Libraries on Twitch: Ideas for Starting on the Streaming Platform

by Claudia Sittner

Twitch, actually, is a live streaming platform. Founded in 2011, it is mainly used for streaming games and e-sports, but you can also broadcast events there, and since 2015 other target groups have been addressed with Twitch Creative. In 2014, Twitch was acquired by Amazon. Since 2016, accounts can be linked to the Amazon Prime programme (Twitch Prime).

This is how the streaming works

The streamers (creators) show how they play a game. One camera is usually directed at the game, a second shows the face of the streamer and thus their immediate reactions during the game (face cam). A chat runs alongside, in which the viewers comment. In this way, the gamers can interact with them, for example, pick up on comments or answer questions.

Sharp rise in streamers during the pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, Twitch gained greatly in viewers. In 2020, for example, user numbers doubled; in 2021, Twitch recorded over 1 billion visits per month (German). Over 8 million streamers broadcast there (September 2022, German).

During the lockdown, the platform also became popular for streaming lectures. For example, a teacher from the USA regularly streamed his course about streaming on Twitch.

Follow, subscribe, donate, chat: This is how Twitch works

On Twitch, you can follow streamers or subscribe to their channels. Following is free of charge. With the paid subscriptions, viewers can support the streamer financially. Donations are also possible. Other options for professional streamers to earn money on Twitch are affiliate marketing, where viewers buy articles directly via commission links. The article “Twitch Marketing: What can Twitch do besides gaming?” (German) goes into more detail.

Streams can also be followed without a Twitch account. They are stored on the platform for 30 days and then automatically deleted. In the meantime, a link – and thus preservation – is possible via YouTube, for example. Emoticons are called “emotes” on Twitch. Streamers can activate their own. Emotes can also be added by subscribing to channels.

Who uses Twitch?

The average age of viewers on Twitch is 21 years. In detail, the users of Twitch look like this (German): 65 percent are male, 41 percent are digital natives of Generation Z and thus between 16 and 24 years old. 32 percent of users are between 25 and 34 years old. If you are an older Twitch user, you are considered an exotic. Users come mainly from the USA, France and Great Britain.

Libraries that are considering setting up a channel on Twitch should ask themselves how large the intersection between their target group and Twitch users is. In addition, one can also ask: What can the platform do for us as library staff?

Exotics wanted: Twitch Creative

In 2015, Twitch initiated the “Twitch Creative” project to promote creative formats beyond gaming and e-sports. The promotion consists of making it easier to find the channels of creative streamers. Twitch has thus become a meeting place for users interested in art and culture. Hobbyists, artists and programmers show their work processes live here.

Some unusual accounts have grown up in the wake of Twitch Creative, for example that of the 70-year-old “Bacon Mom“, who has been tinkering with her Minecraft world for years and tells stories of her life. With the new niches in the fields of art, culture and literature, Twitch Creative would probably also be the right place for unusual library, open science or infrastructure streams. Certainly programming or coding formats would also be well accommodated here. Institutions could score points with creative, entertaining or particularly helpful formats.

Example MarmeladenOma

A very charming example of an unusual account is that of grandmother (Oma) Helga Sofie Josefa, who is now over 90 years old. With the help of her grandson Jannik, she has been streaming as MarmeladenOma (meaning Marmelade Granny) for more than five years. On her channel, she regularly takes viewers to her fairytale island and reads stories from books, sometimes for hours. What started out small suddenly gained momentum in 2017 when YouTube star “Gronkh” spontaneously dropped by the live fairy tale hour undercover with a few thousand fans (German) , almost causing Helga Sofie Josefa’s server to crash and the old lady to be amazed because the number of incoming comments skyrocketed.

The account now has more than 70,000 followers. The fans like the authentic and loving manner of MarmeladenOma. She reminds them of their grandmother and the reading sessions from their childhood. When the videos are deleted from Twitch after 30 days, they can then be found on the streamer’s 240,000 subscriber YouTube channel (German). In the meantime, she has become a real celebrity beyond the scene and has been to industry events such as Gamescom. If you want to learn more about MarmeladenOma, I recommend this article (German). This example shows that even with simple tools, good ideas can take off and lead to successful and wide-reaching channels.

Libraries on Twitch

So far, libraries have been largely absent from Twitch. “The few libraries that currently use Twitch for programming use it for gaming and e-sports, online workshops, and other programs, such as art, book clubs, and guest speakers,” says an article in the American Libraries Magazine. And further “that Twitch is already being used in some higher education settings for language learning, lectures, coding demonstrations, and office hours”. All ideas that could also be implemented in libraries.

In German-speaking countries, the Pfalzbibliothek (Pfalz Library) or the KLAR project (German) of the Stadtteilbibliothek Klarenthal (District Library) in Wiesbaden are active on Twitch. Mainly lectures are streamed. The target groups are young people and their parents. The KLAR project started with the micro-influencer Koriwan. This is certainly also a good way for libraries to draw attention to themselves.

Getting started on Twitch: Necessary equipment

According to a Twitch guide for beginners (German) the following equipment is needed for a successful start:

  • A computer with good performance, ideally not a laptop because their graphics cards are often not as powerful,
  • at least four USB ports for accessories,
  • a good microphone,
  • a webcam,
  • a game capture device,
  • a streaming programme, for example Streamlabs OBS.

The latter can be used to link your own Twitch account with services such as Facebook, Prime or YouTube. In addition, so-called widgets are available. These can be used to add a chat or alerts to the stream for certain events. Events can be new followers or subscribers.

Five success factors for Twitch

As with all social media platforms, success on Twitch is a matter of luck and a long-distance run. Nevertheless, a few things are helpful to increase your chances of growing your number of followers and subscribers:

  1. Always remain authentic and have fun while streaming.
  2. Be creative.
  3. Stay true to your own line: Sometimes success comes from simply doing a certain thing for a very long time.
  4. Stream regularly: This creates reliability and strengthens the bond with the viewers.
  5. Incorporate recurring elements, this creates a brand and a recognition value.

This text has been translated from German.

This might also interest you:

About the author

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

The post Libraries on Twitch: Ideas for Starting on the Streaming Platform first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

User Experience in Libraries: 35 Promising Starting Points for Entry and Exchange With Like-minded People

by Claudia Sittner

It all started with the article by ZBW colleague Nicole Clasen in August 2020: User Experience for Libraries: The Best Tools and Methods for Beginners. By the way, I recommend this article to everyone who is not yet familiar with UX. I then found the topic of “user experience in libraries” so exciting that I started a series of interviews. People in charge of UX from infrastructure institutions in eight European countries had their say, from staff from small and specialised libraries in individual subject areas to national libraries and purely digital services. For the curious: You can find the list of institutions at the end of this article.

The questions were always the same. For the purely digital Finnish services of finna, we varied them a little. The period: August 2020 to April 2022, which means that the coronavirus pandemic interfered with the interviewees’ UX activities everywhere. This article is based on the answers to the last interview question, „What are your tips for libraries that would like to start with UX? What is a good starting point?“ and on my own research. It offers an overview and starting points for all those who would like to get started with user experience in libraries but don’t know exactly how – of course without claiming to be complete.

Exchange ideas at the UX Roundtable

In July 2021, ZBW colleagues Alena Behrens and Nicole Clasen launched a UX Roundtable. Since then, it has taken place online about four times a year. The aim is to exchange ideas about user experience and usability in libraries and at universities across institutional boundaries in the German-speaking world and thus make libraries and information facilities more human-centred. From 2023 onwards, the informal UX Roundtable will merge into a Special Interest Group (SIG) “User Experience in Libraries” at the professional association for employees in libraries “Berufsverband Information Bibliothek“ (BIB, German).

The SIG is aimed at colleagues from public and academic libraries, from other information institutions as well as from research and teaching. From newcomers to library all-rounders to UX experts, everyone is welcome! If you are interested, please contact Alena Behrens or Nicole Clasen from the user services department of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics or Sina Menzel from the UX Office at the university library of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Attend a UX conference

Library staff from academic and public libraries from all over the world meet every summer for this interactive conference at a venue in the UK. “I attended the UXLib Conference a couple of years ago and I found the talks and workshops incredibly interesting and inspiring. Reach out to other staff members doing similar things to what you would like to do. I met a few people at the conference that were very helpful in keeping in contact and were happy to exchange ideas, etc.” (Aimee Andersen, UK). The international conference “User Experience in Libraries” (#UXLibs) focuses on a specific aspect of UX research and design each time; for example, “UX and Organisational Culture” in 2022, “From Research to Design” in 2019 or “Inclusion” in 2018.

The visit of the “International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries” is also interesting for UX novices. The goal of library performance measurement and evaluation is to understand how well a library is meeting the needs of stakeholders in order to make improvements. Key features of library performance measurement also include the active use of qualitative and quantitative data to improve services and the user experience, and the communication of the results and outcomes of assessment activities.

Looking around on websites

Andy Priestner is considered a pioneer in the field of UX in libraries in Europe. In addition to workshops and the annual #UXLibs conference, his website offers helpful information for getting started.

Ned Potter’s website is also worth a visit. Tip for beginners: the resource list for UX in libraries provides a good introduction to the basics.

Read articles and studies

  1. What is a UX librarian?
  2. UX in libraries: It’s all about inclusion!
  3. The presentation “User-oriented design of library websites” (PDF, German) by Martin Blenkle offers a very impressive and entertaining introduction to the basic problems users have with library websites thanks to many examples. For example, in response to the question “What are the most common problems with library websites?” a user wrote on Twitter “The site is most overtly ‘about the library’ when it should be that the site *is* the library.”
  4. Users at the Center of Everything – A crash course in UX for your library by Callan Bignoli and Lauren Stara.
  5. Ethnographic study of the library at Fresno Pacific University (California, USA, PDF), albeit from 2009. The two guiding questions of the study: What is student life like at a public comprehensive university in the early 21st century? How might the library better adapt its services to student practices while still accomplishing the educational mission of an academic library? The aim was to use this to increase library usage and improve the user experience.
  6. The Only UX Reading List Ever, although not specifically library related and last updated five years ago.
  7. UX Myths, for fun: collects the most common misconceptions about user experience and explains why they are not true.

The classic way: get into the subject with books

If you work in a library, this tip might seem obvious: but there are a few books that are particularly useful for getting started with UX.

  1. Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library by Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches
  2. User Experience in Libraries – Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design edited by Andy Priestner and Matt Borg
  3. Good Services – How to Design Services that Work by Lou Downe
  4. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
  5. Rocket Surgery Made Easy – The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems by Steve Krug. “I really recommend Krug’s method for usability testing – it’s easy to set up, can be done remotely, and always leads to actionable insights.” (Kitte Dahrén, Sweden)
  6. Universal Methods of Design by Bella Martin and Bruce Hanington: The book contains guidance on 100 research methods, synthesis/analysis techniques and research findings.
  7. A Handbook of User Experience Research & Design in Libraries by Andy Priestner is a must-read according to Kitte Dahrén (Sweden), as are all the yearbooks of the #UXLibs conference, all available on their website.
  8. The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley.
  9. User Experience in the Library (PDF), Routledge FreeBook with various excerpts from other books, is also good for reading into them and for checking if they are worth buying.

Get started with the Design Thinking Toolkit

“Design Thinking for Libraries” offers a great free toolkit that help you get started, it is filled with practical advice and plenty library related examples.” says Larissa Tijsterman from the University of Amsterdam Library in her interview.

Stay up to date on the topic with newsletters

This tip is from the interview with Kitte Dahrén from the Swedish SLU University Library, at different locations: The “Nielsen Norman Group offers a lot of useful articles and a newsletter well worth subscribing to.”

