ThatCamp Followup News Item

TRIPLE’s first virtual ThatCamp, “Discovering Discovery: Envision your ideal research ecosystem for exploring research resources” on 11 May 2021 drew in over 50 participants from 15 different European countries (see the map below). Affiliated with libraries, universities, research institutions, government agencies, publishing companies, and private firms across Europe, the participants engaged in the typical peer-to-peer session format of ThatCamps to jointly “create, build, write, hack, and solve problems” (

ThatCamp stands for “The Humanities And Technology Camp”. It is a so-called unconference: an open, agile and spontaneous meeting where participants learn and work together by engaging in group discussions, co-working sessions or other forms of collaborative work.

TRIPLE ThatCamp #1 Participants Location_Icebreaker1
Screenshot from the event’s Miro board: location of the ThatCamp participants (UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey)

Suzanne Dumouchel (Huma-Num), the TRIPLE project and scientific coordinator, opened up the event introducing the TRIPLE project and encouraging participants to share their knowledge openly. Next, Stefanie Pohle (Max Weber Stiftung), the TRIPLE project communication officer, briefed the group on the basics of a ThatCamp format and the goals of the event: to promote interdisciplinary discussion, to uncover “discovery” needs and challenges faced by researchers and other stakeholder groups, and: to have fun at this collaborative event.

After a short warm-up that doubled as an introduction to each other and to the ThatCamp’s Miro board (an online “whiteboard” used to collect ideas, jot down notes, and share session takeaways), participants collaboratively planned the programme, pitching their ideas for the sessions and casting their votes for the most engaging topics. Even in the weeks before the event, they had brainstormed on topics important to them and had posted them on the virtual whiteboard.

The day of the ThatCamp was divided into two main session time slots, with four sessions held simultaneously in both the late morning and the afternoon. 11 participants pitched a session topic and the following eight were voted into the schedule:

TRIPLE ThatCamp #1: Sessions overview
Screenshot from the event’s Miro board: Topics of the morning and afternoon sessions and pictures of the moderators

In the last hour of the event, Irena Vipavc Brvar (CESSDA/UL-ADP) guided the session leaders to present their results to the entire group. With a dedicated five minutes per presentation, each presenter was only able to scratch the surface of what they covered in their hour and half long discussion. Below you can find some bullet points from each group that we captured during the event. The Miro whiteboards from each session have been preserved and published in an Open Access format on Zenodo ( ). 

Morning session with 4 topics

Group 1. How to disseminate and make Digital Scholarship discoverable: Experiences, ideas and proposals in order to have new forms of scholarship, based on electronic publishing, more discoverable in the infosphere

Session leader: Federico Meschini, Research Fellow in Digital Humanities at Tuscia University, Italy

✓  Scholars are engaged in creating new forms of digital scholarship but guidance is needed to lead them to good results
Many perspectives and resources 
 Researchers are still attached to the pdf, often also because they are requested to do so
 The need of technical guidance in terms of standards/interoperability 
 Evaluation systems acts as a limitation to innovation and cultural change among researchers  

Group 2. Difficulties in discovery: What are your annoyances? Vent them here

Session leader: Paula Forbes, Researcher at Abertay University, Scotland

Several questions with possible solutions were given:
 How do we use the results of the search? History/ Outputs
 How do we manage the conflict between focussed search and serendipitous discovery? Recommender systems 
How can we overcome the use of so many different terms? Multidisciplinarity / languages
How to find tools that enable the analysis of our discoveries? Marketplace of free tools
Especially difficult is when there is the lack of Open Access (or no labelling that it’s not OA) and when users don’t have control

Group 3. What are the obstacles and challenges in offering a discovery service for a library and do they apply to a (hypothetical) Open Access discovery service?

Session leader: Julika Mimkes, Subject specialist for chemistry and physics at State and university library (SUB) Göttingen, Germany

 Discovery system as a part of a library service used for discoverability of open access resources has many challenges: organizational, resources, technology and user interaction
 Important to think about users and resources such as preprints and how to handle them within the collection

Group 4. Overcoming the discoverability crisis

Session leaders: Peter Kraker, Chairman of Open Knowledge Maps, and Michela Vignoli, Community Manager of Open Knowledge Maps, Austria

 Think of sustainability of Open Infras: funding and what could be done to support the funding more, and explain clearly the benefits/advantages for institutions 
 New solution ideas: suggestion to enable searching multiformat contents (not only pdfs!), advanced analysis/knowledge extraction tools (combination with Artificial Intelligence AI)
 Important to socialize the systems: notification through social media/networks; collaborative ways to edit results

Afternoon session with 4 topics

Group 1. Ideas to improve peer reviews in scientific documents

Session leader: Soumya Sarkar, Postdoctoral Researcher in Natural Language Processing at TU Darmstadt, Germany

 Main issues: lack of resources; blind review is not so effective, lack of communication between reviewers; open review is not effective, sometimes biases affect quality review process 
✓  Quality of reviewers and reviews tend to be affected by motivation
 Great demand for fast publishing; hyperproduction of papers, not much time for quality reviews
 Possible solution is a focus group of researchers and reviewers to discuss problems with the review process in general and TRIPLE is seen as a perfect mediator of that

Group 2. What is the meaning of “discovery” in the different languages?

Session leader: Francesca Di Donato, Open Science researcher at ILC-CNR, Italy

 Different languages have the same problem – there is no appropriate translation which covers the complexity of the meaning of the term ‘discovery’
 Many languages cannot translate the term literally, but offer and explanation and describe it in order not to diminish the meaning of the word “discovery”
 Main difference between discovery platform (curated contents coming from trusted sources) and search/browsing platforms
 The concept of discovery platform is linked to recommendation systems + concept of finding something new related to discovery
✓  The concept of ‘discovery’ implies the concept of innovation

Group 3. If you had a complete discovery portal for SSH research outcomes, how would you like to use it? What functionality would you like to find?

Session leader: Alessia Bardi, OpenAIRE and Researcher at the Institute of Information Science and technologies at the Italian National Research Council

 Although most of the people start their search from Google, Google is just an entry point, and once you enter the source if you find relevant functionalities you stay in the repository 
 The importance of the links between different types of research products. Wanted functionalities: ORCID, DOI, open access status, access rights attached to a specific resource
 Usefulness of searching for research outcomes based on the funding projects/project initiatives after the project is finished
✓  Researchers in SSH are not only interested in one scientific product, but trends and solutions adopted by other domains might be reused as well (this will save money and other resources)

Group 4. What do I have to keep in mind as a researcher when it comes to thinking of discovery systems? Optimising keywords, just this?

Session leader: Michael Kaiser, Department Head, Libraries, IT, Max Weber Stiftung, Germany

Organizational and cultural aspects. Scholarly blogs can help because scholars are in charge
Importance of having liaison person between libraries, scholars (close contact + exchange needs) and research software developers
Organization of joined workshops for different groups
Blogging scholars are aware of metadata and their meaning but may not be aware of standards, i. e. keywords that use standard categories  
Scholars in general should learn skills in digital literacy

Most session leaders conveyed a similar conclusion that the TRIPLE project can act as a platform for exchanging ideas. They suggested more events like the TRIPLE ThatCamp to further develop ideas from the group discussions. 

Stefanie Pohle wrapped up the event with a huge thank you to all participants and the whole ThatCamp team and invited everyone to join the next TRIPLE ThatCamp that is planned for early 2022. 

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Event Summary: The First TRIPLE ThatCamp
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