CITEC scientists advocate open science via Internet

Scientists at the Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University have made a declaration pledging their commitment to open science in the internet. They have announced their intention to increase open access to their publications and research data. The scientist’s declaration is titled ‘Open Science Manifesto’. The aim of open science is to make data and results of scientific research available for free on the Internet.

‘Results of research which have been paid for by the tax payer should be available to the public and other scientists for free in order to make the best possible use of it for society,’ says Philipp Cimiano, professor for Computer Science at Bielefeld University and one of the initiators of the manifesto. With the manifesto the CITEC researchers highlight the importance of ‘Open Access’. Behind this is the idea of an open, free access to scientific literature in the Internet. The researchers at CITEC aim to make their research articles accessible free of charge and without barriers. Furthermore, the scientists also wish to make their research data available. This can range from measured and statistical data to software through to construction plans for hardware. One example is the ‘hand grasping data’ of Bielefeld researchers: Using Motion Tracking they have recorded in which various ways people grasp objects. By employing this data it is possible to compare how efficient a robot hand can carry out gripping manoeuvres. It can also be used to program robot hands. ‘Obtaining this data requires a lot of effort, making it valuable for other scientists. They can use it for their own research questions without having to go to the same lengths again,’ explains Phillip Cimiano.

As well as open science enabling an efficient use of funding the scientists hope for new impulses for research: ‘The Internet has provided science with new ways of collaboration making it possible to overcome interdisciplinary challenges like the development of intelligent robots,’ says Thilo Paul-Steuve, one of the authors of the manifesto. To this end, CITEC researchers have created a website where they collaborate on projects and continuously update information about their progress. On the website the researchers also publish computer programs and measured data, which can be analysed and developed further- ‘Science lives from the premise that scientific results can be tested at any time. Open science is the logical advancement of this fundamental scientific principle,’ says Cord Wiljes, who is also an author of the manifesto. By publishing their research data CITEC researchers expect that the signal effect will in turn encourage other scientists to deal with their own research with more transparency.

Bielefeld University has been supporting the open science approach for several years. In 2005 the university officially showed its support for ‘Open Access’ in a resolution that was passed by the Rektorat, the governing body of the university. Since then there have been more that 5,000 research articles and 1,300 doctoral theses available for free on the publications management system PUB (Publications at Bielefeld University). Further Information:

Contact: Prof. Dr. Philipp Cimiano, Universität Bielefeld
Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
Phone: 0521 106-12249