“From the UX guru Andy Priestner there is also a mailing list. In it he also promotes the annual #UXLibs conference he co-organises.” says ZBW colleague Alena Behrens .

Find like-minded people on Twitter

The library scene’s favourite social network also offers a communicative entry point for the topic of user experience, for example via the hashtags #uxlib, #uxlibs, #libux, #libraryux. Other helpful hashtags are #uxresearch, #uxdesign, #userexperience, #libraries. “For me, it all started with watching Twitter, which allowed me to understand what is being done and offered in other libraries. Then I followed a training course with Nathalie Clot, director of the Angers University library, to understand and use UX methods.” (Nicolas Brunet-Mouyen, Paris).

Lively discussions about and many ideas on UX in libraries can be found on Twitter. It is also easy to get in touch with the experts. In addition, there are several accounts that are worth following. Here is a small selection to get you started:

  1. Not surprisingly: Andy Priestner: Consultant/trainer User Experience Research & Design, failure, LEGO Serious Play. Creator: @UXLibs. Book: A Handbook of UX Research & Design in Libraries.
  2. UX in Libraries: International community sharing User Experience (UX) research & design practice in libraries. Annual conference & yearbooks. UXLibs7 will take place in June 2023.
  3. WeaveUX: Journal of Library User Experience. Open access, peer-reviewed journal published by @M_Publishing and managed by a team of passionate library UXers.
  4. Nathalie Clot: University Librarian @BUAngers, Angers, France. #Antifragilista Advocacy for useful, usable and desirable libraries #Uxlibs #BUAPro, She/her.

Eight steps for a successful UX in your library: these are the tips from European experts.

Below are the condensed and summarised tips for getting started with user experience from the experts we interviewed. In the course of the interviews, these eight steps emerged:

  1. Identify the status quo: “Start mapping out what are the goals and strategy of the organisation. Map existing services and identify bottlenecks that need to be addressed.” (Margus Veimann, Estonia)
  2. Pick low-hanging fruits: “Don’t try to move mountains the first thing you do. Start small, and preferably with something where you control the whole process and can act on stuff that you learn. Let’s say that you and your colleagues argue about some detail, solve it by simply asking or observing your users.” (Kitte Dahrén, Sweden)
  3. Or: “Start with the ‚low hanging fruits‘ – namely problem areas you already know about – and with changes that can be made with relatively little effort. Being successful here will then give you the required motivation to continue, and for these projects, simple UX methods are usually sufficient. You can save advanced techniques for later.” (Jarmo Schrader, Germany)

  4. Have the courage to experiment: “It is mandatory to experiment and always include user research and small learning experiments in every project. This is a cornerstone for creating services that are valuable and accessible for different user groups.” (Margus Veimann, Estonia)
  5. Convince the management: “First and foremost, it is very important to have a sponsor to support your goals. When referring to sponsors, I mean management. If they believe in the idea, they are also willing to invest the necessary resources.” (Jane Makke, Estonia)
  6. Or: “In order to make UX truly embedded you need your management on board, but with time and patience, this way of working in your team can create a ripple effect in your organisation.” (Kitte Dahrén, Sweden)

  7. Look beyond your own nose: “To look at what other institutions are already doing is a great starting point. (…) Learn from those that have gone before you! We found that the Library User Experience Community is strong and incredibly supportive and helpful. If in doubt, reach out to people and ask some questions. In our experience Library UXers are more than happy to chat and share advice and thoughts.” (Sinéad Beverland, UK)
  8. Get out and start: “Leaving the house at an early stage and interacting with the users is a key. It is customary that we think that we know all the answers and have the best solution how to solve users’ problems but usually this is the source of the failure.” (Margus Veimann, Estonia)
  9. Keep at it: “However, needs are continually changing – it’s not as if we will ever have reached the stage where we can say: Things will stay like this for ever.” (Ninon Frank, Germany)
  10. Allow mistakes and learn from them: This is the only way to gain insights into what is not working. “Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are meant to make mistakes that is how you discover new insights. Give it time, you might not always end up with a deliverable but you are making waves of change which will be noticeable later on.” (Larissa Tijsterman, Netherlands)

Background: These eight libraries participated

UX staff from infrastructures in eight European countries have now had their say, from small specialist libraries in individual subject areas to national libraries and purely digital services:

  1. Germany: Jarmo Schrader and Ninon Frank from the University Library of Hildesheim,
  2. United Kingdom: Aimee Andersen and Sinéad Beverland from the libraries at the University of Westminster,
  3. Estonia: Margus Veimann and Jane Makke from the National Library of Estonia in Tallinn,
  4. Finland: Riitta Peltonen and Pasi Tiisanoja from Finna, a package of digital services,
  5. France: Nicolas Brunet-Mouyen from the library of the Cergy Paris University,
  6. the Netherlands: Larissa Tijsterman from the University of Amsterdam Library,
  7. Sweden: Kitte Dahrén from the library of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, at different locations,
  8. Slovenia: Tomaž Ul?akar from the Central Economics Library at the University of Ljubljana.

You can find the collected interviews – and some other contributions on user experience in libraries – on ZBW MediaTalk under the keyword User Experience.

Interview partners wanted!
We are looking forward to receiving more examples from all over the world! If you would like to take part in the series “UX in Libraries” or know of an institution that deals with UX, we would be happy to receive an email to!

This text has been translated from German.

This might also interest you:

About the Author:

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

The post User Experience in Libraries: 35 Promising Starting Points for Entry and Exchange With Like-minded People first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Briefly Noted: ZBW MediaTalk in Test Mode on Mastodon

by Claudia Sittner

Profiles of public institutions on commercial social networks have long been a source of unease for data protectionists throughout Germany. But until 2016, there was a lack of equivalent alternatives. Mastodon could be one such alternative. The decentralised network by software developer Eugen Roschko is Open Source with the source code being freely available on Github. The decentralised nature of Mastodon is what makes it so attractive and a good choice from an Open Science perspective.

What is Mastodon? Video by Mastodon on Youtube

Unlike platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, it is non-commercial, free of advertising and run by volunteers, who can also be organisations, on so-called instances. The instances are nodes, i.e. servers, creating a decentralised network: The Fediverse – a cross between “Federated” and “Universe”. The Fediverse is the generic concept for a network of federated systems, which implements a specific protocol (ActivityPub) – like Mastodon.

Data protection and Mastodon

The network is not financed by advertising revenue, which in practice almost always means the collection and use of personal data. So it can be operated in compliance with data protection laws. For data protectionists, however, the decentralisation is the big bonus. It is considered more data-protection compliant because not all data is collected at a central point. Of course, commercial providers can also host an instance, but that would only be one of many. Many Mastodon nodes also have their own data protection statements. However, there are no contracts for Data Processing Agreements. The choice of an instance is, therefore, ultimately a matter of trust.

The increased compatibility with data protection led, among other things, to some German authorities (German) and data protection officers, such as the data protection officer of Baden-Württemberg, Stefan Brink (German), setting up a profile there.

Creating an account on Mastodon: two steps

On Mastodon, users can create accounts in two steps. In the first step, they choose a suitable instance. These differ in terms of the community that has settled there, the usage guidelines, the number of users, the language and the tone. The latter is defined in the usage rules of the instance. Anyone who does not abide by them can be excluded by the admins. Since the individual instances have far fewer accounts than other social networks, expulsion on Mastodon can actually happen quite quickly. It is even possible to exclude entire instances from the Fediverse if, for example, there are no rules of use or the users do not adhere to them and serious cross-account violations occur too frequently.

Finding a suitable instance

There are currently around 3,800 Mastodon instances and 5.2 million users (July 2022). Filter systems or blog posts such as this one (German) can help you find the right instance. When we created the MediaTalk account on Mastodon in 2018 – back then in the tail of the Cambridge Analytica scandal – we chose the OpenBiblio instance. It is run by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (state library). OpenBiblio is constantly growing and currently hosts almost 400 profiles. Around 29,000 contributions have been posted here so far. In the meantime, the instance has become well established for the German-language library scene. In the second step, you can create the user account. The account URL also includes the name of the instance, in our case:

ZBW-MediaTalk on Mastodon

As can be seen from this example, the name of the instance can already say something about its background, thematic focus and the interests of its community. But don’t worry, choosing an instance is not a life decision: if you don’t feel at home, it is possible to switch. Followers can be taken along, some other things too, but unfortunately not postings.

Posting on Mastodon

To stay with our example: Just because our account is hosted on the OpenBiblio instance does not mean that we can only follow others on that instance and only see their posts, because all instances are linked to the Fediverse. Communication is often compared to e-mail: Even if I have a Googlemail account, I can write mails to users of a Hotmail account and receive mails from them. The practical thing is that with a Mastodon account, you can also follow users with profiles on other Fediverse services like Pixelfed, which is about photos.

So we can follow all other accounts and vice versa. Nothing stands in the way of writing your own posts, which are called “toots” on Mastodon. A toot consists of a maximum of 500 characters. As usual, pictures, videos or similar attachments can be sent along. What is called a “retweet” on Twitter is a “boost” on Mastodon. Instead of hearts or likes, users award stars.

MediaTalk in test mode on Mastodon

After the fuss about Elon Musk’s tweet about buying Twitter, we decided to fill our profile on Mastodon with life. Since we are doing this in test mode for the time being, we are mirroring our tweets there. We currently use the command line tool t2m for this. It’s a bit on the old side, but it’s Open Source and can be easily operated on your own server. There are also online tools for this form of mirroring, but their use in compliance with data protection regulations is questionable. For the reasons mentioned, we are now active on Mastodon, for the time being. But we are confident that we will be there permanently. In what form, after a certain test phase, is still open. So if you are no longer happy on Twitter, maybe because of data protection concerns, you won’t miss anything if you follow us on Mastodon. We would be happy to welcome you there!

This text has been translated from German.

Read more about Mastodon:

Read more on MediaTalk:

About the author

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

Featured Image: Mastodon press kit

The post Briefly Noted: ZBW MediaTalk in Test Mode on Mastodon first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Open Science & Libraries 2022: 22 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co. – Part 2

by Claudia Sittner

Of our event tips for the 2nd half of 2022, it is mainly the events in summer and early autumn that take place onsite (eleven of them). The later the year, the more they move back into the digital world (eight of them). Only a total of three events will be held in the new hybrid format on-site and online. It seems that organisers all over the world are not enthusiastic about the hybrid format after all.

In our event tips for July to December 2022, you will find all facets of the new event world: purely digital, hybrid and, above all, classic on-site event formats. Below you will find a selection of conferences, workshops, barcamps, festivals and other events that you should not miss in the second half of 2022. You can find more interesting events in the ZBW MediaTalk event calendar.

#01 – Open Space | 05.07. | Berlin (Germany)
Organised by: Forum for Open Innovation Culture (innOsci)
Open Science und Open Innovation – Pretty Best Friends?!
“This Open Space is intended to be an ‘open space’ in the truest sense of the word for the topics that are close to the hearts of our community. The title forms the bracket and is intended to invite us to take a deeper look at the question of how we can bring together Open Science & Open Innovation for the benefit of all and perhaps also think in a completely new way in order to meet the social challenges of our time and shape transformation.“

#02 – Conference | 06.07. – 08.07. | Odense (Denmark)
Organised by: Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and University Library of Southern Denmark / Syddansk Universitetsbibliotek
LIBER Annual Conference 2022
“LIBER 2022 Annual Conference Theme: Libraries in the Research and Innovation Landscape — Supporting, Partnering, Leading. The upcoming LIBER 2022 Annual Conference will address the following topics: Libraries as research institutions; Citizen science and research communication; Partnering with other organisations and the private sector; Community building for researchers; Research libraries as publishers; Role of research libraries in bibliometrics; Special collections in research libraries.”

