Learning Knowledge

Learning, knowledge, innovation: Studying the changes in knowledge production, organisation and transfer through digital innovation

“Knowledge is always preceded by intuition.”

As Humboldt’s principle outlines, we see knowledge itself – its derivation, organisation and communication – undergoing a fundamental transformation. The trend towards interconnected research, the ongoing expansion of information infrastructures and digital innovation in teaching and learning illustrate these  transformations. At the same time, digitalisation of traditional knowledge transfer tools, such as journals, monographs and scholarly publications requires new ways of communicating information.

How does the digital society define knowledge production, organisation and transfer? The research programme learning, knowledge, innovation aims to not only understand but also to shape  this process. We combine approaches from economic sociology, digital humanities, educational science and innovation economics to deliver findings with an interdisciplinary scope. In addition to our scientific publications, we develop skills , science transfer formats and training for non-academics.

The programme learning, knowledge, innovation ties together research on the changing dynamics in knowledge production, organisation and transfer within three thematic priorities:

Knowledge transfer and impact
How do research results reach relevant stakeholders in politics, business and media and civil society?

Innovation in education and teaching
In what way does digital innovation impact education in schools, businesses and the tertiary sector?

Knowledge infrastructures
Which infrastructures are crucial for the organization of knowledge and information and how are they changing?

Research and transfer

In cooperation with FZI Research Center for Information Technology, the research project DREAM started in 2018. The focus of the project lies on the development of a prototype as a web platform and as an app – ploc (pocket library for open content) where researchers can easily find, recommend and share  open access research artifacts. Apart from that we conduct a qualitative study on innovative research infrastructures to find out under which conditions such infrastructures evolve and the reason why such infrastructures are successful or not.

The Pelagios project, funded by the A W Mellon Foundation, and in collaboration with the University of Exeter, the Open University, The Austrian Institute of Technology and the University of London  uses linked open data to develop networks of relations between different digital historical sources, and enables researchers to ask new questions of historical materials.

On the basis of our research, we have developed forums for science transfer as well as training formats. We have established a blog Elephant in the Lab as a platform for discussing  new forms of impact. In addition, the Impact School, a teaching concept for doctoral and post-doc researchers has been developed in cooperation with Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0. Together with the “Impact Distillery” we organize the bimonthly meetup “Impact of Open Science”.

Research projects
Conference contribution and other activities
Research projects

  • Science and education · Society and culture

    DREAM (Digital Research Mining)

    As part of the DREAM project, a mobile application is being developed that simplifies the search for scientific open access publications and suggests suitable...
  • Pelagios
    Science and education · Society and culture

    Pelagios Commons: Linking the places of your past

    Being able to link one document to another — and move easily between them — is one of the enabling features of the World...

Completed research projects

  • Innovation · Science and education · Society and culture

    Opening Science

    It seems as though the digitalisation of research is accompanied by a revision of established research practices and an opening of the research process....





Blümel C., Fecher B., & Leimüller G. (2019). Was gewinnen wir durch Open Science und Open Innovation? Essen: Edition Stifterverband Verwaltungsgesellschaft für Wissenschaftspflege mbH. Publication details

Fecher, B. (2018). Eine Reputationsökonomie. Der Wert der Daten in der akademischen Forschung. Wiesbaden, Hessen: Springer VS. Publication details

Hebing, M. (2016). A Metadata-Driven Approach to Panel Data Management and Its Application in DDI on Rails: Dissertation. Bamberg: opus. Publication details

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Mueller-Langer, F., Fecher, B., Harhoff, D., Wagner, G.G. (2018). Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why? Elsevier. Publication details

Fecher, B., & Sokolovska, N. (2018). Medien, Politik, Wirtschaft – wer profitiert von eurer Forschung? wissenschaftskommunikation.de. Publication details

Sokolovska, N. (2018). DREAM – Digital REseArch Mining: pocket library for open content. Open Access in Berlin/Brandenburg 2018. Publication details

