08. April 2013

Interactive "Research World Map":
Graz University of Technology visualises scientific exchange

Remarkable: Austria's scientific community is strongly networked

Collaboration is at the heart of scientific progress. Exchanging information, discussing results, subjecting ideas to doubt and further developing solutions together are part of daily life in research. The Institute of Knowledge Management of TU Graz is co-ordinating the EU project team in which, for the first time – and in co-operation with Mendeley, an English software provider specialising in software for scientists, the world-wide network of research activities has been visualised by means of an interactive world map. What is especially striking is that a handful of small European countries are showing their true international colours with respect to research networking – among others also Austria.

Teamwork in all its aspects. The Institute of Knowledge Management of TU Graz is co-ordinating the EU project "TEAM", whose aim is to bring the already extremely networked world of academia that little bit nearer. "With increasing specialisation, it is evident that we need to find scientists with the same research interests but outside the same institution or even abroad", explains Stefanie Lindstaedt, head of the Institute of Knowledge Management. TEAM stands for "Transferring Knowledge in Academic Knowledge Management" and is aimed at, among other things, developing algorithms to reveal the congruence of scientific publications or bringing researchers with similar search patterns in scientific databases closer.

Research without borders

Mendeley specialises in research databases and offers a platform in which meanwhile scientists from over 113 countries in over 200,000 "groups" have organised themselves in their specialist disciplines to exchange information. Using this data, the researchers have examined how co-operatively research takes place in the individual countries. "We've developed an interactive world map which shows at a glance how intensively the scientific community is networked. What is remarkable is how a few small European countries are showing their true international colours, among others Belgium, Denmark – and even Austria", adds Lindstaedt. The project was initiated during an exchange between Mendeley and the Know-Center of Graz University of Technology in the framework of the TEAM project of Peter Kraker (PhD student, KnowCenter/TU Graz), Sebastian Pöhlmann (insights and analytics manager) and Piotr Drozd (community and business intelligence analyst).

Real-time exchange

Apart from the research world map, a desktop application for researchers is being developed in the TEAM project by which scientists can manage their scientific publications, share them with the public, and reciprocally annotate them. "Additionally, we're planning a website which, at the click of a mouse, yields statistics about scientific publications and authors, trends for each research discipline, recommendations for papers and a brief introduction of researchers with similar research interests", says Stefanie Lindstaedt, listing the future plans of TEAM until 2014. An associate partner of the project is the K1 "Know Center", located at TU Graz and whose scientific director is also Stefanie Lindstaedt.

Test the interactive research world map
Photographic material available free of charge when naming the source "TU Graz/TEAM".

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Inf. Dr. Stefanie Lindstaedt
Institute of Knowledge Management
Tel.: 0043 316 873 30600
E-Mail: slind@know-center.at

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