FIZ Karlsruhe is an infrastructure institution within the Leibniz Association. Our overall strategy and range of services is implemented in four program units. The tasks of these program units are carried out in the organizational divisions of the same name:
Patent & Scientific Information - Information services to support research, innovation and patenting processes.
Subject-Specific Services - information services for the subject areas of mathematics, crystallography and energy
e-Research - solutions and services for various disciplines in the context of research projects and commercial contracts
Research and Teaching
In addition, two service units ensure our activities and thus the achievement of our goals: The IT Systems and Data Networks units by providing IT infrastructure and ensuring IT security, and the Administration unit by handling financial, HR and infrastructure matters. The legal department is also part of this.
Patent & Scientific Information
In the Patent & Scientific Information (PSI) program unit, we develop and operate information services to support research, innovation and patenting processes. Core activities are the analysis, structuring and indexing of information from technical literature and patents. We develop innovative, AI-based concepts and methods in research projects to make this knowledge accessible and interlink it. This involves high data volumes of very heterogeneous provenance. In addition, we provide scientific and technical consulting services for our international customers.
This program unit was freshly establihed in 2022. The working areas include:
Tasks for the development and operation of the information service STN in cooperation with our US-American partner CAS as well as projects for the evaluation and development of new methods and services
Establishment of an innovative Patents4Science information infrastructure geared to the scientific use of patents
Activities in the Bibliometrics Competence Network to build bibliometric databases and develop bibliometric analysis tools.
In Patents4Science, the core part of this program unit, we are dedicated to building an innovative information infrastructure geared to the scientific use of patents on the basis of knowledge-based approaches. The aim is to provide simple, efficient and sustainable access to patents and the knowledge they contain. The main target group are researchers in university and non-university research environments. We use the procedures and methods developed by us for the development and analysis of patent information to link heterogeneous sources of information and knowledge. By using text and data mining as well as machine learning methods, various innovative approaches for extracting specific information from patent documents have been evaluated and further developed to a proof of concept, e.g., to annotate patent claims or to identify references. In addition, we pursue the development of user-centered solutions in the context of collaborations with other disciplines.
Competence Center Bibliometrics
The scientific publication system is one of the central sources through which the dissemination and validation of scientific knowledge are organized. Bibliometrics uses information about authors, journals, institutions, sponsors and topics that accumulates in the publication process and processes it into indicators, structural representations and key figures. For this purpose, the Competence Network Bibliometrics has built up a quality-assured in-house data infrastructure based on the databases Scopus (Elsevier) and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) and uses these to develop and refine analysis methods and indicators. Since the beginning of the first funding phase (2008), we have been involved in setting up the Competence Network Bibliometrics, which has now expanded to 22 consortium partners, with the role of hosting and development partner. Our activities include:
Providing the central infrastructure and services for bibliometric research and
Development of standardized and quality-assured bibliometric databases based on the data products Web of Science from Clarivate and Scopus from Elsevier
Performing data analysis and data management for the above data products.
In the Subject-Specific Services program unit, we develop and operate globally recognized information services for the subject areas of mathematics, crystallography, and energy. For this purpose, we develop and aggregate relevant sources. All services are aimed at scientists in research. The information service in the field of energy is aimed in particular at basic research.
zbMATH Open is an Open Access information service for mathematics with networked information on mathematical topics, authors, publications, references and software. Through links, not only to scientific publishers, but also to freely accessible repositories such as arXiv or EuDML, direct access to full texts is provided. The service emerged from the database zbMATH, based on "Zentralblatt für Mathematik", a complete record of mathematical research literature dating back to 1886. With financial support from the federal and state governments, zbMATH was transformed into an open access platform that went online in 2021. Since then, worldwide usage has been rising significantly.
ICSD, the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database, is an information service in the field of crystallography with the world's largest database of completely determined inorganic crystal structures (currently 250,000) and supplementary simulation and visualization tools. Since larger amounts of data are required for data mining processes, e.g. for the prediction of material properties, work has begun on successively supplementing data that is not completely determined, even retrospectively, and calculating the coordinates. For this purpose, about 30,000 articles were identified that contain structures that were previously missing in ICSD. Crystal structures have a significant influence on the physical properties of a compound, so the further development of the product focused, among other things, on making relevant structures as comprehensive as possible and linking them to external sources that offer additional information on chemical and physical properties.