Gigerenzer, G., Rebitschek, F.G., Wagner, G.G. (2018). Eine vermessene Gesellschaft braucht Transparenz. Wirtschaftsdienst, 98(12), 860-866. Publication details

Blagoev, B., Felten, S., & Kahn, R. (2018). The Career of a Catalogue: Organizational Memory, Materiality and the Dual Nature of the Past at the British Museum (1970–Today). Sage Journals. Publication details

Friesike, S., Fecher, B., & Wagner, G.G. (2018). Teach young scientists the importance of societal impact for research. Nature - International journal of science. Publication details

Friesike, S., Fecher, B. & Wagner, G. (2018). It’s time to update our understanding of scientific impact. Elephant in the Lab. Publication details

Blagoyev, B., Felten, S. & Kahn, R. (2017). The Career of a Catalog: Organizational Memory, Materiality and The Dual Nature of the Past at the British Museum (1970 – Today). Organization Studies(Special Issue: Uses of the Past). Publication details

Fecher, B., Friesike, S., Hebing, M., & Linek, S. (2017). A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data. Palgrave Communications, 3. Publication details

Fecher, B., Fräßdorf, M., Hebing, M., & Wagner, G. G. (2017). Replikationen, Reputation und gute wissenschaftliche Praxis. Information - Wissenschaft & Praxis, 68(3). Publication details

Rebitschek, F. G., Gigerenzer, G., & Wagner, G.G. (2017). Kritische Voraussetzungen für ein digitales Gesundheitswesen in Deutschland. Wirtschaftsdienst, 97(10), 699-703. Publication details

Fecher, B., Fräßdorf, M., Hebing, M., & Wagner, G. G. (2017). Replikationen, Reputation und gute wissenschaftliche Praxis. Information - Wissenschaft & Praxis, 68(3). Publication details

Fecher, B. (2016). “Mehr Licht” Offenheit muss sich lohnen. Laborjournal Online. Publication details

Gibson, L. & Kahn, R. (2016). Digital Museums in the 21st Century: Global Microphones or Universal Mufflers? Museological Review, 20, 39-52. Publication details

Scheliga, K., Friesike, S., Puschmann, C., & Fecher, B. (2016). Setting up crowd science projects. Public Understanding of Science, 1-20. Publication details

Fecher, B. & Wagner, G. (2016). Open Access, Innovation, and Research Infrastructure. Publications, 4(2). Publication details

Fecher, B. & Wagner, G. (2016). A research symbiont. Science, 351(6280), 1405-1406. Publication details

Fecher, B., Friesike, S., & Hebing, M. (2015). What Drives Academic Data Sharing? PLOS ONE, 10(2). Publication details

Fecher, B. & Puschmann, C. (2015). Über die Grenzen der Offenheit in der Wissenschaft – Anspruch und Wirklichkeit bei der Bereitstellung und Nachnutzung von Forschungsdaten. Information - Wissenschaft & Praxis, 66(2-3), 146–150. Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Kahn, R., Tanner, S., Gibson, L., & Laycock, G. (2017). Choices in Digitization for the Digital Humanities. In Griffin, G. (Ed.), Research Methods for the Arts and Humanities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Publication details

Schmitz, A., Yanenko, O. & Hebing, M. (2012). Identifying Artificial Actors in E-Dating: A Probabilistic Segmentation Based on Interactional Pattern Analysis. (pp. 319-327) Heidelberg: Springer. Publication details

Working paper

Fecher, B., Leimüller G., & Blümel, C. (2018). Das Potenzial strategischer Öffnung. Zukunft des deutschen Wissenschafts- und Innovationssystems. Stifterverband. Publication details

Barkow, I., Block, W., Greenfield, J., Gregory, A., Hebing, M., Hoyle, L., & Zenk-Möltgen, W. (2013). Generic Longitudinal Business Process Model. DDI Working Paper Series Longitudinal Best Practices, 5. Publication details

Other publications

Fricke, C., Meyer, S., Wagner, G.G. (2018). In Grenzen akzeptabel. Publication details

