A few months ago, I started the #DontLeaveItToGoogle campaign on Twitter to protest Google Dataset Search and to urge funders to provide the means for creating open alternatives. The original tweet has since been retweeted and liked hundreds of times and reached 50K impressions. As I had hoped, it also started a widespread discussion about open infrastructures in research.

Since then, I have been interviewed for the Elephant in the Lab to clarify the issues behind the initial tweet. I also wrote a piece for GenR where I laid out the specific problems in the discovery space.

And last week, I gave a keynote at the Open Science Conference in Berlin that contrasted the approach of proprietary vendors such as Google with the open infrastructure. In this talk that I co-created with Maxi Schramm, I argued that there is a serious crisis of discoverability in research. Scientific knowledge is growing at an unprecedented rate, but we do not have the tools to keep up with this growth. As a result, we see the emergence of dark knowledge, i.e. knowledge that cannot be discovered and reused.


Proprietary discovery tools from companies such as Google, Elsevier, and Digital Science are one of the main reasons for this problem. Their tools have outdated user interfaces and they do not allow for reuse of their data and software. What cannot be found within their systems is invisible to researchers and practitioners, essentially creating a wall of dark knowledge. We therefore cannot leave it to these large commercial entities to solve the discoverability crisis.


Instead we have to invest in the open discovery infrastructure. In the open infrastructure, reuse reigns supreme. We can all build on top of each other’s work, creating a cycle of continuous innovation. No one tool has the monopoly over which content researchers and practitioners get to see, tearing down the wall of dark knowledge.


Going forward, it will be especially important to fund user interfaces and user-facing services. Otherwise, we will give up all control over how users interact with open science. We also lose governance over user data and algorithms, and we miss out on a large chunk of innovation potential in that area.


You can find the slides from the talk here. I’d be very interested in your feedback on these ideas and arguments. Add your voice on social media using the #DontLeaveItToGoogle hashtag, or respond in the comments below.



For the 11th time, the International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies (i-KNOW) will take place in Graz, Austria; this year from September 7 to 9. In the course of the conference, there will also be a Special Track on Recommendation, Data Sharing and Research Practices in Science 2.0 (RDSRP). We are currently putting together the concrete program, I will keep you posted about that! Please find the full Call for Participation below:

Call for Participation

i-KNOW 2011
International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies

7-9 September 2011
Graz, Austria

i-KNOW 2011 brings together international researchers (English speaking scientific part) and practitioners (German speaking industry part, Praxisforum) from the fields of knowledge management and knowledge technologies. Opening and closing keynotes, open spaces and a conference-wide exhibition complete the i-KNOW conference program. i-KNOW 2011 will be held concurrently with I-SEMANTICS 2011 – International Conference on Semantic Systems again. This special concept aims at bridging the gaps between the various communities and their technology fields.

i-KNOW will offer its participants a unique platform either to present latest and leading edge developments or to catch up with the developments of most innovative IT technologies, content applications, knowledge management trends and emerging market opportunities.

The program includes about 60 scientific presentations from all over the world. A German-speaking industry track offers further 40 industry presentations and an exhibition. The presentations cover, but are not limited to the following topics…

* Knowledge Management
* Knowledge Discovery
* Knowledge Services
* Social Media
* Enterprise 2.0 and Social Web

For more detailed information please visit the website.

Three internationally renowned researchers will give keynote presentations:

* Gloria Mark, University of California, Irvine, USA
* Daniel A. Keim, University of Konstanz, Germany
* Stefan Rueger, The Open University, United Kingdom

i-KNOW 2011 also offers an additional Industry-Keynote:

* Florian Bauer, Operations & Director REEP (Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership, Austria.

We look forward to welcoming you to Graz in September 2011!

Best regards,
Stefanie Lindstaedt and Michael Granitzer
Know-Center and Graz University of Technology
On behalf of the Conference Co-Chairs

As you know, we are currently running an IJTEL Young Researcher Special Issue on Ground-breaking Ideas in TEL. Now all abstracts and reviews from the first round are available in our group on TELeurope (you need to be registered and logged in to see them). We invite you to explore the visions of the young researchers in the community,  and to get in touch with them by posting your comments into the group blog. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Derick Leony, Günter Beham, and myself have started a mindmap in order to document all efforts on Open Science in Technology Enhanced Learning. I am not going to conceal from you that we are using this mindmap as input for a publication. So feel free to add whatever you think is missing, and we will mention you in the acknowledgements! Also, co-authors are welcome!


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