paradigms for Scientific Communication
  • New Feedback Mechanisms among Researchers and between Science and Society
  • Empirical Studies on the Use of Web 2.0 Tools for Science 2.0
  • Recommender Systems in Science 2.0
  • Virtual Research Environments
  • Digital Research Libraries
  • Applications in and for Science 2.0
  • Crowd-sourcing in Science
  • Robust Methods for dealing with Noisy Crowd-sourced Data
  • Data Schemes and Interoperability Formats
  • Social Mining and Metadata Extraction in Academic Resources
  • Metadata Quality and Quality Assessment
  • Design and architecture of data sharing facilities
  • Semantic Web Standards for Science 2.0
  • Systems design accounting for standardized data sets

Other tracks include social computing, visual analytics & information visualization, knowledge managementknowledge discovery & data mining, and mobile computing. The deadline for full paper submissions is April 1, 2013. You can find all submission information and the full Call for Papers here.


5 September 2012
Graz, Austria

Science 2.0 deals with the involvement of the web in science. It spans from the utilization of Web 2.0 tools and technologies in research to a more open and sharing approach to science. Some definitions of Science 2.0 even include notions of a methodological change due to the abundance of data, and the nature of the socio-technical systems on the web. For this special track, we would like to address four issues in Science 2.0 that have proven both promising and challenging at the same time:

  1. The management of scientific data, both primary and secondary data (such as publication metadata, and other scientific content on the web) as a precondition for Science 2.0.
  2. The recommendation of people and resources as a consequential next step in an exponentially growing scientific environment.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of science based on data from scholarly communication on the web.
  4. The change in scientific practices due to the involvement of Science 2.0 tools and technologies in the research process and the effects this has on science itself.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Definition of data schemes and interoperability formats
  • Semantic Web standards for Science 2.0
  • Social mining and metadata extraction in academic resources
  • Metadata quality and quality assessment
  • Design and architecture of data sharing facilities
  • Systems design accounting for standardized data sets
  • Applications for recommendation in science
  • Specific challenges for recommendation in science
  • Information retrieval in academic papers
  • Recommendation algorithms and quality indicators
  • Changes in scientific practices due to Web 2.0
  • Methodological issues and interdisciplinarity in Science 2.0
  • Opportunities and threats for researchers and research organizations
  • Applications in and for Science 2.0
  • Awareness-support for Science 2.0 activities
  • Crowd-sourcing in science
  • Robust methods for dealing with noisy crowd sourced data

Important Dates

30 April 2012: Submission of full papers (8 pages) and demos (4 pages)
31 May 2012: Notification of acceptance
30 June 2012: Camera ready version (8 pages)
5 Sept.-7 Sept. 2012: i-KNOW 2012 Conference

Submission Procedure

We are inviting research papers of up to 8 pages including references and an optional appendix. Furthermore, we invite demos for the special track. Demo submissions should consist of a 4 page description that allows us to judge the quality of your demonstration. The Conference Proceedings of i-KNOW 2012 will be published by ACM ICPS.

Paper Submission Details:

In case of problems or questions concerning the submission of papers, please contact the track chairs at pkraker[at]

Notification of Acceptance and Publishing

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 31 May 2012. Accepted papers and demos will be included in the Conference Proceedings. The Conference Proceedings of i-KNOW 2012 will be published by ACM ICPS. At least one author of an accepted paper must register for i-KNOW 2012 before the deadline for camera ready versions (30 June 2012) in order to get the paper published in the conference proceedings.

Chairs of Science 2.0

The organization team of the Science 2.0 Special Track consists of the following people:

  • Peter Kraker, Know-Center Graz (Austria)
  • Roman Kern, Know-Center Graz (Austria)
  • Kris Jack, Mendeley (UK)

Program Committee (preliminary)

  • Hendrik Drachsler, Open Universiteit Nederland (Netherlands)
  • Erik Duval, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
  • Olivier Ferret, CEA Saclay Nano-INNOV (France)
  • Michael Granitzer, University of Passau (Germany)
  • Greg Grefenstette, Exalead (France)
  • Paul Groth, VU University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Denis Gillet, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Min-Yen Kan, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
  • Daniel Lemire, LICEF Research Center (Canada)
  • Isabella Peters, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany)
  • Jason Priem, University of North Carolina (United States)
  • Wolfgang Reinhardt, University of Paderborn (Germany)
  • Katrin Weller, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany)
  • Fridolin Wild, The Open University (UK)

In the last few weeks I have put a lot of time and effort to help organising a number of events. Each of them would deserve its own post, but due to time constraints (both on my side and with some of the deadlines coming up already), I will only give a quick overview right now and follow up on them later:

  • First things first: I am thrilled to announce that there will be a Special Track on Recommendation, Data Sharing, and Research Practices in Science 2.0 at this year’s I-KNOW conference! The special track provides an interdisciplinary forum for international scientists to discuss theoretical and practical aspects of Science 2.0. We are looking for contributions in the form of full papers (8 pages). I posted the full CfP over at TELeurope. Submission deadline is April 30.
  • Barcamp Graz gets a new edition this year. It will be on May 7 & 8 and will feature the usual suspects: a WissensCamp on knowledge management, a PolitCamp on the political side of Web 2.0 (with a focus on the recent developments in North Africa and Open Government), an iCamp on all things iPhone and iPad, and a Designcamp. More information on To get a rough overview of what a barcamp is, see the corresponding post from last year.
  • The Joint European Summer School on Technology Enhanced Learning will take place in Chania, Greece on the beautiful island of Crete from May 30 to June 3. Due to public demand, this year’s focus will be on methodology. My involvment is just beginning with the student committee currently forming. We are playing around first ideas for activities. The deadline for student applications is March 18, and the deadline for tutor applications is March 30. For more information see the website.

And there is even more in the pipeline: currently we are busy setting up a challenge in the area of Open Data at I-KNOW 2011. So stay tuned for updates and hopefully I will see you at one or the other event!

The I-KNOW is Europe’s largest conference on knowledge management and knowledge technologies. This year, the I-KNOW celebrates its 10th anniversary, featuring a rich conference program over three days, encompassing an English speaking scientific track and a German speaking forum for practicioners.

I would like to direct your attention to two specific slots at this year’s conference. First of all, there will be a session entitled Technologies for Science 2.0 (Sep 1, 14:00-16:00). The session will focus on the technological side of Science 2.0 and includes a talk from Jan Reichelt (founder and director of Mendeley).
Secondly, the Wissensmanagement Forum is organising an International Student Cooperation Event (Sep 2, 14:00-16:00). We will be giving everyone the chance to present his or her PhD topic in a 5 minutes madness talk and get feedback from like-minded colleagues. Then, we would like to discuss with you typical questions that come up when doing a PhD, like “How do I stick to a topic?”, “What should I focus on?” etc. Afterwards there will be time to socialize and establish new contacts. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Please write to if you would like to make a presentation. The I-KNOW 2010 will take place at from September 1-3 at Messe Congress Graz (Austria). It will be held concurrently with I-SEMANTICS  2010, the International Conference on Semantic Systems.

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