#03 – Summer School | 11.07. – 15.07. | Zurich (Switzerland)
Organised by: University of Zurich
Open Science Summer School 2022
“Are you unsure what FAIR data is, or how to write a data management plan? Are you wondering about copyright, or how to manage sensitive data properly? Do you want to know more about the various Open Access roads, and how you can avoid predatory journals? You will have the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the world of open data, research data management, and open access.”

#04 – Conference | 13.07. – 16.07. | Leiden (Netherlands)
Organised by: Leiden University, the Municipality of Leiden, Leiden University of Applied Sciences, and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
EuroScience Open Forum 2022: Crossing the borders, engaged science, resilient society
“The main objective of ESOF2022 is to strengthen the trust in the various ways society is influenced by science and, on the other hand, how science is influenced by choices, dilemmas and responsibilities that arise in society. ESOF2022 will be about the creation of a sense of urgency in scientists, policy makers, media, and the general public to deliberate more actively on science. ESOF2022 in Leiden will reinforce the societal dimension of European research-recognising that citizen engagement is intrinsic to the support of science and to appreciate the benefits of science for the economy and quality of life. ESOF2022 conference with the theme ‚Crossing the borders, engaged science, resilient society‘ is embedded in a 365-day programme of Leiden European City of Science where we will celebrate arts, science, and technology, targeted to reach out to the general public and truly connect science with society.”

#05 – Conference | 26.07. – 29.07. | Dublin (Ireland)
Organised by: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress: Inspire, Engage, Enable, Connect
“An abundance of innovative and thought-provoking sessions awaits you, including: Digital skills on fire workshop – Fighting fake information at your library – Agile in the library: methods and tools for project management, collaboration and innovation – Inspire: how the SDGs can change your life – Equity, diversity, inclusion: intersectional issues in libraries – Librarians as evidence intermediaries during times of crisis – Climate Action in libraries: creating a more sustainable future by engaging and inspiring youth – Telling the next chapter: marketing libraries of the future – Infodemic management: strategies for combatting health mis/dis/malinformation – Truth, evidence and memory: Academic Libraries as cultural rights defenders – Information access through cooperation: models from libraries serving persons with print disabilities – European libraries in a time of war: responses to the crisis in Ukraine – Artificial intelligence: new horizons and implications for libraries.”

#06 – Conference | 30.08. – 31.08. | Hannover (Germany)
Organised by: Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library
Das erste deutsche Open Science Festival: Meet. Share. Inspire. Care.
“Exchange and impulses on Open Science practices with (inter)national experts – A place to network with other scientists – Practice-based workshops – A marketplace with information on local and international initiatives and services.”

#07 – Conference | 01.09. | Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Organised by: National Program Open Science (hereafter: NPOS)
Netherlands National Open Science Festival: Meet / Share / Inspire / Care
“This year the festival contains two tracks: Track 1: Open Science in Practice (all day) invites active researchers working in the Netherlands. The parallel track 2: Open Science in Policy (afternoon) invites everyone interested in Open Science policy. Join us to learn more about Open Science practices in research and current policy in the Netherlands. Plus, you’ll get to meet researchers in the Netherlands who already work openly or want to get started as well as Open Science policy makers.”

#08 – Conference | 13.09. – 14.09. | Online
Organised by: Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
14th Wildau Library Symposium: Best of Failure
“Everyone agrees that a culture of innovation requires a willingness to take risks and an error culture. But what specifically can help to live both in practice in everyday library life? Under the working title ‚Best of Failure” (or ‚Failing Beautifully‘, ‚Protypes Create Types‘, ‚FuckUp Night‘), we will first collect together with the participants what can be included in an overview. Then we will work out how acceptance and transparency can find a permanent place for it. The goal is a systematic collection that can be used as a ‘lesson learned’ for project-initiated library work. There should be enough failed ideas/projects/solutions. They are a treasure if one draws the right conclusions from them for similar approaches, whether e.g. in the use of discovery tools, lending operations, QR codes, media acquisition, RFID devices, etc.”

#09 – Conference | 19.09. – 21.09. | Bern (Switzerland)
Organised by: University Library Bern
Open-Access-Tage 2022: Kollaboration
“The developments in the publication system towards more openness lead to an increase in the number of actors, institutions, infrastructures, interests, technologies, professions, etc. involved, who bring their own demands, requirements, interpretations, needs, standards, languages, etc. with them. One of the current challenges for OA is therefore how these actors and interests interact and how they can be included and taken into account. This raises questions such as: Which collaborations are desirable? What positive and negative experiences have we had? How should collaborations be designed in the sense of Open Access and Open Science? Do collaborations change the institutions in which we work? Which collaborations are particularly valuable strategically? Which ones should we strive for? What forms of collaboration exist? The following dimensions of collaboration are particularly important to us at the Open Access Days: Collaboration among people: different languages, assessments, prerequisites, competencies, interests and values – Collaboration between machines: Interoperability, services, infrastructures, exchange of (meta-)data, dashboards – Collaborative structures and mechanisms: different institutions, cultures, processes, goals and requirements.”

#10 – Conference | 19.09. – 23.09. | Berlin (Germany)
Organised by: QURATOR Bündnis
QURATOR 2022 – Third Conference on Digital Curation Technologies
“The Qurator conference provides a forum on the use of digital curation technologies in application domains for, e.g., media, journalism, logistics, cultural heritage, health care and life sciences, energy, industry. Of particular relevance are submissions that demonstrate the applied use of digital curation technologies and tools in domain-specific use cases and that bridge traditional boundaries between disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Web, data analytics and machine learning, information/content and knowledge management systems, information retrieval, knowledge discovery, and computational linguistics.”

#11 – Conference | 20.09. – 22.09. | Online
Organised by: Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA)
OASPA Online Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing 2022
“The 2022 online conference will encourage participants to think Beyond Open Access to equitable open scholarship and science practices and will address many timely and fundamental topics relating to open scholarly communication. These include, and are not limited to: The University Leadership Role in Delivering Equitable Open Access; Connecting Vision to Practice: what needs to happen to ensure recent recommendations are met; Common Good and Open Access; Humanities and Open Scholarship; Indigenous Knowledge; Open Science Knowledge Amongst Researchers; Has open science failed to influence research assessment?; Pathways to Open Access: Values-based publishing models.”

#12 – Conference | 28.09. – 30.0.9 | The Hague (Netherlands) & Online
Organised by: Europeana Foundation
“We aim to explore how we can collaboratively build a common data space for cultural heritage and raise voices from across the sector to empower digital transformation and explore the role digital cultural heritage plays in today’s and tomorrow’s world.”

#13 – Workshop | 12.10. – 13.10. | Online
Organised by: Landesinitiative für Forschungsdatenmanagement (
Train-the-Trainer Workshop zum Forschungsdatenmanagement
“The two-day workshop is aimed at people who want to teach the basics of research data management in their field of work or at their institution and, based on this, want to set up or expand RDM services for their locations. In addition to didactic approaches, methods and the seminar structure, the following topics will be covered: Research data life cycle – Research data policies – Data management plan – Structuring of data – Documentation – Storage and backup – Long-term archiving – Access security – Publication of research data – Post-use of research data – Legal aspects.”

#14 – Conference | 17.10. – 20.10. | Online
Organised by: Open Education Conference Board of Directors
Open Education Conference 2022: Rise to Action
“The Open Education Conference (‚OpenEd‘) is an annual convening for sharing and learning about Open Educational Resources, Open Pedagogy, and Open Education Initiatives. This dynamic gathering celebrates the core values of Open Education that strive to realise education ecosystems that are accessible, affordable, equitable and inclusive to everyone, regardless of their background. As of 2022, the conference transitioned to leadership by a community-elected board of directors, guided by a strategic vision.”

#15 – Conference | 18.10. – 19.10. | Online
Organised by: Science Europe AISBL
Science Europe Open Science Conference 2022
“At the Open Science conference, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the current policy initiatives, research assessment reforms, and financial measures that support the transition to Open Science, and look forward at new trends. We will also explore the impact of the transition on the daily reality of researchers, their teams, and institutions, and discuss ways to make the transition to Open Science fair and equitable.”

#16 – Conference | 19.10. – 21.10. | Brno (Czech Republic)
Organised by: European Commission; Masaryk University; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union; and CEITEC – Central European Institute of Technology
International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2022)
“A major worldwide event providing an opportunity for strategic discussions about international cooperation in research infrastructure. A variety of experts and stakeholders discuss challenges and emerging trends, highlighting the essential role of research infrastructures. Every two years since 2012, ICRI has hosted about 500 delegates, who discuss topics concerning research infrastructures on the international level.”

#17 – Webinar | 25.10. – 26.10. | Online
Organised by: Technology Arts Sciences TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences
Agenda 2030 – Libraries on the Road to Environmental Sustainability
“With the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 adopted in 2015 and the new edition of the German Sustainability Strategy of the Federal Government, libraries are also called upon to make their contribution to sustainable development. Only recently there have been further clear impulses in the library world (Libraries4Future, Network Green Library). In this seminar, experiences are to be conveyed on how one can contribute to sustainable development in and with libraries. The focus is less on structural aspects and more on what can be influenced practically and in everyday life in libraries: Energy saving, cleaning and maintenance, green IT, services for library users, library administration, the green library office, library strategy and marketing.”

#18 – Conference | 26.10. – 28.10. | Leiden (Netherlands)
Organised by: FAIR Digital Objects Forum
1st International Conference on FAIR Digital Objects: Turning the Internet into a meaningful data space
“We need to act now. We have been living a data revolution for decades now. Every day, peta bytes of information of all kinds are generated and made accessible on the Internet. The amount of data is indeed so massive and varied that it is not feasible for humans to make sense of it using current processes and standards. What to do then? We can keep on creating and publishing information but will we manage it, use it, interpret it and exchange it efficiently? Turning the Internet into a meaningful data space. Successful management, exchange and interpretation of knowledge in an ever-growing information tsunami will depend on highly automated methods dealing with combined data. This will require artificial intelligence but also robust and informative ways to store and disseminate data and metadata. Here is where one crucial concept shows up: FAIR Digital Objects (FDOs).”

#19 – Conference | 03.11. – 04.11. | Online
Organised by: Kiel University of Applied Sciences and Kiel University
TURN Conference 2022: Shaping Change – Teaching and Learning Today, for the Challenges of Tomorrow
“We all know: The world is changing. Fast. In many areas. Students and graduates should be able to tackle and master the challenges of the present and the future and thus actively shape social change. Universities are thus faced with tasks and requirements on a strategic and cultural level as well as on a structural and practical level, which will be discussed at the TURN Conference 2022. In addition to all members of higher education institutions, we also cordially invite social actors and others interested in the topic to participate in Kiel. Participation in the TURN Conference 2022 is free of charge.”

#20 – Conference | 14.11.- 17.11. | Prague (Czech Republic) & Online
Organised by: European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
EOSC Symposium 2022
“The next EOSC Symposium It will bring updates from across the EOSC ecosystem. It will coincide with the Second EOSC Tripartite Event . Stay tuned for the full programme with exciting speakers and topics.”

#21 – Conference | 29.11. – 01.12. | Tromsø (Norway) & Online
Organised by: The Arctic University of Norway (UiT )
17th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing 2022
“The Munin Conference is an annual conference on scholarly publishing and communication, primarily revolving around open access, open data and open science. This year the Munin conference has a special focus on interactivity and discussions. Submissions will be published before the conference to allow for a ‚flipped conference‘ format. Participants will have to get acquainted with the content of submissions before the conference, whereas during the conference the focus will be on discussions and other interactive work with the content. (…) The (..) three main topics for this year’s Munin conference: Economics and equity in Open Science infrastructures; Open Science policies; Connecting the building blocks of Open Science.”

