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Pelin Aspar

Uniform universities? Output Indicators, Data Capitalism and Steering of Science

Tuesday, 4. June 2019 - 12:00 to 13:00, Leonardo-Campus 11.3

Speaker: Dr. Ulrich Herb

Abstract: The talk describes how commercial companies create operating systems with highly integrated services, which scientists use in every phase of their daily work and which by the way produce data about this work. These data, in turn, are processed by the commercial providers and converted into further products, which are now offered to the science bureaucracy as a tool for recruitment and research planning. The structure and marketing of both the tools for scientists and the controlling tools for the administration have features that are widely known from electronic environments (compliance through convenience, vendor-lock-in), but also features that show at the same time elements of the centrally planned economy  and (although at first sight incompatible with it) a strong competitive connotation. The presentation also discusses the possible consequences of such a data-driven science control for individual researchers  as well as for science as a social enterprise.

Short Bio: Dr. Ulrich Herb holds a diploma degree in sociology and a PhD in information science. He has been working at the Saarland University and State Library since 2001, where he is responsible for third-party funded projects and electronic publications. He is a reviewer for journals in information science and a member of various working groups in the context of scientific publishing. He also is lecturer at various higher education institutions in German-speaking countries. He is also a freelance science consultant and journalist.