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Opening Scholarly Communication in the Social Sciences

Bearbeitung: Fakhri Momeni, Dr. Johannes Wilm
Leitung: Dr. Philipp Mayr
Wissenschaftlicher Arbeitsbereich: Wissenstechnologien für Sozialwissenschaften (WTS)


Scholarly communication in the social sciences is centered around publications, in which data also play a key role. The increasingly collaborative scientific process, from a project plan, to collecting data, to interpreting them in a paper and submitting it for peer review, to publishing an article, to, finally, its consumption by readers, is insufficiently supported by contemporary information systems. They support every individual step, but media discontinuities between steps cause inefficiency and loss of information: word processors lack direct access to data; reviewers cannot provide feedback inside the environment in which authors revising their papers; open access web publishing is constrained to document formats designed for paper printing but neglecting the Web's accessibility and interactivity potential; finally, readers, seeing a single frozen view of the underlying data in a paper, are unable to access the full extent of the data and to make observations beyond the restricted scope chosen by the author.

Web technology can address these problems. Isolated solutions, such as tools for publishing data on the Web for easy retrieval and visualization, exist in preliminary manifestations in the social sciences, but have not been integrated into tools for writing, reviewing and publishing articles. Tools that assist writers in making their documents' structure explicit for information systems, as well as document browsers that use articles as interactive interfaces to related information on the Web have been successfully deployed in the life sciences. We will transfer these ideas to the social sciences by integrating existing data and publication management services into a web-based collaborative writing environment that publishers can set up to supports all types of end users throughout the publication process: authors, reviewers and readers.

With the collaborative document editor Fidus Writer and the Open Journal Systems we choose a stable technical foundation. We secure user acceptance by respecting the characteristics of the traditional processes social scientists are used to: web publications must have the same high-quality layout as print publications, and information must remain citable by stable page numbers. To ensure we meet these requirements, we will work closely with the publishers of methods, data, analyses (mda) and Historical Social Research (HSR), two international peer reviewed open accessible journals published by GESIS, and build early demonstrators for usability evaluation.

Our system will initially provide readers, authors and reviewers with an alternative, thus having the potential to gain wider acceptance of our journals and of others in related fields. It will make journals more “open” (in terms of reusability) that are open access already, and it has the potential to serve as an incentive for turning “closed” journals into open access ones.


01.10.2015 – 28.02.2019

Gefördert durch


  • Dr. Christoph Lange (University of Bonn, Fraunhofer IAIS)
  • Prof. Dr. Sören Auer (University of Bonn, Fraunhofer IAIS)


Publications in OSCOSS (members of the OSCOSS project marked bold; all publications have been established in the project)

  • Sadeghi, A., Capadisli, S., Wilm, J., Lange, C., & Mayr, P. (2019). Opening and Reusing Transparent Peer Reviews with Automatic Article Annotation. Publications, 7(1). 
  • Fathalla, S. & Lange, C. (2018). EVENTS: A Dataset on the History of Top-Prestigious Events in Five Computer Science Communities. Semantics, Analytics, Visualization (SAVE-SD). 4th Workshop at WWW, revised selected papers. Lecture notes in Computer Science 10959 (pp. 110–120), Springer.
  • Behrend, A., Vahdati, S., Lange, C., & Engels, C. (2018). Towards a Cloud-Based Service for Maintaining Data About Scientific Events. Semantics, Analytics, Visualization (SAVE-SD). 3th Workshop at WWW, revised selected papers. Lecture notes in Computer Science 10959 (pp. 1–14), Springer.
  • Wilm, J., Sadeghi, A., Lange, C., & Mayr, P. (2017). Decentralized creation of academic documents using a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server. Joint Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Scientometrics and 1st International Workshop on Enabling Decentralised Scholarly Communication Co-Located with 14th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2017). Portorož, Slovenia.
  • Sadeghi, S., Lange, C., Vidal, M.-E., & Auer, S. (2017). Integration of Scholarly Communication Metadata using Knowledge Graphs. Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (TPDL 2017). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10450, Springer.
  • Capadisli, S., Guy, A., Verborgh, R., Lange, C., Auer, S., & Berners-Lee T. (2017) Decentralised Authoring, Annotations and Notifications for a Read-Write Web with dokieli. Web Engineering. ICWE 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10360, Springer.
  • Sadeghi, A., Wilm, J., Mayr, P., & Lange, C. (2017). Opening Scholarly Communication in Social Sciences by Connecting Collaborative Authoring to Peer Review. Information – Wissenschaft & Praxis, 68(2–3), 163–170. 
  • Mayr, P., & Lange, C. (2017). The Opening Scholarly Communication in Social Sciences project OSCOSS. In P. Hauke, A. Kaufmann, & V. Petras (Eds.), Bibliothek – Forschung für die Praxis. Festschrift für Konrad Umlauf zum 65. Geburtstag (pp. 433–444). De Gruyter. 
  • Fathalla, S., Vahdati, S., Auer, S., & Lange, C. (2017). Towards a Knowledge Graph Representing Research Findings by Semantifying Survey Articles. In J. Kamps, G. Tsakonas, Y. Manolopoulos, L. Iliadis, & I. Karydis (Hrsg.), Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries 
  • Ghavimi, B., Mayr, P., Lange, C., Vahdati, S., & Auer, S. (2016). A semi-automatic approach for detecting dataset references in social science texts. Information Services & Use, 36(3–4), 171–187. 
  • Ghavimi, B., Mayr, P., Vahdati, S., & Lange, C. (2016). Identifying and Improving Dataset References in Social Sciences Full Texts. In 20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. Göttingen.
  • Mayr, P., Momeni, F., & Lange, C. (2016). Opening Scholarly Communication in Social Sciences: Supporting Open Peer Review with Fidus Writer. In 2016 Annual EA Conference: “Innovating the Gutenberg Galaxis. The role of peer review and open access in university knowledge dissemination and evaluation.” Mainz, Germany.