In the e-Research program unit, we develop and operate e-Research solutions and information infrastructures for various disciplines within the framework of interdisciplinary research projects and commercial contracts. The close integration of consulting, conception, development and operation leads to a continuous transfer of our research results into practical applications ("theoria cum praxi").
The work program sets two focal points:
Services for the "digital humanities"
Services for research data management and digital long-term archiving ("research data").
Our products, services, and projects thus relate to different stages in the life cycle of research data. They are interlinked and in this way support researchers and institutions throughout the entire research process. Users and cooperation partners are research institutions, universities, memory organizations, scientific societies and publishers. They value the consulting, requirements analysis, implementation and operation of robust and productively usable e-research solutions from a single source. The close cooperation with the two research units Intellectual Property Rights (IGR) and Information Service Engineering (ISE) and the recourse to the expertise available there strengthens the e-Research program unit, promotes the transfer of research results in practice, increases the innovation potential, and leads to reciprocal initiatives and joint activities. In this context, the unit contributes to several consortia of the National Research Data Infrastructure.
With the German Digital Library (DDB), FIZ Karlsruhe has been operating the central portal for German cultural and scientific institutions since 2012 and has been responsible for all major parts of the software development since 2018. Through the DDB, a comprehensive network of partnerships with libraries, archives, and museums has been established. From this network, we have been able to acquire and successfully implement further projects around the DDB in recent years together with various partners, such as Archive Portal-D or the German Newspaper Portal. In the meantime, an entire "ecosystem" of subportals, which realize sector- or topic-specific access, is based on the common backend of the DDB. All data is loaded only once and is then available to all subportals. By using the common data pool and reusing software components and infrastructure, extensive synergies can be leveraged. Accordingly, we are also pursuing this strategy in other contexts. One example is the "Themenportal zur Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts" (Thematic Portal on Compensation for National Socialist Injustice), which we launched in June in a first version together with the Federal Archives and the State Archives of Baden-Württemberg (LABW). At the same time, this thematic portal serves as a blueprint for further thematic points of access, with which we actively support the sociopolitical goal of making contexts of injustice visible and promoting the strengthening of democracy within the framework of commemorative culture projects.
Here, our core product is the RADAR research data repository, around which we are also building an ecosystem of related services. With funding from the BMBF, the universities in Brandenburg will establish a statewide service for research data management based on RADAR Local. For the two NFDI consortia NFDI4Chem and NFDI4Culture, we developed and released the specific services RADAR4Chem and RADAR4Culture in spring 2022. In the meantime, other consortia have expressed their interest in having their own RADAR instance. The baureka.online project, launched in 2021, aims at a research data repository for historical building research and uses RADAR as a backend. This shows that the generic repository is also suitable for discipline-specific offerings.
Research and Teaching
The two research units "Information Service Engineering" (ISE) and "Intellectual Property Rights in Distributed Information Infrastructures" (IGR) are located in the program unit Research and Teaching. Two joint appointments with KIT to W3 professorships of the same name are associated with this. With our research involving several different FIZ units, we pursue the goal of further developing our infrastructures, products, and services beyond the current state of the art, of comprehensively indexing, analyzing, and networking research data and knowledge, and of addressing related legal issues. Another focus is on policy advice with a focus on data (privacy) law. In this way, we also position and profile ourselves as a leading research institute. The work in the research areas picks up on the high dynamics in technological development as well as changed user requirements. This goes hand in hand with our claim to help initiate and shape innovative research topics.
There are close interrelationships with the other program untis. Findings and newly developed or tested methods and procedures are directly applied in projects and services for the domains of patent information, mathematics, and the humanities, as well as in the nine NFDI consortia with participation of FIZ Karlsruhe.
The program area makes a significant contribution to the transfer activities of FIZ Karlsruhe, including regular expert activities at national and EU level, the organization of central international conferences (areas: computer science, data protection), policy advice, e.g., in the context of research data, and innovative, very widely used teaching formats (OpenHPI Lectures). The work program of both research units is constitutive for their current research groups. For Information Service Engineering (ISE) it mainly includes the research areas "Knowledge Graphs" and "Machine Learning". The research unit Intellectual Property Rights in Distributed Information Infrastructures (IGR) is mainly concerned with the research fields "Data Protection and Data Ethics" and "Copyright".