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About the HEADT Centre

Researching Data, Images and Text

The Humboldt-Elsevier Advanced Data and Text Centre (HEADT Centre) is a research initiative that belongs to Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin (HU Berlin) with financial management via Humboldt-Innovation GmbH (HI). The focus of our research is on research integrity and there are two Principal Investigators, one from the Berlin School of Library and Information Science, and one from the Institute for Computer Science at HU Berlin. One of our key goals is to establish the HEADT Centre as a leading national and international organization for research in this area.

The HEADT Centre is methodologically broad and includes all ways of managing, manipulating, mining, reading, and understanding text and data (including images) in all forms and formats. We address issues from a variety of stakeholders. The quality of research, including both raw data and published results, is relevant not only for researchers, but also for students, publishers and their staff, commissions on research misconduct, as well as all people who are affected by research outcomes in daily life.

We treat research integrity as a multi-facetted continuum with grey zones rather than as a simple binary situation where someone is either guilty or not-guilty. In practical terms this means more measured and more granular decisions about when research integrity was violated. The nuances matter especially in cases where a judgement has severe consequences, such as people losing their doctorate or employment.

The General Data Protection Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (GDPR) plays an important role for research integrity. The HEADT Centre will investigate GDPR as an aspect of research integrity. The answer varies across disciplines and is especially relevant when research data include personal data. The degree of protection, however, may interfere with transparency, which is a key value of research integrity.

Funding for the first six years (2015-2021) comes from the publisher Elsevier. Our research benefits the broad research community as well as the public. Academic freedom is a core value of the HEADT Centre.

Inspire Cooperation

One of our key goals is to establish broader international cooperation among universities and institutions with similar research interests. Part of this is to reach out to the wider academic public with our research output. That includes both publications and activities such as workshops and seminars to share our materials with scholars from various domains.

We will make the results of the HEADT Centre’s research readily accessible to others, including publishers, hospitals, and private companies with an interest in the results of its research. We will also develop a sustainability and marketing concept including both the acquisition of grants, consulting and training.

The HEADT Centre office will play a key role in project coordination, but will have other tasks as well. In particular it will help to organize broader international cooperation and seminars among universities and institutions with similar research interests.

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