#22 – Conference | 07.12. – 08.12. | Online
Organised by: TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library, Berufsverband Information Bibliothek (BIB) and Leibniz Association
#vBIB22 – Virtual Conference for Digital Library and Information Topics
“We are committed to openness and exchange. Curiously looking beyond one’s own nose enriches and broadens one’s own horizon. That is why we are focusing on digital perspectives with #vBIB22! (…) In 2022, there will again be exciting keynotes on this year’s main themes of change, future and sustainability. Specifically, it will be about futurology and work 4.0 – but more is not yet revealed. The other half of the programme is all yours – the #vBIB community. And we wouldn’t be the #vBIB if we didn’t try something new again this time.”

Events 2023: How to stay up to date!

These were our event tips for the Open Science and library world for 2022. Of course, there will be more exciting conferences, workshops, barcamps and other formats in the course of the year. We will collect these for you in our event calendar on ZBW MediaTalk!

To stay up to date on interesting events, you can drop by there or subscribe to our newsletter. There we will inform you once a week about new highlights on the Open Science and library event horizon.

Sign up for the ZBW MediaTalk Newsletter

Missing an event?

Do you have an event tip that is not yet listed in our event calendar? Then we would be pleased if you let us know.

Event Tip

Despite the pandemic-related obstacles, there were already many worthwhile conferences, workshops, festivals, barcamps & co. in the first half of 2022. We have already recommended 22 of them in the first part of this article: Open Science & Libraries 2022: 22 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co.. We have reported on some of them in more detail here on ZBW MediaTalk. So if you are thinking about visiting one of the events we recommended, our review of them will certainly help you in your decision-making:

Further reading tips for event organisers:

Do you organise events yourself and are looking for tips on how to make them even better? We have been dealing with this more frequently lately:

About the Author:

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

The post Open Science & Libraries 2022: 22 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co. – Part 2 first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Behind the Scenes: UNESCO Declares Bookbinding as Intangible Cultural Heritage

by Claudia Sittner

What is „Intangible Cultural Heritage“?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Communication Organization (UNESCO) defines this as “oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts”, according to the Website of the UNESCO about Intangible Cultural Heritage. Traditional crafts are also eligible. Examples of Intangible Cultural Heritage are German bread culture, Hessian „Kratzputz“ (an artistic, decorative plastering technique), fairy tale telling or East Frisian tea culture.

Elke Schnee, sign language and bookbinding at the ZBW

To explain what ZBW employee Elke Schnee has to do with UNESCO, you have to backtrack a bit. Schnee has been working in the bookbindery of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics for almost exactly 40 years. She did her apprenticeship there in the 1980s, and a little later her master’s degree (German „Meister“), before taking over the management of the then rather large bookbindery a short time later.

There were two deaf trainees there who were henceforth under her care. Out of the situation, she took the trainer aptitude test and learned sign language for four years. Above all, however, she learned sign language in practice, in conversations with colleagues and trainees, says Schnee. “I fell in love with sign language on my first day at the ZBW.

Sign language: for Elke Schnee it was a matter of course to learn them

There were already two deaf people there, and I was fascinated by how they talked to each other. Then I learned several signs right away”, reports the master bookbinder. In the video interview, she remembers exactly her first four words: book, coffee, milk and end of work (the German „Feierabend“). It has always been important for her to integrate all employees and trainees. Everyone should be heard and understood.

Over the years, she has shown 33 trainees how the ancient craft of bookbinding works in all its facets. Of these, 18 percent were deaf. Today, the bookbindery of the ZBW no longer trains, and it is not alone in this: while 150 people were still trained as bookbinders nationwide in 2019, there were only 60 left in 2020. “We have to stick and work together now, otherwise the centuries-old knowledge will gradually be lost”, Schnee appeals.

The BDBI and the UNESCO

It was not only this decline that prompted the Association of German Bookbinders (BDBI), in which Elke Schnee has been active for several years, to apply for a very special award: the inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. “Before we are declared a dying species, this seemed like a good measure”, Schnee explains. The BDBI members felt encouraged to do so because they often heard of similar crafts, such as organ craftsmanship, being included. UNESCO’s text about tradtional craftmanship worthy of protection quickly confirmed that the craft of bookbinding was suitable for application.

Background UNESCO in Germany

UNESCO first initiated the designation as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. Under the motto “Knowledge.Skills.Passing on”, around 580 crafts and traditions from 130 countries have since been included in the international list. There are also national inventories. Germany joined the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013. There are currently 131 entries on the national list including organ craftsmanship (Orgelbau), biike burning (an annual bonfire night celebration – Biikebrennen) and blue printing (a dyeing process for linen or cotton fabrics – Blaudruck).

Each German federal state may submit four proposals per year to the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. If the proposals are approved there, the maximum of 64 proposals will be passed on to the Expert Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage of the German UNESCO Commission. After a thorough examination, the Committee makes recommendations and forwards them to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and to the German Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media for confirmation. Only after this multi-stage procedure is the Intangible Cultural Heritage entered in the Federal Register. Gold and jewels do not qualify for this status. Why does one take on the effort anyway?

The application as Intangible Cultural Heritage

Back to Elke Schnee: She has been a member of the BDBI board since 2019, first as a guest member, since 2021 officially elected. And in this capacity, she has slipped into the very working group that dealt with the application for inclusion in the UNESCO list.

One morning, Schnee was sitting unsuspectingly in her first BDBI board meeting when she was told that two letters of recommendation had to be organised as quickly as possible. She then quickly found two supporters in the former Kiel Mayor Susanne Gaschke and the ZBW Director Klaus Tochtermann. Once this hurdle was cleared, the professional association submitted its application to the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the BDBI’s home state, in November 2019.

Waiting for UNESCO

In the meantime, the association learned that it had cleared a first hurdle on the way to becoming an Intangible Cultural Heritage Site: its proposal had made it into the top 4 of NRW. Almost 1.5 years after the application, in the middle of the Corona pandemic in spring 2021, the good news came: the craft of bookbinding had made it onto the German UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The celebration was small due to the corona pandemic, a certificate was presented and the BDBI members were allowed to use the corresponding UNESCO logo from then on. “The craft of bookbinding has an important function for cultural heritage and the culture of remembrance”, it says in the current Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. And further: “Despite digitalisation, the craft of bookbinding has not lost its vitality. It contributes in particular to the preservation of old books and archival materials. Interested laypeople have the opportunity to attend courses at adult education centres or in private workshops and thus learn the basics of bookbinding.”

UNESCO Cultural Heritage, and now?

When asked what this award means to her personally, Elke Schnee says: “Of course it’s nice to know: It’s a profession that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s great, it has such a charm that many people think it’s good. But apart from that, for me it’s more like: OK, we’ve already come this far, we’re already so few that we get species protection.“

Elke Schnee was pleased, however, because at the same time as the craft of bookbinding, German sign language also made it onto the German UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

To all those who are also thinking about applying, she recommends: “Just do it! You can only win.” It is important to keep an eye on the deadlines, to get help and more people on board, and to proceed in a parallel and structured manner. The checklist (German) on the German UNESCO website would help.

Bookbinding soon to be a World Cultural Heritage?

Once a year, the Intergovernmental Committee for UNESCO inscribes new Intangible Cultural forms and good practice examples of the preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on the international UNESCO lists. So far, Germany has been involved with five entries. The following have been inscribed:

  • idea and practice of organising shared interests in cooperatives,
  • blue printing,
  • craft techniques and customary practices of cathedral workshops, or Bauhütten,
  • falconry,
  • organ craftsmanship and organ music.

And perhaps one day the craft of bookbinding will also find its way into this international list, especially since bookbinding exists in almost every country in the world. This will not prevent the shrinking of this profession in times of digitalisation, but at least it will create good conditions to make people aware that it is worth protecting and preserving.

And Elke Schnee?

She is thinking about a book about the craft of bookbinding, so that the centuries-old knowledge about books will really not get lost. Abolishing books and the craft of bookbinding is out of the question for her: “If people only work digitally, they will have to go to occupational therapy later on, where they will learn basket weaving and bookbinding. Simply to keep them healthy.”

And a little later: “It fills me with happiness when I see my work in the evening after a day in the workshop. I had such a day yesterday. It felt so good to see what I had done – I picked up the book again and thought: that was a good day.”

This text has been translated from German.

This might also interest you:

About the Author:

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

Photos: ZBW©, photographer: Sven Wied

The post Behind the Scenes: UNESCO Declares Bookbinding as Intangible Cultural Heritage first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

European Open Science Cloud: small projects, big plans and 1 billion EUR

by Claudia Sittner

Prof. Dr Klaus Tochtermann is Director of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Member of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) and board member of the recently established European Open Science Cloud Association (EOSC Association). He was a member of the EOSC’s High Level Expert Group and the EOSC working group for sustainability for many years. He also founded, in 2012, the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science, the international Open Science Conference and the associated Barcamp Open Science.

Recently, he was interviewed by host Dr Doreen Siegfried (ZBW) in the ZBW podcast “The Future is Open Science” on the future of the European Open Science Cloud and the complexity of the landscape for research data. This blog post is a shortened version of the podcast episode “European Open Science Cloud – Internet of FAIR Data and Services” with Klaus Tochtermann. You can listen to the entire episode (35 minutes) here (German).

Why the name European Open Science Cloud never fitted

Something that will surprise many people: “The terminology of the EOSC was never appropriate – even in 2015”, according to Tochtermann. Back then – as the initial ideas for the EOSC were being developed and small projects were commencing – it was neither European, nor Open, nor Science nor a Cloud:

“It isn’t European – because research doesn’t stop at the regional borders of Europe, but instead many research groups are internationally networked. It isn’t open – because even in science there is data that requires protection such as patient data. It isn’t science – because many scientific research projects also use data from economy. And it isn’t cloud – because the point is not to deposit all data centrally in a cloud solution”, explains Klaus Tochtermann. The term was specified by the European Commission at the time and is now established. Among experts, the term “Internet of FAIR Data and Services” (IFDS) is preferred, says Tochtermann.

Preparatory phase 2015 to 2020

The EOSC started in 2015 with the aim “to provide European researchers, innovators, companies and citizens with a federated and open multi-disciplinary environment where they can publish, find and re-use data, tools and services for research, innovation and educational purposes.” (European Commission).

Since then, 320 million EUR have been deployed to fund 50 projects relating to research data management. These have however only shed light on individual aspects of the EOSC. “In fact, we are still a long way from being able to offer EOSC operationally in the scientific system”, says Tochtermann.

The funds were integrated into a research framework programme that only financed smaller projects at a time – this is owing to the way the European Commission functions and how it funds research. That’s why there was never one big EOSC project, but many small individual projects. These examined issues such as: “What would a search engine for research data look like? How can identifiers for research data be managed?”, explains the ZBW director.

Large projects EOSC Secretariat and EOSC Future

Then the EOSC went into the next phase with two large projects: EOSC Secretariat and EOSC Future. Running time: 30 months. Budget: 41 million EUR. Both are intended to bring together all previous projects in the direction of EOSC, i.e. to enable convergence and actually draw up a “System EOSC”. All puzzle parts from earlier small projects are now being put together to form a large EOSC blueprint.

Founding of the EOSC Association

The EOSC Association was founded in 2020. It is a formal institution and a foundation under Belgian law. It is headquartered in Brussels and will consolidate all activities. A board of directors has been appointed to coordinate the activities, made up of the president Karl Luyben and a further eight members, including Klaus Tochtermann.

