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Reducing Barriers and Increasing Uptake of Text and Data Mining for Research Environments using a Collaborative Knowledge and Open Information Approach

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FutureTDM (Reducing Barriers and Increasing Uptake of Text and Data Mining for Research Environments using a Collaborative Knowledge and Open Information Approach)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-08-31

In order to foster the exploitation of TDM in European scientific, economic and public sectors, the scope of work within this project was structured in six main objectives.

(O1) INVOLVE all key stakeholders via targeted stakeholder consultation to identify practices, requirements, and specific challenges in the field of TDM and installation of an advisory board and integration of practitioner groups in local and pan-European workshops.

(O2) ASSESS existing studies, legal regulations and policies on TDM within the European Union considering generic and domain-specific barriers and national idiosyncrasies/anomalies, and compare them with international developments.

(O3) ANALYSE current application areas and trends in TDM including statistics and key figures, collect relevant research and industrial projects, derive best practices and provide a structured collection of relevant knowledge and information resources.

(O4) ELABORATE a legal and policy framework for future TDM, define policy priorities, specify a research agenda with future applications in mind to create interdisciplinary, case-driven practitioner guidelines to foster the spread of TDM in various research fields within the EU.

(O5) BUILD a Collaborative Knowledge Base (CKB) and an Open Information Hub (OIH) combined on a web-based platform including intuitive tools like a TDM Stakeholder Map, a TDM Expert Navigator, a European TDM Research Project Directory, or a TDM Best Practices Library.

(O6) INCREASE awareness of TDM to especially attract new target groups and science domains by creating a roadmap, run mobilisation and engagement activities and provide information material and modern TDM Visualisations.
The European landscape of TDM research, development and applications was depicted from different point of views, taking into account economic sectors, scientific areas and domains of activity and by exploring data relevant to the available technology and (research) infrastructure(s), the R&D investment (mostly in terms of funded projects), the research output (in terms of scientific publications produced), the resources and tools available for TDM as well as the commercial activity (in terms of companies and organizations investing, using and offering TDM services). Moreover, structured collections of knowledge and information resources on TDM were gathered and structured: these collections encompass single persons or group of people focusing on TDM (i.e. the expert, organization and project collections) and with technologies and resources useful for current and future TDM practitioners (i.e. methods and tools lists). These collections represent the foundations of the information that are available on the FutureTDM platform.

Several sets of guidelines were produced to serve as practical guidelines for stakeholders in the TDM value chain. These include guidelines to help practitioners better understand the legal and licensing situation around TDM, and guidelines to help creators of data and content manage and share their data. Moreover, fundamental policy priorities and practitioner guidelines helped us to develop a future roadmap for increasing uptake of TDM. This roadmap brought together the outcomes of all the research activities of the FutureTDM project to present an EU-level path to stimulating TDM opportunities in Europe.

The development of the FutureTDM platform ( consisting of an Open Information Hub and a Collaborative Knowledge Base has been supporting the outcomes of the whole project research and dissemination activities. The platform contains a very dynamic blog section to discuss and inform about TDM related issues, consisting of authors within the project and expert in the broader TDM landscape. An event section displayed the events that were organised by the FutureTDM and community events that FutureTDM actively joined. Furthermore, structured collections of knowledge and information resources on TDM were fed into the Knowledge Base section of the platform including intuitive tools like Expert Navigator, TDM Tools, TDM Projects and TDM Methods. These modules made all the valuable collections of FutureTDM, that were gathered throughout the project lifetime, publicly accessible and easily discoverable via its novel design approach.

Moreover, a particular relevance was given to the organization of knowledge cafés and workshops, where different categories of stakeholders were invited to promote the project to their own networks. Finally, a European FutureTDM Symposium as a main networking event inviting stakeholders active in TDM fields and interest groups took place in June 2017 and it was a part of a two-day event, held alongside the International Data Science Conference in Salzburg, Austria.
Each partner contributed with expertise from different perspectives which led to comprehensive research insights, many engagement activities and practical materials that can be seen as important drivers for the expanding field of TDM in Europe. The created web-platform can be considered as a highly relevant resource for a broad variety of users including practitioners and policy makers in the field of TDM.

FutureTDM has been using a variety of media to ensure that the project is attractive to a range of stakeholders and that two way engagement was possible (events, blogs, surveys, social media). The project achieved the goal of ensuring the broadest possible awareness of the project results through clear and informative communications. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to share written feedback and expertise with the project via social media, blogs and surveys. Finally, they were invited to join several FutureTDM events e.g. at the European Parliament in Brussels, Final Symposium during the International Data Science conference. As a policy project FutureTDM was visible to all three of the main EU institutions: Commission / Council / European Parliament. The collaboration with the sister project OpenMinTeD provided an effective example of synergies between projects and led to significant results that benefited both projects’ communities.

Aside from the impact of engaging with stakeholders, the development of several reports has involved close consultation with TDM practitioners and supporters, to understand and meet their needs. The consortium has received positive feedback from several stakeholders who praised the clarity and practicality of these guidelines. In the future, the consortium expects the learnings from the FutureTDM project help inform the way the Library offers content and services to users, particularly users interested in conducting TDM and other large-scale analyses of content.

Furthermore, insights provided by partners revealed a variety of perspectives on TDM, starting from the perspectives of data scientists and start-up entrepreneurs and expanding to those of policy makers and end users. Having witnessed and recorded the problems encountered, the objectives aimed at and the overall experience of all the stakeholders involved, the project has achieved a very important goal, namely the creation of various sets of guidelines and recommendations tailored to the needs of each practitioner. These recommendations aspire to help stakeholders overcome the various barriers identified and thus increase TDM uptake. The project results are publicly available with empowering visualisations on the FutureTDM platform.
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