Bi.research Magazine profiles CITEC projects

How can personal data be securely encrypted? How can research findings on, for example, the function of grasping be shared with others? How can the transfer of knowledge be managed? The new issue of the magazine Bi.research features articles on CITEC projects that address these questions, among other issues. The topic of Open Science, which deals with making scientific data available to the wider public, is of particular importance to researchers at CITEC.  

Bi.research Magazine profiles CITEC projectsData is the very foundation of science and research. The main topic of the latest issue of BI.research, the research magazine of Bielefeld University, looks at different concepts for handling data along and profiles the different data approaches being used at Bielefeld University.

Researchers, for instance, share data in a database in order to decode gene sequences. Free access simulation software shows how political decisions influence economic developments. And at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC), scientists are researching how humans grasp.

All of these projects have one thing in common: data is collected and can be further used by other researchers. In science as in research, synergies and shared knowledge arise. All Bielefeld researchers believe in being able to share data and use it to evaluate one’s own scientific questions. Knowledge, however, is also shared when researchers publish articles in free-access publications, in approaches like the online open-access data infrastrucutre OpenAire, which was co-developed by Bielefeld University. Using others’ data has its limits, for instance, when it comes to children and youth, which leads to the question of how researchers should protect their scientific data, and thus, the subjects who participated in their studies.

CITEC researcher Franziska Krause, for example, researches young children’s ability to imitate and take on the perspective of another person, for which she takes videos of the children in her study. These videos record how the children behave, which she then evaluates. Children in particular are not able to assert their legal rights. For Franziska Krause it is thus extremely important to protect the privacy of her study participants and to secure their data.

Computer scientist Dr. Jonathan Maycock and his colleagues are researching the complex process of human grasping. In 2011, Maycock’s research group was the first to publish their data online at CITEC. Making data free and accessible is advantageous to good scientific research. In order to give the greatest number of researchers easy, quick access to their research articles, CITEC researcher Professor Dr. Peter Bernard Ladkin is thus making his publications freely available. Finding the proverbial needle in the data haystack is at the center of Professor Dr. Philipp Cimiano’s research. Dr. Cimiano is an expert in analyzing and sorting large data sets. Also working with big data, Professor Dr. David Schlangen is investigating how certain content can be located on the social network site Facebook.

In addition to exploring the topic of data, the magazine also profiles Selma Šabanović, who studies the question of whether robots need to have a gender. Šabanović taught and conducted research at CITEC in 2013 as a visiting professor in gender studies.

The print version of the magazine can be ordered by email at: A PDF version can also be accessed online at