In February 2021, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA, PDF) laid down what the EOSC Association should achieve over the next few years. From now on, all EOSC projects must be orientated on these SRIA guidelines.

Initial time plan for the European Open Science Cloud

The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda anticipates various development stages with precisely defined timetables. Basis functionalities are classified as “EOSC Core”, a level that should be implemented by 2023. Here, elements such as search, storage/save or a log-in function will be realised. This will be followed by the launch of “EOSC Exchange”, which deals with more complex functionalities and services for special data analyses of research datasets.

Collaboration between the EOSC Association and the European Commission

On the question of how the European Open Science Cloud Association and the European Commission cooperate with each other, Tochtermann emphasises the good relationship to the Commission. The so called partnership model, which is new for everyone and first needs to be experienced, forms the framework for this. However, sometimes the time windows in which the Commission wants reactions from the EOSC Association are very narrow. “I’m glad we have a very strong president of the EOSC Association, who also has the backbone to ensure that we are not always confronted with such short time windows, where reactions are sometimes simply not possible because the subject matter is too complex. But overall it works well”, Tochtermann sums up.

Financing the EOSC Association: 1 billion EUR

For the next ten years, 1 billion EUR is being made available for the development of the EOSC – half from the European Commission and half by the 27 member states of the EU. This was negotiated between the European Commission and the EOSC Association from December 2020 to July 2021 and laid down in an agreement (PDF, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Co-progammed Euroepean Partnership on the European Open Science Cloud.

The EOSC Association also raises further funds through membership fees. According to Klaus Tochtermann: “Members are not individuals, but organisations such as the ZBW or the NFDI Association in Germany. (…) Members can choose between full membership, meaning they can take part in all votes and currently pay a contribution of 10,000 EUR per year. Or they can be an observer, where (…) they have a less active role and are not allowed to vote in the annual general meeting. As an observer, you pay 2,000 EUR.” The contributions of the 200 members currently generate a budget of around 1.5 million EUR for the EOSC Association. This is being utilised to build up staff in the office, among other things.

EOSC, NFDI and Gaia-X: a confusing mishmash?

As well as the EOSC, there are further projects in Germany and Europe aimed at implementing large research data infrastructures. The most well-known from a German perspective are the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and Gaia-X. All three projects – EOSC, NFDI and Gaia-X are technically linked. They are all technical infrastructures. But how do they differ?

  • National Research Data Infrastructure

    As well as the European EOSC, there is the NFDI (German) in Germany, which was founded by the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII).

    The NFDI – similarly to the EOSC – deals with the technical infrastructure for research data, but is also concerned with the networking people, i.e. the scientific community, says Tochtermann. The NFDI thereby focusses on individual disciplines such as economics, social sciences, material sciences or chemistry.

    The NFDI directorate, a central coordinating body, brings the individual NFDI initiatives together, so that they interact. This takes places through working groups and applies above all to cross-discipline or discipline-independent topics. Klaus Tochtermann gives the following examples:

    • digital long-term archiving of research data,
    • allocation of unique identifiers for a data set,
    • single login or single sign-in for the research data infrastructure NFDI,
    • interoperability of systems,
    • uniform metadata standards and
    • uniform protocols.
  • Gaia-X

    On the other hand, there is Gaia-X: “Gaia-X is an initiative which aims to offer companies in Germany and Europe a European infrastructure for the management, i.e. storage of their data, for example, because many of them opt for services from America or China”, explains Tochtermann. As well as in its target group (including industry, companies), Gaia-X also differs from the EOSC and the NFDI in relation to the major role that the topic of data sovereignty plays in the project. Klaus Tochtermann summarises this as follows: “Data sovereignty means that when I generate data, I can follow who is using my data for what purposes at any time. And if I don’t want this, then I can also say, ’I don’t want my data to go there.’”

How can you learn more about the EOSC?

The EOSC Portal is an information platform that gives details about the services that will be playing a role at the EOSC at a later date. These include services such as European research data repositories. It’s a good place to start if you want to find out more about the EOSC.

Take part in the development of the EOSC

Anyone who wants to get involved in the EOSC can do so in the Advisory Groups. Six of these have been set up initially, to explore topics such as curricula in the field of research data, FAIR data and metadata standards. There was an open call to participate in these groups, for which around 500 applications were received. Most of them came from France (18 percent) and Germany (17 percent) which shows how much the EOSC has already caught on in both countries, says Tochtermann. A selection from these 500 applications will now be used to fill the six working groups.

On the website of the EOSC Association, you will also find regular “Calls and Grants”, which people can apply for, or job applications For up-to-date information, you can subscribe to the monthly newsletter or follow the EOSC Association on Twitter @eoscassociation.

This blogpost is a translation from German.

Related Links

This might also interest you:

  • Episode 12 of the ZBW podcast „The Future is Open Science“ with Prof. Dr Klaus Tochtermann on the European Open Science Cloud (German)
  • The post European Open Science Cloud: small projects, big plans and 1 billion EUR first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

    Horizon Report 2021: Focus on Hybrid Learning, Microcredentialing and Quality Online Learning

    by Claudia Sittner

    The 2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition was published at the end of April 2021 and looks at what trends, technologies and practices are currently driving teaching and learning and how they will significantly shape its future.

    The report runs through four different scenarios of what the future of higher education might look like: growth, constraint, collapse or transformation. Only time will tell which scenario prevails. With this in mind, we looked at the Horizon Report 2021 to see what trends it suggests for academic libraries and information infrastructure institutions.

    Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has progressed so rapidly since the last Horizon Report 2020 that people cannot catch up fast enough to test the technical advances of machines in natural language proceedings. Deep learning has evolved into self-supervised learning, where AI learns from raw or unlabelled data.

    Artificial intelligence has a potential role to play in all areas of higher education where learning, teaching and success are concerned: support for accessible apps, student information and learning management systems, examination systems and library services, to name but a few. AI can also help analyse learning experiences and identify when students seem to be floundering academically. The much greater analytics opportunities that have emerged as the vast majority of learning events take place online, leaving a wide trail of analysable data, can help to better understand students and adapt learning experiences to their needs more quickly.

    But AI also remains controversial: for all its benefits, questions about privacy, data protection and ethical aspects often remain unsatisfactorily answered. For example, there are AI-supported programmes that paraphrase texts so that other AI-supported programmes do not detect plagiarism.

    Open Educational Resources

    For Open Educational Resources (OER), the pandemic has not changed much, many of the OER offerings are “born digital” anyway. However, advantages of OER such as cost savings (students have to buy less literature), social equality (free and from everywhere) and the fact that materials are updated faster are gaining importance. Despite these obvious advantages and the constraints that corona brought with it, however, only a few teachers have switched to OER so far as the report „Digital Texts in Times of COVID” (PDF) shows. 87% of teachers still recommend the same paid textbooks.

    OER continue to offer many possibilities, such as teachers embedding self-assessment questions directly into pages alongside text, audio and video content, and students receiving instant feedback. In some projects, libraries and students are also involved in the development of materials as OER specialists, alongside other groups from the academic ecosystem, helping to break down barriers within the discipline and redesign materials from their particular perspective.

    In Europe, for example, the ENCORE+ – European Network for Catalyzing Open Resources in Education is working to build an extensive OER ecosystem. Also interesting: the „Code of Best Practices in Fair Use für Open Educational Resources”. It can be a tool for librarians when they want to create OER and use other data, including copyrighted data.

    Learning Analytics

    Online courses generate lots of data: How many learners have participated? When did they arrive? When did they leave? How did they interact? What works and what doesn’t? In higher education, learning data analysis should help make better, evidence-based decisions to best support the increasingly diverse group of learners. Academic libraries also often use such data to better understand and interpret learner needs, respond promptly and readjust.

    The Syracuse University Libraries (USA), for example, have transmitted its user data via an interface to the university’s own learning analysis programme (CLLASS). A library profile was developed for this purpose, which was consistent with the library’s values, ethics, standards, policies and practices. This enabled responsible and controlled transmission of relevant data, and a learner profile could be created from different campus sources.

    Just as with the use of artificial intelligence, there are many objections in this area regarding moral aspects and data protection. In any case, the handling of such learning data requires sensitisation and special training so that teachers, advisors and students can use data sensibly and draw the right conclusions. In the end, students could also receive tailored virtual support throughout the entire process from enrolment to graduation. Infrastructures for data collection, analysis and implementation are essential for this.


    Microcredentials are new forms of certification or proof of specific skills. They are also better suited to the increasingly diverse population of learners than traditional degrees and certificates. Unlike these, they are more flexible, designed for a shorter period of time and often more thematically focused. The spectrum of microcredentials spans six areas from short courses and badges, to bootcamps and the classic degree or accredited programmes.

    Microcredentials are becoming increasingly popular and can also be combined with classic certifications. The Horizon Report 2021 sees particular potential for workers who can use them to retrain and further their education. It is therefore hardly surprising that companies like Google are also appearing on the scene with Google Career Certificates. For many scientific institutes, this means that they will have to further develop and rethink the architecture, infrastructure and work processes of their traditional certification systems.

    Blended and Hybrid Course Models

    Due to the corona pandemic, diverse blended and hybrid course models mushroomed, especially in the summer of 2020. “It is clear that higher education has diversified quickly and that these models are here to stay”, the report says. Hybrid courses allow more flexibility in course design; institutions can ramp up capacity as needed and cater even more to the diverse needs of students. However, most students still prefer face-to-face teaching.

    Newly learned technical skills and technical support have played a predominant role. In some places, new course models have been developed together with the learners. On the other hand, classic practices (such as frequent assessments, breakout groups during live course meetings, and check-in messages to individual students) remain high on the agenda. However, corona has brought mental and social health of all participants into sharper focus; it should also receive even more attention according to the Horizon Report.

    Quality Online Learning

    The coronavirus came along and everything suddenly had to take place online. So it is little wonder that the need to design, meaningfully evaluate and adapt high-quality online learning opportunities has increased enormously. Some were surprised to find that teaching online involved more effort than simply offering the on-site event via Zoom. In order to achieve learning success, online quality assurance became an issue of utmost relevance.

    Early in the pandemic, therefore, institutes began to develop online portals or hubs that included materials and teaching strategies adapted to the situation: for content delivery, to encourage student participation and to rethink assessment mechanisms.

    A positive example is the twelve-module course “Quickstarter Online-Lehre” (Quickstarter Online Teaching, German) by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung – German Forum for Higher Education in a digital age and the Gesellschaft für Medien in der Wissenschaft (Society for media in science) from Germany. This course aims to support teachers with no or little online experience.

    This text has been translated from German.

    This might also interest you:

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    Nudging Open Science: Useful Tips for Academic Libraries?

    by Claudia Sittner

    An international group of eleven behavioural scientists from eight countries (Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Poland, USA, Netherlands) recently addressed this question in the report „Nudging Open Science“ and developed recommendations for action for seven groups in the scientific system. Academic libraries are one of these groups. The other groups (they are called “nodes” in the report) are researchers, students, departments and faculties, universities, journals and funding organisations. The team of behavioural scientists classifies each of these groups and gives practical tips on who can nudge each group, and how, to practice more Open Science. However, the report does not contain any approaches on how libraries themselves can actively nudge other stakeholders. We present approaches and results of the report with a special focus on academic libraries.

    What is nudging?

    The approach of nudging comes from behavioural research. It maintains that behavioural change can be brought about through gentle nudging, without strict coercion or regulation. Nudging is defined in the report as making “small, easily-to-avoidchanges to a person’s decision-making environment that alter behaviour in predictable ways without forbidding any options or using economic incentives”.

