About RRI

About RRI

Right now for somebody interested in RRI it is hard to get an overview on all the material, projects and initiatives that already exist. If one uses a search engine they will get an overview on the most read, most linked documents. Although those documents could provide a good first impression they do not help people who want to take a deeper look or who are interested in specific projects, have specific questions or want to find a community where they could participate in RRI and have their say. The domain of RRI and the many related schools of thought are by nature controversial and transdisciplinary. Although many actors form the different fields put there results and informations on the internet they publish their content on their own sites and use their own specific project vocabulary which might hardly be compatible to the vocabulary of the classical scientific school of RRI. When one takes the many commercial and industrial projects into account as well this problem gets even worse. But of course it makes perfectly sense for all these people and organizations to publish their content on their websites as they want to present their work under their own brand and within the context of all the other work they are doing. They want to stay in charge of their content and its presentation.

Therefore the aim of the observatory could be phrased as follows: The observatory should become the hub to the multitude of RRI and related content spread all over the internet. In order to fulfil that aim there are two major challenges that need to be addressed.

The first it is to find a way to process the data in a way that is most accessible to readers from different stakeholder groups with different interests and expertise. And second it is crucial to find a way to gain access to the dispersed content all over the internet. In regard to the first challenge the observatory will provide a semantic relationship model that links all content to each other in order to provide the user with packages of content which are most relevant to her interest. The core of the semantic relations is a meta tag system that will continuously evolve over time. That way it will be guaranteed that the observatory will always remain up-to-date. In regard to the second challenge the biggest problem is that there is already much content available. It is impossible to collect all these data within a small CSA FP 7 project.

Therefore it is necessary to convince the owners of that content to make it available through the observatory. To achieve this we must convince them that it is their advantage to have a hub for RRI content as it will provide them:

  1. with an additional source of dissemination of their projects and innovations
  2. with an easy way to make their contributions
  3. with the freedom to remain in charge of their content and its presentation

For that purpose the observatory provides an easy to use template where the contributors could fill in some details of their articles, projects or innovations and how they addressed RRI along with a link to their content wherever it is on the internet.

That way they will stay in charge of their documents and the observatory could at the same time become a hub for RRI content. In the long term (beyond the end of the project) it is furthermore necessary to choose a design and a presentation for the observatory that is neutral in regard to its origin in order to make the observatory as appealing as possible to as many stakeholders and as many schools of thought as possible. In the document at hand the specification for that hub to RRI will be outlined. Within that process we drew together ideas from a multitude of good practices already existing on the internet. As the observatory should become a synthesis of a knowledge base and a platform to discuss and to work together on RRI and related topics these good practices could be divided in two groups: For the knowledge base we drew ideas from websites of major online publishers like Sage, ScienceDirect or PubMed. For the interactive and communicative aspects we followed good practices like: Facebook, Research Gate, Academia or Slashdot.  

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