OpenEdition expands its research and development programme

Copyright: thinkpublic, CC BY

A Joint Service and Research Unit (USR) since 1 January 2018, OpenEdition is now hosting the R&D projects run by its OpenEdition Lab programme. The latter is based on four research topics that will develop and test a range of tools exploiting the possibilities of digital in terms of collaboration, uses and access to scientific information, as well as information retrieval in books, journal articles, research blog posts and scientific programmes.

An open laboratory

This important strand of work consists in opening the laboratory to the requests of the scientific community, without pre-judging the approaches, paradigms and methods to be used. This is not only about offering material, digital, financial, technical and organizational resources, but also about opening the data, mainly through the implementation of interfaces and APIs, in accordance with the best practices of open data.
OpenEdition is also allowing the wider community access to the technical skills of its team – which are both specialized and rare within the sector of scientific communication, digital humanities, data structuring, interoperability and exploitation of massive corpora – and sharing its project management and partnering experience in France and abroad.

Open science and society

In 2017, as part of the development of the OPERAS European infrastructure that it coordinates, OpenEdition launched an applied research programme based on several measures:
● the prototyping of a multidisciplinary collaborative platform enabling the implementation of original research processes and forms of production, drawing upon the experience built up through the Hypotheses research blogs platform;
● the creation of a seminar at the EHESS with media and communication specialists, which is the reflective part of the prototype, exploring and attempting to model forms of research collaboration with the media in particular, from several angles: usages, and technical, legal and economic aspects.

Understanding how the OpenEdition platforms are used

The Usages Alpha project, funded in 2017 by ISTEX (CNRS), aims to study how readers use the OpenEdition platforms based on logs of visits to the site and usage statistics, with the objective of producing a detector of the types of uses of the OpenEdition platform. The initial results were presented during the keynote speech at the World Congress of the Digital Humanities (DH2017) and at the Journées ISTEX organized on 15 and 16 March 2018.
The “Appropriation of Open Knowledge” project is also part of the Initiative of Excellence (Idex) framework at Aix-Marseille University (AMU), A*Midex. This funds research combining the sociology of science, the sociology of usage, science and technology studies, computer science, and text and data mining.

Text and data mining

OpenEdition Lab is continuing to develop its projects on text and data mining by bringing together OpenEdition engineers and computer science researchers/PhD students in the areas of automatic language processing, information retrieval and machine learning.
OpenEdition’s resources provide a uniquely rich source of data for the development of new approaches to information retrieval, reading recommendation and browsing. In contrast to the standard and often monolingual data collections on which research communities work, the resources of the OpenEdition platforms make it possible to envisage life-size experiments on a variety of data.
This is a unique opportunity to work on mining methods that can both contribute to the semantic enrichment of data and allow us to envisage contextual reading recommendations linked to current events, which are dynamically updated depending on user reactions and able to identify trends or to highlight controversies and (re)emerging scientific topics.

To find out more: Overview of OpenEdition Lab and how it has developed


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