    A classic example is the topic of organ donation. In Sweden, for example, everyone is an organ donor by definition. If a person does not want this, he:she must actively object. As a result, the percentage of organ donors in Sweden is much higher than in Germany, where not everyone is an organ donor by law.

    Nudging Open Science

    Now the group of behavioural scientists has started thinking about how the potential of nudging could be used to further advance Open Science in the scientific ecosystem. Their thesis: Whether researchers and institutions choose to engage in Open Science practices is not necessarily a matter of rational choice. On the contrary: Most decisions are routinely made in the course of emotional, automatic or impulsive processes that are often influenced by psychosocial factors (example: peer pressure). When faced with a decision, a person usually chooses the path of least resistance or least effort. The status quo is maintained.

    This also applies to decisions that researchers and institutions make when defining how they conduct, report on, evaluate, publish or fund research (for example, in relation to preregistrations, publishing preprints or Open Data). “Human psychology is at the centre of every decision, whether it be buying toothpaste, running a scientific study, or evaluating a research project”, say the authors. They therefore see great potential in using nudging to improve the use and continuation of Open Science practices. Measures at each of the nodes are essential, to ensure that the changes can really take hold.

    The report creates a profile for each of the nodes with its psychology and describes its role in the scientific community. Finally, measures are proposed on how and from whom these seven groups can be nudged towards more Open Science.

    Academic libraries node

    From the authors´ point of view, two main things prevent comprehensive changes towards more Open Science in libraries: “administrative and financial status quos, and a drive to satisfy customers (students and staff)”. Here, however, one notices that the report is perhaps based on a somewhat outdated image of libraries, as there are many Open Science enthusiasts in modern academic libraries who are driving forward change.

    The report further identifies fields in which academic libraries can promote Open Science:

    • Create guidelines, training and roadmaps for researchers so they can their research more transparent.
    • Subsidise article publication charges for Open Access publications or finance Open Access publications.
    • Promote free access to the research generated by the respective institution.
    • Advocate FAIR datasets in their own repositories.
    • Develop strategies for research data management to ensure that data is recorded, preserved and accessible.
    • Establish an online infrastructure that makes it easy for publications to be stored with data and code.
    • Open Educational Resources: Libraries can create and make available textbooks, lecture notes, exam papers, videos or other media.

    This list is probably not new to staff in academic libraries that are modern and savvy about Open Science, but may encourage them in what they are already doing.

    How can academic libraries be nudged?

    Broadly speaking, the report highlights two groups of people that can nudge libraries in relation to Open Science practices:

    1. Students (or other individuals): could contact library staff directly or by email with suggestions on how to implement open practices, according to the report.
    2. Researchers: when researchers store contributions in library repositories, they can ask how other data, such as preregistrations, preprints or datasets, can be published with their contributions. To highlight the relevance of the associated data, researchers could also offer to coordinate data management workshops. Suggesting Open Access funding initiatives is another area where researchers could become active.

    Whether it makes sense and is realistic to expect groups with a very limited time budget (students, researchers) and hardly any incentive, apart from personal commitment, to nudge libraries is open to question. On the other hand, libraries themselves are in many cases committed to actively promoting the cultural change towards Open Access, Open Educational Resources & Co. Perhaps the yawning gap here also stems from the fact that behavioural researchers´ ideas about how modern academic libraries operate are very different from the practice there today?

    Conclusion: more Open Science through nudging?

    Reflections on how people make decisions and the application of nudging from behavioural science to Open Science is an interesting approach. It causes a change of perspective in observers and causes them to realise their own scope for action and their own “power” to initiate change through behaviour. Basically, the idea is to change the mindset of libraries and other nodes in the academic ecosystem by creating a demand for open practices. The measures and approaches mentioned are neither new nor surprising, but they open up fields of action for particularly committed individuals and individual groups of people.

    For readers, or from the perspective of libraries interested in Open Science, a breakdown according to the different groups would have been more helpful, as individuals tend to wonder: What can I do? Nevertheless, nudging in the field of Open Science opens up other options, provided enough users can get excited about nudging the academic node of their choice. Libraries could therefore use the report as an opportunity to systematically apply nudging to promote Open Science.

    This might also interest you:

    This text has been translated from German.

    The post Nudging Open Science: Useful Tips for Academic Libraries? first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

    The Openness Profile of Knowledge Exchange: What can infrastructure providers do?

    by Claudia Sittner

    Knowledge Exchange (KE), a cooperative partnership of six national research-supporting organisations in Europe, has explored the development of an Openness Profile during an 18-month research evaluation of Open Science. In the report, instead of Open Science, the term “open scholarship” is used with a broader understanding. The final project report “Openness Profile: Modelling research evaluation for open scholarship” has recently been published. During the process, 80 people from 48 organisations at all levels of the “open scholarship ecosystem” were involved and surveyed.

    In January 2020, the group already published preliminary results on the concept of the Openness Profile. In the blogpost Openness Profile Interim Report: What Libraries Could Take Away” we explored what libraries and infrastructure providers could learn from it.

    We will briefly introduce the concept of the Openness Profile and take a look at which recommendations could be interesting for libraries and information infrastructures to promote open research practices and their acknowledgement, thereby supporting the Open Science community.

    Why a global Openness Profile is a good idea

    The concluding report ultimately concerns a well-known problem of Open Science: open activities are often invisible and unacknowledged. For researchers, therefore, they basically play hardly any role in career planning. This also applies to activities of partly non-scientific staff that are important for Open Science but are not even considered in the scientific evaluation system. Those activities include, for example, curating research data, developing infrastructures or conducting training for open practices. It also means that these kinds of qualified specialists tend to migrate from science to industry or commercial sectors, owing to lack of recognition and incentives.

    Science is increasingly taking place at a global and interconnected level. A comprehensive global reform of the scientific incentive system, in which more stakeholders and open activities play a (larger) role, is required so that Open Science can ultimately gain acceptance.

    Making open activities and stakeholders visible: the Openness Profile

    This is where the Openness Profile comes into play. The Openness Profile is a kind of portfolio that makes activities in the field of Open Science visible, thereby increasing the awareness of the scientific community and all participants about the current lack of recognition for Open Science activities and stakeholders in the scientific evaluation system. In a first step, the Openness Profile should build upon existing persistent identifiers (PIDs), initially ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). The advantage is that many scientists already have an ORCID ID anyway.

    An ORCID record would then also be supplemented by the Openness Profile; and open activities and further stakeholders such as data stewards or project managers, who remain unacknowledged and therefore not remunerated for open activities in the current scientific system, can be made visible. This thereby simultaneously creates an incentive for open activities. The Openness Profile is therefore not only useful for individuals, who would need to maintain it themselves – but can also be taken up by funders who have grants to award or institutes who have vacancies to fill.

    Open activities can be recorded and linked in a structured way in the Openness Profile by existing identifiers such as DOI, ORG ID or Grant ID, but manual entries with URLs and descriptive text are also possible. The Openness Profile is thus intended to become the central hub for collecting and linking of Open Science activities and results.

    General recommendations on realising the Openness Profile

    At the end of the report, KE provides recommendations for joint activities that are required to actually implement the Openness Profile, for four different groups of stakeholders:

    1. Research funders,
    2. national research organisations,
    3. institutes and
    4. infrastructure providers.

    Below we take a closer look at the general recommendations as well as those for the infrastructure providers.

    The general recommendations are:

    1. All pull in the same direction: Diverse stakeholders are involved at all levels of the scientific system. They often pursue their own goals and interests. In order to implement the Openness Profile, it is often necessary to subordinate individual interests to the common goal. All those involved have to declare their willingness to do this. The aim is to make open projects interoperable and sustainable, leading to increased transparency, reproducibility and ultimately, a higher research quality.
    2. Bring all participants together (stakeholder summit): to keep an eye on the interest and experience of all involved, KE suggests a summit of all stakeholders for the purpose of productive exchange and collaboration. The term ‘all participants’ refers to, for example: science policy-makers, institute managements, technologists, providers of research information systems, researchers at all career levels and infrastructure experts.
    3. Establish a permanent working group: This working group (WG) should be made up of all stakeholders and deal with five topic areas:
      1. community governance model,
      2. validation of the OP reference model,
      3. taxonomy for contributors and contributions,
      4. technical facilitation of research management workflows,
      5. infrastructures survey and gap analysis.

      The integration of persistent identifiers and the interoperability of the systems through the use of APIs is emphasised in the technical implementation. In terms of the analysis of the infrastructure landscape, KE finds that much is already in place that could support the Openness Profile. It would be a good idea if employees from libraries or other infrastructure providers became part of this permanent working group.

    4. Finding sponsors: To implement the Openness Profile, it is necessary to find one or more sponsors who can guarantee long-term financing and thereby the sustainability of the project. In addition to the financial support, these would have a variety of tasks such as the development of software to connect information systems using PID metadata or the coordination of training programmes for Open Science communities. This role would certainly be well suited to infrastructure providers, who could integrate persistent identifiers into their systems themselves (in-house Open Access repositories, for example) or expand and share their often already existing training programmes.

    Recommendations for infrastructure providers

    KE sees the role of infrastructure providers in relation to the Openness Profile primarily in increasing and ensuring interoperability between research systems, which can be achieved through persistent identifiers. This would be more sustainable anyway and would lead to a further development of the Openness Profile. In the most recent JISC report on persistent identifiers (PIDs), five major players were identified: ORCID, Crossref, Datacite, ARDC (RAiD) and RoR. Libraries and infrastructure providers could therefore focus on taking care of the interoperability of their existing systems through PIDs.

    Furthermore, the following recommendations are made expressly for infrastructure providers in the concluding report:

    • They should assume an active role in the development of research infrastructure and corresponding workflows, while closely collaborating with other stakeholders on a national level – such as research organisations, publishers or funders.
    • As the Openness Profile is integrated via ORCID, its use must be focussed more sharply. To encourage the use of ORCID records and application programming interfaces (APIs), it is recommended that they be more closely integrated into institutional research information and funding systems, and that capacities be increased where necessary
    • Another recommendation is to review governance structures to ensure that they are genuinely primarily responsive to community needs and not to individual interests

    The report also proposes expanding and intensifying collaborations between national research organisations and infrastructure providers, thereby driving Open Science forward.

    Conclusion: Openness Profile and libraries – will it be a match?

    The Openness Profile is an ambitious project to make Open Science and all its participating stakeholders visible. A far-reaching reform of the monoculturally oriented scientific incentive system is long overdue. Whether the Openness Profile will actually be realised depends heavily on whether there are enough sponsors among the stakeholders who are willing to invest in the project – both financially and in terms of personnel.

    Libraries and infrastructure providers would be important stakeholders here owing to their expertise; and their own (open) activities and contributions could also be better captured and recognised by inclusion in an Openness Profile. They should also ensure that they are represented when the stakeholders summit and send committed Open Science enthusiasts to the working group to be established in the long-term – so that their interests are represented and their comprehensive know-how can be used. On a practical level, they can already ensure the integration of persistent identifiers in their systems, thereby making them interoperable and sustainable.

    You may also be interested in:

    This text has been translated from German.

    The post The Openness Profile of Knowledge Exchange: What can infrastructure providers do? first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

    Open Science Podcasts: 7 + 3 Tips for Your Ears

    by Claudia Sittner

    Podcasts are booming – not just these days, but in the time of the pandemic the format has gained a new appeal for many. And since this blog is all about Open Science and infrastructure service providers, we set out to explore the best podcasts on the topic.

    So here are our podcast tips for anyone who is interested in Open Science or would like to take a closer look at the topic. At this point, a big thank you to our followers on Twitter, whose tips we have included in the following collection.