Gigerenzer, G., Müller, K.R. & Wagner, G.G. (2018). Wie man Licht in die Black Box wirft. Publication details

Rebitschek, F. G., Gigerenzer, G. & Wagner, G.G. (2018). Digitalisierung im Gesundheitswesen. Denken hilft der Gesundheit., 12. Publication details

Hebing, M. & Goebel, J. (2017). The SOEP Metadata Documentation System: paneldata.org. Publication details

Hebing, M. & Goebel, J. (2016). The New SOEP Metadata Documentation System: Paneldata.org. Publication details

Kahn, R. (2015). South Africa Might Get the Worst Internet Censorship Law in Africa. Huffington Post. Publication details

Goebel, J. & Hebing, M. (2015). The New SOEP Metadata Portal. Publication details


Conference contribution and other activities

Lectures and presentations

Knowledge Transfer: Connecting with your audience
AI: Legal & Ethical Implications (Session: Knowledge Transfer: Connecting with your audience). The Center for Cyber Law & Policy. University of Haifa (CCLP), Haifa, Israel: 28.11.2018 Further information

Benedikt Fecher

Open Access und die Governance von Forschungsinfrastruktur
Open Access Week 2018. Thüringer Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Digitale Gesellschaft (TMWWDG). Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar, Germany: 24.10.2018 Further information

Benedikt Fecher

Open access is gaining ground – it's time to talk about the infrastructure
FORCE2018. McGill University, Montréal, Canada: 12.10.2018 Further information

Benedikt Fecher

Out of the Archives, and onto the Streets
Connected Communities Conference. Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom: 27.09.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Offene Wissenschaft in der Soziologie: Was können wir? Wohin wollen wir?
DGS Kongress 2018. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany: 27.09.2018 Further information

Benedikt Fecher

Connecting Collections
ICHG 2018: 17th Annual International Conference of Historical Geographers (Session: Linked Open Data for Linked Pasts). Polish Academy of Sciences. University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: 17.07.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Decentralizing Knowledge Creation in the Web of Historical Data
ICHG 2018 International Conference of Historical Geographers (Session: Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing in Historical Geography – Projects, Ideas, Perspectives). Polish Academy of Sciences. University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: 16.07.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Open Access: Eine Frage der Infrastruktur
16. KOBV-Forum 2018: Von Openness, Schranken und Veränderungen. KOBV-Zentrale. Takustraße 7, Berlin, Germany: 27.06.2018

Benedikt Fecher

Berliner Bibliothekswissenschaftliches Kolloquium. Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaften, Berlin, Germany: 24.06.2018

Dr. Benedikt Fecher

Recogito: Semantic Annotation Without the Pointy Brackets
Hybrid Narrativity: Annotating Comics Workshop (Session: Annotating Comics). University of Paderborn, University of Potsdam. Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany: 18.06.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Linked Data without the Pointy Brackets
Digital Classicist Seminar, Berlin. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbund Digital Humanities in Berlin, DARIAH-DE. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 16.10.2017

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Decentralising the Web of Historical Knowledge
Digital Cultural Heritage. CODATA-Germany. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 30.08.2017

Rebecca Kahn


Inklusive Wissenschaft: zum Für und Wider von Open Science und Citizen Science
Universitätsdiskurs Austria 2018: Wissenschaft | Kunst | Gesellschaft im Gespräch. Österreichische Universitätenkonferenz (uniko). TU Wien, Vienna, Austria: 11.09.2018 Further information

Benedikt Fecher

Berufsbildung 2018: Wo bleibt die e-Didaktik?
Bildungsmesse „didacta“. Bildungsmesse "didacta". Messegelände Hannover, Hannover, Germany: 22.02.2018

Thomas Schildhauer

Organisation of events

Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research (Linked Data, Geodata and Humanities Research: More Than Semantics)
Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research. with attending Vip: Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research. 22.05.2018. Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom (International)

Rebecca Kahn


Co-Coordinator: DARIAH EU GeoHumanities Working Group.

Rebecca Kahn