Klaus Tochtermann


Evolution of Semantic Technologies in Scientific Libraries

This talk presents our experience with the evolution of semantic technologies in scientific libraries. Starting with semantic document representations and the use of semantic technologies to cross-link digital libraries, the talk will put its main focus on the question how deep web content can be brought to the surface.

It is widely known that much of the web content is hidden in the so-called deep web. That is content is hidden in protected databases which cannot be harvested by web search engines. At the same time, scholarly communication has changed dramatically. The new attitude can be best described as “What I do not find with Google or Google Scholar does not exist”. This however puts scientific libraries under pressure as much of their content (be it metadata or the publication itself) is stored in deep web databases.

As of today, query interfaces (HTML forms) provide access to most content in the deep web. Several approaches try to improve access to deep web content focusing on automatic query interface understanding. In contrast to this approach, this talk suggests to change the perspective. In our notion, it is in the interest of scientific libraries to provide controlled access to their deep web content through query interfaces. The talk therefore suggests the provision of semantic annotations for query interfaces. To realize a semantic annotation for query interfaces it is most important to find a generic model that is capable to formalize the variety of dependencies and restrictions of related form fields as well as the output data properties. Based on schema.org, the talk will propose a RDF vocabulary which can meet these requirements. It ensures the necessary abstraction level and serves as intermediate vocabulary connecting various other RDF vocabularies. The application of the vocabulary will be illustrated within the context of EconBiz which is maintained by ZBW and which one of the world’s largest digital library for economics.


At Dortmund University Klaus Tochtermann received his doctorate in computer science with a thesis on A model for hypermedia: description and integrated formalisation of essential hypermedia concepts. Klaus Tochtermann spent the following year as a post-doc at Texas A&M University, Center for the Studies of Digital Libraries, USA with a grant from the Max-Kade-Foundation. His key activities in this time were in the field of web-based tools and services for digital libraries. From 1997 until 2000 he was division head at the FAW Ulm (Research Institute for Application-oriented Knowledge Processing at Ulm University).

From 2001 until 2010 he was the scientific director of the research institute Know-Center, a competence center for information technology-based knowledge management located in Austria. In 2001 founded the I-KNOW conference series in cooperation with Hermann Maurer. In 2002 he received his habilitation in the field of Applied information processing with the thesis Personalisation in the Context of Digital Libraries and Knowledge Management. From 2004 until 2010 he held the chair for Knowledge Management, at the TU Graz (Austria). From 2007 until 2010, he was also head of the Institute for Networked Media at Joanneum Research, an application-oriented research institution located in Graz. Since 2010, Klaus Tochtermann has been the director of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and has held a chair for Media Informatics at Kiel University.

In 2012, Klaus Tochtermann initiated the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0. This research alliance addresses the question of how the participatory Internet (e.g. Social Media) changes research and publishing processes, and how information infrastructure institutions can participate in the shaping of these changes.

In 2014, the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics headed by Klaus Tochtermann received the national “Library of the Year 2014” award from the German Library Association (dbv).