    In it, we present 7 open science podcasts that are still being produced and 3 that have unfortunately already been discontinued, but are still interesting for open science beginners. Have fun listening!

    1. Open Science Radio
      This podcast deals with the topic of Open Science in its many-sided and -layered aspects – from Open Access to Citizen Science and Open Data to public science and Open Education. The podcast aims to create a basic understanding, but above all to inform about current developments.

      Hosts: Matthias Fromm, Konrad Förstner
      Since: 2013
      Language: German, some in English

    2. ORION Open Science Podcast
      From Data Sharing to Citizen Science and from Peer Review to professional development the episodes of ORION Open Science Podcast will explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current scientific system, and what Open Science practices can do to improve the way we do science.

      Given the momentum of the Open Science movement it makes sense that researchers of all levels want to understand the issues and the opportunities behind it. The principles of Open Science are about accessibility and collaboration in research, but this still leaves questions to be answered. Why has Open Science become part of the research landscape? How will it impact day-to-day scientific work? What new developments are available and how can they be used effectively?

      The podcasts’s motto: The best way to learn about something new is to simply talk to people who have knowledge and informed opinions on the topic.

      Hosts: Luiza Bengtsson, Emma Harris, Zoe Ingram
      Organisation: Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Helmholtz Association (MDC)
      Since: 2019
      Language: English

    3. The Future is Open Science
      In this podcast people from the scientific community talk about how they promote Open Science in their daily work. The topic is examined from very different perspectives: Whether it’s with the big science policy glasses, when it comes to classifying different initiatives and developments, or with the subject-specific glasses, when the economic cultural change towards more research transparency is illuminated, or with the operational view of practitioners, how Open Science can be implemented concretely. The podcast delves into the depths of science communication in the digital age and gives tips and tricks on Open Science in practice.

      Host: Doreen Siegfried
      Organisation: ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
      Language: German
      Since: 2020

    4. The Road to Open Science
      The Road to Open Science Podcast functions as a guide on everything Open at Utrecht University and beyond. In the monthly podcast the hosts discuss the latest developments in the fields of Open Acces, Open Data/Software, public engagement and recognition and rewards. The hosts follow the path to adapting Open Science practices through the perspective of researchers from different disciplines. In each episode they talk to people within the academic community about their research, initiatives, or experiences in relation to open science.

      Hosts: Sanli Faez, Lieven Heeremans
      Organisation: Utrecht University, The Netherlands
      Language: English
      Since: 2017

    5. Open Science Talk
      This podcast is pretty much «open anything» from Open Science, Open Access, Open Education, Open Data, Open Software …. The hosts invite guests to explain different topics or share with them some of their research practices and reflections related to Open Science.

      They try to cover a wide range of different topics within the Open Science spectrum, such as Open Access, Open Data, Open Research, Open Education, Citizen Science, Open Health… the list is long. They seek to cover the various branches of Open Science from different angles, and they also try to talk about recent events in the Open Science world.

      Their guests: librarians, professors, students, and PhD-candidates from all kinds of different fields, also publishers and administrative employees that work within science.

      Hosts: Per Pippin Aspaas, before: Erik Lieungh
      Organisation: University Library at UiT The Arctic University of Norway
      Language: English
      Since: 2018

    6. ReproducibiliTea
      Serving mugs of ReproducibiliTea: The blends of this podcast include transparency, openness and robustness with a spoonful of science. The hosts reflect on their experiences trying to push for open and reproducible research. Their conversations with other early career researchers highlight challenges and opportunities to achieve changes in the scientific system.

      Hosts: Sophia Crüwell, Amy Orben, Sam Parsons
      Organisation: ReproducibiliTea Journal Club, 121 Clubs worldwide
      Language: English
      Since: 2019

    7. Open Science Stories
      This podcast is the newcomer among our collection. Open Science concepts are compactly packaged as stories and explained in 10 minutes or less.

      Host: Heidi Seibold
      Language: English
      Since: 2021

    Open-Science-Podcasts: production discontinued

    In addition to the podcasts that are currently in production, we would also like to recommend some whose production has unfortunately already been discontinued. Nevertheless, the existing episodes are still available and worth listening to, especially for Open Science beginners:

    1. Open Science in Action
      This interview podcast is about Open Science activities – mostly from Austria. People and institutions are visited who are involved in Open Science and/or who are doing it themselves. In 30-60 minutes, innovative and exciting activities around the opening of science are shown and the listeners are introduced to the different aspects of it. From Open Access in university libraries to Open Source at research institutes to open hackspaces and Citizen Science.

      Hosts: Stefan Kasberger, Marc Pietkiewicz
      Organisation: ÖH Universität Graz, Austria (Students´ Union of the University of Graz, Austria)
      Language: German
      Since: 2014, 10 episodes

    2. Open Science
      In this series of podcasts the impact of opening up science is considered: allowing both the research community and the public a freely access to the results of scientific work. Individuals can be fully informed about medical or environmental research, students worldwide can get access to the latest work, and software agents can roam the vast scientific knowledge base seeking patterns and correlations that no human has observed. Ultimately, it may profoundly change the way science is done.

      Organisation: University of Oxford
      Language: English
      Since: 2012-2013, 23 episodes

    3. Colper Science
      This interview podcast is also about Open Science and its methods. The podcast makers believe that it is possible for researchers to fully migrate into the universe of Open Science by using tools and methods that are already available. Unfortunately, however, most of these tools, methods and opportunities remain unknown to most of the research community. The aim of Colper Science is to make these tools known by sharing success stories around Open Science.

      Hosts: Kambiz Chizari, Ilyass Tabiai
      Language: English
      Since: 2017-2018, 26 episodes

    Your Open Science podcast is not included?

    These were our discoveries of Open Science podcasts. I’m sure there are more podcasts worth listening to in this field, especially internationally.

    If you can think of any, we would be happy to receive link tips on Twitter and Facebook or by email to team (at)! We will be glad to add your podcast to our collection!

    Read more

    References Portrait: Photo Claudia Sittner©

    This text has been translated from German.

    The post Open Science Podcasts: 7 + 3 Tips for Your Ears first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.The post Open Science Podcasts: 7 + 3 Tips for Your Ears first appeared on Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science.

    Science Barometer 2020: Starting Points for Open Science?

    by Claudia Sittner

    The Science Barometer – not to be confused with the Barometer for the Academic World – is a representative opinion poll that has been examining the attitude of German citizens to science and research annually since 2014. There were additional surveys in April and May 2020 owing to the corona crisis (“Corona Special”). Last month, the results of the most recent survey from November 2020 were presented.

    Brochure Science Barometer 2020 (PDF). The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    The Science Barometer was commissioned by the organisation Wissenschaft im Dialog – An initiative of Germany´s scientific community (Science in Dialog, WiD). This non-profit organisation is aimed at promoting dialogue about science and research in Germany and encouraging as many people as possible to take part. WiD also drives forward the further development of science communication and thereby also of Open Science. The survey is sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

    Around 1,000 citizens from the age of 14 upwards in private households were surveyed during telephone interviews. German-speaking residents formed the parent population. We have taken a look at the results of the Science Barometer 2020 from the perspective of its importance for Open Science in science and research, and present its interesting findings.

    Interest stable; traditional media most important source of information

    Interest in science and research is stable at 60% of the population and is only exceeded by a 68% interest in local news. That corresponds with the opinion of 59% of those surveyed, who agree with the statement either partly or completely that they personally profit from science and research.

    Science Barometer 2020. The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    They get their information primarily (80% – occasionally to very frequently) via the traditional media. Less frequently via internet sites of scientific institutions (43%), and in only 29% of cases, those surveyed got their information via research topics on social media. In the light of the corona pandemic, online services of traditional news media became more relevant.

    For science and research, this means that it is worth investing more in press and PR work so that relevant scientific findings are taken up by traditional media and can reach the population. Particularly for institutions that are committed to Open Science, this seems to be a good place to start, to ensure that their content and dedication are perceived more strongly. Fittingly, a third of those surveyed are of the opinion that scientists should inform people more strongly about their work.

    Trust higher than in previous years; tendency sinking in the COVID-19 year 2020

    Trust in science and research is also very high in November 2020 at almost two thirds (60% either tend to trust, or trust completely). In previous years, this value was around 50%. It is interesting here that trust in science and research initially rose sharply – to 77% – at the beginning of the corona pandemic (survey April 2020): in comparison to 2019, four times as many people surveyed trusted it “fully and completely”. However, this value had almost halved again by the time of the November 2020 survey.

    Science Barometer 2020. The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    This shows a high degree of confidence in science and research at the beginning of the pandemic and could point to a disappointment experienced by many people during the second corona lockdown.

    Science Barometer 2020. The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    Reasons for the credibility were quoted as expertise, integrity as well as acting in the interests of the general public. Compared to the previous year, the tendency is increasing for all reasons. By contrast, the reasons for mistrust are:

    • Dependency on funders (49% tend to agree, or agree fully and completely),
    • Scientists adjust the findings to their expectations (25% – see above),
    • Often make mistakes (16% – see above).

    In comparison to the previous year, however, the agreement with these reasons is to some extent severely reduced. The lowest value since the beginning of the survey series regarding the question of whether people should trust their feelings and their faith instead of science, corresponds to this (23% – tend to agree and agree fully and completely).

    For supporters of Open Science, the fact that trust and educational level correlate can play an additional role here: The higher the formal educational level, the greater the trust. If one assumes that in most cases science communication reaches people with a higher level of education in particular, this could be evaluated as a positive sign. For among these people, trust in science and research is high. On the other hand, it also means that science communication needs to make more of an effort to reach people without a higher formal education in order to gain the trust of this group as well.

    Corona Special: Science fundamentally important; controversy welcome

    When it comes to the coronavirus, the public trust the statements of doctors and medical personnel the most (80% – tend to trust and fully and completely trust), closely followed by trust in the statements of scientists (73% – tend to trust or fully and completely trust). However, some also suspect (39% – tend to agree and fully and completely agree), that scientists are not telling us everything they know about the coronavirus. The same number of respondents also believes that it is important to get information about the virus from outside science.

    “The fact that so many people trust in science shows how good the dialogue between science and society is functioning during the pandemic. However, the relatively high number of people who are undecided or sceptical is cause for concern: Science needs to open up even more and also seek to start a dialogue with those who are sceptical. To ensure that this occurs, we need to support all researchers in communicating their knowledge, their results and their working methods”.

    — WiD CEO Markus Weißkopf.

    Overall, the public wants political decisions in the context of the corona pandemic to be based on scientific findings. Direct interference by scientists in politics, on the other hand, is not desired. On the whole, this is good news for Open Science enthusiasts, as it means that they are awarded credibility in issues regarding corona, and it is therefore worth conducting one’s research as openly as possible and communicating one’s own work. It also shows that Open Science can score points with the public, precisely because of its transparency: Results can be openly understood, and there are no obligatory intermediaries such as journalists, who filter and evaluate the information.

    Science Barometer 2020. The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    By contrast, increasingly less credibility is ascribed to the statements of politicians and journalists. One can conclude that researchers would be well advised to communicate coronavirus´ issues to the public themselves or to aim for a very close collaboration with the traditional media. The format of (scientific) podcasts (German) has proven to be a good option for this during the corona crisis – the number of listeners and their popularity have strongly increased over the previous year.

    There is a very high level of trust that researchers are clearly communicating whether their statements are verified findings or open issues on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic (46% – tend to agree and fully and completely agree; 40% undecided). Controversies among scientists are evaluated as being positive and informative by more than two thirds of those asked. For the Open Science community, this is a confirmation that it should campaign for discourse to be opened up and create spaces, so that this can take place transparently, publicly and comprehensibly.

