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Center for Content and Knowledge Engineering (CCKE)

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J. van den Berg
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Positioning within the Institute of Information and Computing Sciences (ICS)

To be able to realize the ambitions of the ICS, and conform the Full- and Assistant Professor plan (the ‘HGL- and UHD-plan’), the discipline group of Information Science will be divided into a number of chairs:
1. Electronic Document Technology and Information Systems
Next to this existing chair for Information Science (Van den Berg), full professorships are anticipated for:
2. Cognitive and Communicative Aspects of Information Technology and Information Systems
3. Organization and Information
4. Information & Communication Technology and -Policy.
In turn, these will be related to existing Computer Science chairs: Swiersta,  Meyer, Overmars, Van der Gaag and van Leeuwen, and, to a lesser degree, with Siebes (conform the ‘HGL- and UHD-plan’). As far as this can be anticipated in the current stage of vacancies, the following themes will receive special attention within these chairs:

Within the area of Electronic Document Technology and Information Systems:

  • Modeling, publishing and retrieval of information. In this research theme, designing digital publications is approached from the perspective of the constructors. The interaction of the possibilities of choice that writers and designers are faced with when they need to integrate content, functionality and form into a single design for a digital publication – all this while keeping in mind the whole range of technical possibilities, re-use of information and guidelines for effective use – generates a complexity that needs to be researched in its entirety. This entails structuring the gathering of information as well as choosing the surrounding technical facilities that support the input, management, retrieval and the publishing itself; in addition, such facilities need to be tailored to one another. Suitable research will aim at searching for generic models and solutions for classes of problems that occur in information engineering.

Within the area of Cognitive and Communicative Aspects of Information Technology and Information Systems:

  • Human-computer interaction: integrated study of cognition and communication processes during the use of information systems, in order to improve the human-machine relationship and usability.
  • Knowledge engineering: understanding and enforcing the role of knowledge management and sharing knowledge in organizations with the aid of information technology, particularly with the use of intelligent agent technology.

Within the area of Organization and Information, and Information & Communication Technology and – Policy:

  • Organization. The life cycle of information unfolds itself in particular in organizations and is activated in response to needs in organizations as well. Because of these reasons, it is important to continually relate the cycle to the specific strategies and processes of organizations. Information planning, information policy and drawing up an inventory of information needs are crucial to reach a good alignment of IT and organization. In addition, the organization of IT-activities themselves also falls within this theme. Issues in IT-management are of importance on a strategic level (e.g., choosing outsourcing), the tactical level (e.g., choosing centralization or decentralization) as well as an operational level (e.g., the application of IT management methods).

When, in future years, the thusly-formed discipline areas within the CCKE will have developed sufficiently, the expectation is that the intended research will be able to compete on the highest level both nationally and internationally. The CCKE is already successful in the competition for research funds from the NWO and the EEC, and our portion should be growing strongly given the tenure of the Dutch research themes and those of the 6th EEC framework program. Collaboration in research funded by governmental departments and commercial parties should be quite achievable given the excellent contacts and collaborative connections that already exist. It goes without saying that a sufficiently critical mass of (directly) funded researchers is a condition for achieving the above.