#OAWeek2022: The PDF is not enough: Why science needs open formats

Contribution from Axel Dürkop und Florian Hagen

During the project period from 2019 to 2021, the Modern Publishing project bundled many years of experience of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the Hamburg State and University Library (SUB) as part of the Hamburg Open Science (HOS) initiative. The goal: The development of a socio-technical system for single source publishing, i.e. for the generation of different output formats from one source format. This was based on open source solutions such as GitLab and Open Journal Systems (OJS) to enable an open alternative approach to publishing scientific results compared to commercial and proprietary publishing offerings.

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#OAWeek2022: Free the world climate report together

A contribution by Axel Dürkop and Axel Dürkop

One of the most important sources of information on the subject of climate is the UN’s IPCC reports. These are published approximately every five years. The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published in 2021 and 2022 in various volumes, unfortunately in the form of PDF files. This makes it difficult for people and machines to read, as well as to use them as widely as possible. The fact that parts of the reports are gradually being supplied in HTML format is encouraging.

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# OAWeek2021: tub.torials – a review of thoughts, ideas, and materials on openness in science, research, and teaching

In April 2019, the tub. launched the HOOU project (Hamburg Open Online University) tub.torials. The goal: to contribute a small part to more exchange on and about openness in science, research and teaching. The term „tub.torials“ is composed of the abbreviation of the University Library of the Hamburg University of Technology (tub.) and the term „tutorials“ (a kind of instruction manual that explains topics, processes and functions in various forms such as text, film or other formats). Part of the project was a blog offering that will continue to provide regular contributions from the entire life cycle of scientific communication after the project ends in December 2020.

Introductory videos, tip collections and guest posts

Various open educational materials have been shared here over the past three calendar years. These include small collections of tips (e.g. tips for the start of the semester) as well as insights into ideas, experiences, events attended and workflows in everyday work via individual contributions (e.g. to Digitaltag 2021 and stARTcamp 2021) as well as formats such as monthly notes.

On the other hand, first steps with open applications (among others an introduction to Zotero, video recording with OBS or video recording with Shotcut) and insights into – from the tub. – offered events such as the bachelor seminar „Scientific Work“ were shared. The latter was often the inspiration for educational materials such as the Open Science Umbrella or a questionnaire to examine one’s own writing habits.

Looking back, the #Notizschreibwochen2020 series of articles was particularly exciting, in which guest authors from different areas of teaching, learning, science, and research shared their own methods and approaches to note-taking. Also very enriching: the many individual impressions and perspectives of students on topics such as the first online semester at the university or the topics of digitization and sustainability.

One of the highlights of 2021 will certainly be the Open Access publication „More than 77 tips for scientific work“, for which it was possible to build on experiences of the HOS project (Hamburg Open Science) Modern Publishing with applications such as GitLab and pandoc for the technical implementation.

Sharing is caring – what does the future hold?

What most of the publications on tub.torials have in common is mutual inspiration. Whether it’s guest posts with new perspectives on a topic, working together on texts, or exchanging ideas on publications. Whether it’s exchanging ideas and feedback via the comment function, at digital and analog events, by e-mail or via social media, the open interaction between us (and hopefully externally as well) always sparks new ideas. And so it is also a wish and goal of tub. in the future to offer an opportunity for exchange through the open sharing of experiences and impressions and to support courage and openness to try out new things. True to the motto: „It matters how we open knowledge“.

CC BY 4.0
Further use as OER explicitly permitted: This work and its contents are – unless otherwise stated – licensed under CC BY 4.0. Citation according to TULLU rule please as follows: OAWeek2021: tub.torials – a review of thoughts, ideas, and materials on openness in science, research, and teaching by Florian Hagen, license: CC BY 4.0. Release of the images „Blog posts“, „Cooperation“ and „Inspiration“ used in the text under CC0/Public Domain. Optional note according to TULLU rule: „Blog posts“/ „Cooperation“/ „Inspiration“ by Florian Hagen, released as: CC0/Public Domain. Post image „Paper balls“ by Florian Hagen, license: CC BY 4.0

Digitaltag on 18.06.2021: „Together you write less alone! – Open digital tools at the TU Hamburg“


Insights into our book production.

