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Opening up Research for All – Two YERUN Open Science Awards for the University of Potsdam

Media information 14-02-2024 / No. 014

Everyone is talking about Open Science these days. Granting free access to research data, laboratory reports, software, and publications leads to greater visibility and transparency. The latest research results can be understood more easily and used to solve urgent problems. To boost this process, the European YERUN network of young research universities presents the Open Science Awards. Of the five awards presented this year, two go to the University of Potsdam: One award goes to historian Prof. Dr. Marcia Schenck’s teaching project “Global History Dialogues” (GHD) and another to the digital humanities project “Drama Corpora Project” (“DraCor” for short), which is being developed and conducted at the University of Potsdam in cooperation with Freie Universität Berlin. The award, endowed with 2,000 EUR each, serves to promote university initiatives that support the scientific community in adopting and implementing Open Science principles in their work.

The winners presented their projects at the award ceremony on February 14, 2024. Daniil Skorinkin, Ph.D., coordinator of the Potsdam Network for Digital Humanities and one of the co-editors of “DraCor”, says this about the digital humanities project with an international orientation: “With DraCor, we are building an open collection for researching European drama in all its linguistic variety. More and more researchers from all over Europe are joining our initiative, which has been committed to the idea of Open Science from the outset. Over 3,000 drama texts are now freely accessible on DraCor.”

“A community in which Open Science practices are cultivated has now formed around DraCor,” adds Prof. Dr. Peer Trilcke, founder of the Potsdam Network for Digital Humanities and DraCor co-editor. "The platform is currently being developed even further as a model project for the development of so-called ‘programmable corpora’, also within the framework of the EU project ‘CLS INFRA: Computational Literary Studies Infrastructure’.” The concept of ‘programmable corpora’ was introduced in 2019 by Prof. Dr. Frank Fischer (Freie Universität Berlin), also a DraCor co-editor , to characterize novel research infrastructures for digital literary studies.

The second project to receive an award at the University of Potsdam is the hybrid teaching format “Global History Dialogues” (GHD) initiated by Potsdam historian Prof. Dr. Marcia Schenck. In this project, students write their own historical micro-narratives – after taking a quick “ride” through world history and an introduction to the methods of oral history. GHD combines global and local history, links students from all over the world, and brings them together at the same time in small working groups at different locations. It works digitally and with oral history methods, and includes lectures, seminars, discussions, fieldwork, and a scientific conference. The teaching format is not just global in terms of the topic, but also in terms of its participants: As of recently, students on three continents participated – from Madrid to Athens, Bishkek to Ho Chi Minh City, from Ibadan to Nairobi and Potsdam, of course. “I am very happy to receive one of this year’s YERUN Open Science Awards for my work with the ‘Global History Dialogues’ project,” says the global history professor. “This form of appreciation is of particular importance for complex teaching offers that bring together learners from various continents in order to have an impact on society. The prize money will help us re-design our website to improve the user experience.”

Founded in 2016, the Young Research Universities Network YERUN is an alliance of currently 23 European institutions of higher education with the goal of strengthening their cooperation and working together to shape the role and character of higher education in Europe. The University of Potsdam has been a member of YERUN since 2022 and is participating in working groups like the YERUN ad hoc group on Open Science and the YERUN Open Science Awards group. With these activities, the University of Potsdam is supporting its researchers and teaching staff members in the implementation of its Open Science Guidelines. After the Theodor Fontane Archive received a YERUN Open Science Award in 2023, this year’s two awards for initiatives at the University of Potsdam demonstrate the success of the university's activities for more Open Science.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Marcia Schenck, Institute of History
Phone: +49 331 977-153031
E-Mail: marcia.schenckuni-potsdamde

Daniil Skorinkin, Ph.D., Network Digital Humanities, Coordinator
Phone: +49 331 977-153031
E-Mail: daniil.skorinkinuni-potsdamde

Media information 14-02-2024 / No. 014