    This is even more important, because there are also people who “in the corona pandemic prefer to rely on ‘common sense’ than on scientific studies. It is even more important to communicate facts and recommendations for action via diverse formats, in order to reach those who are uncertain and have doubts”, confirms Tina Stengele, provisional head of the science division at the Robert Bosch Stiftung, which is supporting the Science Barometer.

    Science Barometer and Open Science: Strengthen science communication

    Applying and verifying scientific findings quickly has become more important than ever, owing to the corona crisis. This has led to science taking on a more prominent role amongst the public, whose trust in researchers and their integrity was also strong according to the last survey of the Science Barometer.“

    “A decisive pillar in strengthening and extending trust is the accessibility and comprehensibility of research results.. (…) This strengthens us in our conviction that it is a successful model to explain findings and developments straightforwardly, to classify them and to present their benefits – for experts and laypersons alike”.

    — Janis Eitner, director of communication at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

    From an Open Science perspective, now is certainly still a good time for urging the scientific system to become even more open in all its subprocesses, and for using professional science communication more widely, on own channels such as podcasts or on a stable cooperation with the traditional media. The negotiating position for more Open Science is favourable right now, and the experiences from the pandemic have made it unmistakably clear to everyone how important having a more open ecosystem of free knowledge is and will be in times of global crises.

    This might also interest you:

    Portrait: Photo Claudia Sittner©
    The use of the graphics of the results is possible if the source “Wissenschaft im Dialog/Kantar Emnid” is mentioned. The graphics run under the licence [CC BY-ND 4.0], adaptations of the format for editorial publications are permitted.

    This text has been translated from German.

    The post Science Barometer 2020: Starting Points for Open Science? first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.The post Science Barometer 2020: Starting Points for Open Science? first appeared on Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science.

    Open Science & Libraries 2021: 20 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co.

    by Claudia Sittner

    After the Corona Year 2020 threw the event industry off track worldwide, event organisers have adapted to the “new normal” in 2021 and developed new digital formats. The advantage: the event world has become smaller. Events that used to take place out of reach in Sydney or Bangkok can now often be attended conveniently from the home office.

    Many organisers have also used the year to rethink their event prices, reduce fees or eliminate them altogether – which is entirely in the spirit of the Open Science idea. That is why it was not difficult for us to put together a list of conferences, workshops, barcamps and other events that you should not miss in 2021.

    JANUARY 2021

    Open Science Barcamp
    14.01.21, Online-Event
    “A session in the series leading up to the Netherlands National Open Science Festival on February 11th 2021.”
    Organised by: National Platform Open Science Netherlands

    Webinar Serie: German-Dutch dialogue on the future of libraries: Sustainability and libraries – agenda 2030
    18.01.21, Online-Event
    “Libraries are not only sustainable institutions per se, but they also make an intensive contribution to raising awareness of the need for a sustainable society. To this end they provide information, organize projects and support sustainable engagement. Why libraries in the Netherlands and in Germany play an important social role here, how they can contribute to this and what examples are available will be presented and discussed. How the international library associations like IFLA and EBLIDA support this global challenge will also be a topic in this online-seminar.”
    Organised by: Erasmus University Library Rotterdam

    ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits
    22.01.21 – 26.01.21, Online-Event
    “Symposium on the Future of Libraries, offering sessions on future trends to inspire innovation in libraries, “News You Can Use” with updates that highlight new research, innovations, and advances in libraries.”
    Organised by: American Library Association

    PIDapalooza 2021: The Open Festival of Persistent Identifiers
    27.01.21, Online-Event
    “Festival of persistent identifiers. Sessions around the broad theme of PIDs and Open Research Infrastructure.”
    Organised by: CDL, Crossref, DataCite, NISO and ORCID

    FEBRUARY 2021

    Education for Data Science
    07.02.21 – 09.02.21, Jerusalem (Israel)
    “How Data Science should be taught in academic institutions and what kind of training and retraining can help support the need for new professionals in the data science ecosystem.”
    Organised by: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, CODATA

    Fake News: Impact on Society 4/4
    08.02.21, Online-Event
    “This event offers research into the concept of fake news and its impact in modern society:
    Strengthening information literacy in the time of COVID-19: the role and contributions of the National Library of Singapore. News analytics in LIS Education and Practice.”
    Organised by: News Media, Digital Humanities, FAIFE, and CLM

    Open Science Festival
    11.02.21, Online-Event
    “Open Science stands for the transition to a new, more open and participatory way of conducting, publishing and evaluating scholarly research. Central to this concept is the goal of increasing cooperation and transparency in all research stages. The National Open Science Festival provides researchers the opportunity to learn about the benefits of various Open Science practices. It is a place to meet peers that are already working openly or that are interested to start doing so. Key to this day is sharing knowledge and best practices.”
    Organised by: NPOS project Accelerate Open Science

    Barcamp Open Science 2021
    16.02.21, Online-Event
    “Discussing and learning more about, and sharing experiences on practices in Open Science.”
    Organised by: Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science

    Open Science Conference 2021
    17.02.21 – 19.02.21, Online-Event
    “This conference will especially focus on the effects and impact of (global) crises and associated societal challenges, such as the Corona pandemic or the climate change, to open research practices and science communication in the context of the digitisation of science. And vice versa, how open practices help to cope with crises. Overall, the conference addresses topics around Open Science such as: Effects and impact of current crises on open research practices and science communication – Learnings from crises to sustainably ensure the opening of science in the future – Innovations to support Open Science practices and their application and acceptance in scientific communities – Scientific benefit of Open Science practices and their impact in society such as coping with crises – Open Science education and science communication to different target groups in the broad public.”
    Organised by: Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science

    MARCH 2021

    3. Workshop Retrodigitalisierung: „OCR – Prozesse und Entwicklungen“
    01.03.21, Online-Event
    “Digitalisierung bietet neue Erschließungsmöglichkeiten, auch und vor allem durch gute Texterkennungsprogramme. Die Optical Character Recognition (OCR) ist ein Werkzeug, von dessen Qualität die Durchsuchbarkeit von Texten maßgeblich beeinflusst wird. Der Workshop befasst sich daher mit Prozessen und Entwicklungen in der OCR – einem wichtigen Bestandteil aller Digitalisierungsprojekte.”
    Organised by: ZB MED, TIB, ZBW and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz

    Open Data Day 2021
    06.03.21, Online-Event
    “Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.”
    Organised by: Open Knowledge Foundation

    2. Bibliothekspolitischer Bundeskongress: Bibliotheken im digitalen Wandel: Orte der Partizipation und des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts
    26.03.21, Online-Event
    “Bibliotheken im digitalen Wandel: Orte der Partizipation und des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts“ – miteinander über bibliothekspolitische Fragen ins Gespräch zu kommen.”
    Organised by: German Library Association (dbv)

    APRIL 2021

    Webinar Serie: German-Dutch dialogue on the future of libraries: Central services for public libraries
    12.04.21, Online-Event
    “The national library (KB) in the Netherlands offers central digital services to public libraries and to patrons as well. How these services were initiated in the past and how the situation is currently will be presented and compared with the situation in Germany. Because of the political system and the cultural sovereignty of the federal states, the support of smaller public libraries in Germany is not centralized, but so called “Fachstellen” in various federal states offer services to their libraries. This system, its tasks and services are presented – decentralised or centralised support for public libraries – what are the advantages and disadvantages? And what effects will the pandemic have to these services in the future? How will the idea of the third place be connected with the need to offer mobile services for the library users during and after corona?”
    Organised by: Erasmus University Library Rotterdam

    MAY 2021

    IASSIST 2021: Data by Design – Building a Sustainable Data Culture
    May, Online-Event
    “The conference theme, “Data by Design: Building a Sustainable Data Culture”, emphasizes two core values embedded in the culture of Gothenburg and Sweden: design and sustainability. We invite you to explore these topics further, and discuss what they could mean to data communities. As a member of IASSIST, you are already part of at least one data community. Your other data communities may be across departments, within organizations, or among groups in different countries. How are these groups helping design a culture of practices around data that will persist across organizations and over time?”
    Organised by: Swedish National Data Service (SND)

    Library Publishing Virtual Forum
    10.05.21 – 14.05.21 Online-Event
    “This is an annual conference bringing together representatives from libraries engaged in (or considering) publishing initiatives to define and address major questions and challenges; to identify and document collaborative opportunities; and to strengthen and promote this community of practice.”
    Organised by: Library Publishing Coalition (LPC)

    JUNE 2021

    Deutscher Bibliothekarstag: forward to far
    15.06.21 – 18.06.21, Bremen (Germany)
    “Alternative room concepts, Inventory management, Library management, Library education, Blended Library Concepts, Community building, Digitale editions, Digitization of the teaching, Discovery and eBooks, Electronic Resource Management – and much more.”
    Organised by: The Association of German Librarians (VDB – Verein Deutscher Bibliothekarinnen und Bibliothekare) and Berufsverband Information Bibliothek e.V. (BIB)

    IASSIST 2021/CESSDA: Data by Design – Building a Sustainable Data Culture
    30.06.21 – 02.07.21, Gothenburg (Sweden)
    “The conference theme, “Data by Design: Building a Sustainable Data Culture”, emphasizes two core values embedded in the culture of Gothenburg and Sweden: design and sustainability. We invite you to explore these topics further, and discuss what they could mean to data communities. As a member of IASSIST, you are already part of at least one data community. Your other data communities may be across departments, within organizations, or among groups in different countries. How are these groups helping design a culture of practices around data that will persist across organizations and over time?”
    Organised by: Swedish National Data Service (SND)

    JULY 2021

    ICOSRP 2021: International Conference on Open Science Research Philosophy
    19.07.21 – 20.07.21, Helsinki (Finland)
    “All aspects of Open Science Research Philosophy.”
    Organised by: International Research Conference

    SEPTEMBER 2021

    OA-Tage 2021
    27.09.21 – 29.09.21 Bern (Switzerland)
    “Open Access und Open Science.”
    Organised by:

    OCTOBER 2021

    18.10.21 – 20.10.21 San Sebastián (Spain)
    “At a FORCE11 annual conference stakeholders come together for an open discussion, on an even playing field, to talk about changing the ways scholarly and scientific information is communicated, shared and used. Researchers, publishers, librarians, computer scientists, informaticians, funders, educators, citizens, and others attend the FORCE11 meeting with a view to supporting the realization of promising new ideas and identifying new potential collaborators.”
    Organised by: Force11

    Events 2021: How to stay up to date

    These are our event tips for the Open Science and library world for 2021. Of course, there will be more exciting conferences, workshops, barcamps and other formats in the course of the year. We will collect them for you in our event calendar on ZBW MediaTalk! To keep up to date with interesting events, you can either check there from time to time or subscribe to our newsletter, in which we will regularly inform you about new highlights on the Open Science and library event horizon: sign up for the ZBW MediaTalk newsletter.

    Is an event missing?

    Do you have an event tip that is not yet listed in our event calendar? Then we would be happy if you would let us know.

    Further reading tips for event organisers:

    Do you organise events yourself and are looking for tips on how to make them even better? We have been dealing with this more frequently lately:

    Decision-making aids for event attendance: highlights 2020

    Despite Corona, there were many conferences, workshops, barcamps & co. worth visiting in 2020. We wrote about some of them in ZBW MediaTalk. So if you are thinking about attending one of the events we recommend, our review will certainly help you make your decision:

    References Portrait: Photo Claudia Sittner©

    This text has been translated from German.

    The post Open Science & Libraries 2021: 20 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co. first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.The post Open Science & Libraries 2021: 20 Tips for Conferences, Barcamps & Co. first appeared on Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science.