Prof. Dr. Heinz Pampel

Information Management

Prof. Dr. Heinz Pampel has been Professor of Information Management at the ECDF and the Institute of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since December 01, 2022. One of his research interests is Open Science, the cultural change towards more transparency and accessibility of science and information. He is particularly concerned with information infrastructures in science in the context of the digital transformation, looking in particular at the perspectives of libraries and data centers: "Information infrastructures are in a permanent state of flux in the digital transformation and play a key role if we are to make the cultural shift towards Open Science. Information infrastructures such as open access repositories and publication infrastructures form the basis for an open and sovereign knowledge practice that addresses pressing societal issues", says Pampel. 

Within the context of his professorship, Pampel's main question is how information infrastructures can support and promote the cultural shift toward open science in the context of digital scholarly communication. "One vision of the ECDF is to put people at the center of digitization. Currently, monopolization processes in publishing are progressing more and more, scientific publishers are becoming business analytics companies. The German Research Foundation (DFG) warns of the danger of data tracking by these companies - I therefore see it as an important point of my professorship to promote discussions about the common good orientation of scientific publishing," says the professor. The goal is to strengthen the digital sovereignty of science. This includes discussing the question of which infrastructures store scientific data and who controls them, he said: "Are they infrastructures located and operated in publicly funded institutions like libraries, or are they platforms of commercial providers?"

Pampel sees the sustainability of digital infrastructures as the biggest challenge, which cannot be taken for granted due to the usual project durations in science. Due to rapid technological change, the maintenance of existing infrastructures is always associated with new tasks; in addition, of course, new infrastructures are always being created for the accessibility and reusability of data. Experts refer to this as "invisible infrastructures": "Infrastructures are often taken for granted - until they don't work or disappear altogether," says Pampel. The importance of permanent availability and access to research data was demonstrated by the Corona pandemic, during which laypersons increasingly demanded access to scientific data. 

An overview of the global landscape of scientific data collections is provided by the Registry of Research Data Repositories, which Heinz Pampel was instrumental in setting up. The Registry of Research Data Repositories is an open science tool that provides an overview of existing repositories for research data. It assists researchers, research funders, libraries, and other service institutions in finding a suitable repository for storing research data.

Pampel studied library and media management at Stuttgart Media University. From 2007 until his ECDF professorship, he worked in the Helmholtz Open Science Office of the Helmholtz Association, first as an Open Science Officer, and most recently as Deputy Head. He received his PhD in 2021 from the Humboldt University of Berlin on the topic of Open Access. Pampel will remain with the Helmholtz Open Science Office as a scientific consultant: "It is very important to me to continue to be close to practice. This allows me to work in the Helmholtz Association. At the same time, with the ECDF professorship, I can take the next step and contribute my practical experience of the last few years even more to research and teaching.

"I am looking forward to my time at the ECDF and the exciting, interdisciplinary collaboration with new colleagues*. In addition to research, knowledge transfer is also important to me, so I try to blog regularly on the topics and write about them on social media," says Pampel.