With an ever-growing amount of research results, new challenges arise for the management, retrieval and persistent storage of scienti?c artifacts. While these tasks have traditionally been ful?lled by academic publishers, today’s research results are no longer limited to papers and books, but also include a variety of data, models, and software. Preserving these contents and making them accessible is a fundamental requirement to ensure the transparency and reproducibility of studies.The University of Münster
has already made a ?rst e?ort in this direction by setting up the CRIS research database
, which contains interlinked information on the ?ve Ps: People, publications, projects, patents and prizes associated to the university. LODUM
takes this approach to the next level by implementing a strategy that aims to improve the transparency and visibility of the university. The comprehensive LODUM approach includes an Open Access strategy for publications as well as publishing any non-sensitive data online following the Linked Data principles
. Both the Open Access and Open Data movements are currently gaining a lot of momentum and will shape the future of academic publishing and accessibility of public data.
The University of Münster is the first German university to implement an extensive program following these new approaches, which have recently also been published as recommendations
for the future development of university libraries by the German research council.Working closely with the university library
, the use of existing and emergent publishing standards will be a core aspect of LODUM. Data sources existing across the different sites of the university will remain in place, leaving the control and responsibility in the hands of the original owner and minimizing the acquisition of new hardware. Such data can be linked to and accessed from a central data service run at the computing centre. The service will be available at data.uni-muenster.de. It is currently under development and will form the basis for any applications built on top of LODUM. While the current focus is on scienti?c data and publications, other data, such as class schedules and administrative data, can also be integrated once the LODUM infrastructure is in place. These additional data will complement the LODUM strategy and allow a larger group of users to bene?t from the infrastructure.
In terms of the covered contents, LODUM will add three additional Ps for properties, places and periods to the ?ve already contained in CRIS. This additional information will focus on the diverse thematic areas covered at University of Münster and their spatio-temporal context. Providing data as Linked Data can be straightforward in some cases; however, research will be required to develop new approaches and work?ows for data acquisition and integration. The service infrastructure aspect of LODUM will hence be backed by a number of third-party funded research projects.LODUM is currently coordinated at the Semantic Interoperability Lab
in cooperation with the rector’s of?ce. For the mid-term strategic development, two formal bodies are planned that control the project: A steering committee for high-level administration and supervision, featuring professors from di?erent faculties and members of the rectorate; and a developer community in charge of the day-to-day business and implementation, featuring LODUM sta? as well as sta? from the research projects around LODUM, the library, and the computing centre.
LODUM is laid out as a long-term strategy that will open up and connect di?erent data sources across the 15 faculties and departments step-by-step. While this requires a technical infrastructure to manage data and make them available online, a crucial aspect of LODUM is to foster a change in the openness and transparency of the University of Münster and its scienti?c community. By implementing Open Access and Linked Open Data principles throughout the university, LODUM aims to make the output of the university more visible and foster collaboration, both between the university’s faculties and with partners.