Brief Report | 21. September 2022

Report: First User Research Workshop on Terminology Services in NFDI4Culture

By Dr. Lozana Rossenova

screenshot during workshop, with cards in blue, red and yellow.

screenshot during workshop

"screenshot during workshop" CC-BY-4.0; Creator: Dominik Leipold Creator: Dominik Leipold, Owner: Dominik Leipold

On July 12, 2022, team members from the Open Science Lab, TIB, co-convened a special meeting of the NFDI4Culture LOD Working Group for a workshop focusing on terminology services. Terminologies play an important role across several key focus points of the Task Areas in NFDI4Culture, including TA1’s Data enrichment, TA2’s Data Standards, and TA5’s focus on Knowledge Graphs.

Currently, terminology service tools in use within other NFDI consortia, such as the Ontology Lookup Service used by NFDI4Ing and NFDI4Chem, struggle to accommodate vocabularies and ontologies used in the arts and humanities disciplines due to their typically large size, variety of serialisation formats and complexity of hierarchical relations within the category trees. In the context of TA1 and TA5, members of the Open Science Lab at TIB are prototyping a new service which aims to address the gaps in current service provisions. The motivation to host a dedicated workshop was to ensure that the new service meets the most pressing needs of the NFDI4Culture community in this area.

The workshop featured hands-on exercises with existing terminology services in order to observe how culture community participants interact and make use of such services. Furthermore, the workshop aimed to identify the most widely used vocabulary and ontology resources in the community and discuss what common issues arise when researchers are browsing or looking up terms in these resources. In the end, the Open Science Lab team presented current service architecture plans and an initial prototype built around a set of speculative user stories. The goal of the workshop was to test the feasibility of these user stories against the real-world scenarios the workshop participants face in their daily research activities.

Twelve diverse culture community representatives took part in the workshop, including researchers, archivists and computer scientists working in the fields of musicology, performing arts, fine art, architecture and design, among others.

The workshop concluded with a discussion reiterating the key requirements listed in the findings section of this report, and with a call for feedback on future service developments at OSL. Upon requests from the participants to continue this line of open conversations, the workshop will likely turn into a series with future events providing further opportunities to test not only services developed at OSL, but other tools and terminology resources developed by members of the culture community.

To stay up-to-date with this workshop series and all other events planned by the NFDI4Culture LOD Working group, sign up to the mailing list or request to join the Rocket Chat channel.

Find the full workshop report on Zenodo.