The University Library of TUHH (tub.) will participate in the „Digitaltag“ next Friday (18.06.2021). In „Together you write less alone! – Open digital tools at TU Hamburg“ in the time from 15:00 to 16:00, all interested parties will have the opportunity to get an insight into book production with free software that has been used in projects such as „Modern Publishing“ (Hamburg Open Science) and „tub.torials“ (Hamburg Open Online University).

The event will take place online and will be offered via the open source video conferencing application BigBlueButton (BBB). Access data will be provided after registration.

Registration is possible via the following form:


Detailed event description

„You always wanted to write a book together with others and don’t know how? Do you want to use or get to know free software for writing? The event „Together you write less alone! – Open digital tools at the TU Hamburg” offers you insights into the creation of „More than 77 tips for scientific work” and the open applications used. After a short lecture, we can try out together with you which possibilities open digital tools offer. Prior knowledge is always good, but not required.“

Information about the event can also be found on the Digitaltag event page.

For further information and questions, please contact Florian Hagen.

More about the Digitaltag

The intiative „Digital für alle“ is sponsoring the second edition of the Digitaltag. This event aims to make digitization accessible to interested parties through various activities and formats. All associations, companies and public institutions are welcome to contribute their own ideas to provide space for exchange and discussion on various aspects of digitization. All activities will be presented on www.digitaltag.eu via an interactive action map.

You can also find out more about Digitaltag under the hashtag #Digitaltag.


#OAWeek2020 Single-Source-Publishing with Swapfire and OJS

The project Modern Publishing – part of the Hamburg Open Science (HOS) program – combines the many years of experience of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the Hamburg State and University Library (SUB). Both institutions started their collaboration in 2019 to develop a process chain for Single-Source-Publishing based on open source solutions such as GitLab and Open Journal Systems. In addition to aspects of collaboration and participation, the focus is also on automatisms for generating different formats of a publication.

First architectural design (2019)

At the Open Access Days 2019 (OA Days), the first draft of the sociotechnical system and its components of the tool chain – Markdown, pandoc-scholar, GitLab, Docker, Hypothes.is and OJS – were presented during the poster session::


Ill.: Poster for the OA-Days 2019 (Source: https://zenodo.org/record/3267474#.X4m5YC-201I).


The writing and publishing process is divided into three phases: the writing, the pre-submission and the submission stage (see Dürkop / Hagen 2019). The writing stage includes the writing process of one or more authors, which leads to a first draft of the text. The pre-submission stage is the phase before the submission, in which different tools are used to generate different formats. Collaborative feedback processes allow a quality control of the contribution before it is transferred to the target system in the desired or required formats as part of the submission stage – in case of our project OJS.

As part of the tool marketplace at the OA Days 2019, interested parties were able to gain further insights. For the project team, the direct exchange with professional colleagues was particularly valuable. This way the process chain and its flexibility could be developed further with different perspectives in mind.

Architectural draft (2020)

The result of the continuing work is Single-Source-Publishing with Swapfire and OJS, which will also be presented as part of our Open-Access-Week workshop (workshop registration) by Tim Boxhammer (SUB HH), Axel Dürkop (tub.), Florian Hagen (tub.), Albert Krewinkel ( tub.) and Isabella Meinecke (SUB HH) today from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.:

Prozesskette SWAPFIRE

Ill.: Single-Source-Publishing with Swapfire and OJS (Source: https://doi.org/10.15480/882.2902).


The representation – in the form of a vortex or a kind of snail – shows a workflow of the project for Single-Source-Publishing of a journal publication. Markdown texts are converted into PDF and HTML files with the help of static site generators and converters – depending on which target formats (e.g. journal articles, but also teaching-learning scripts or websites) are needed.

The process chain is divided into seven steps:

  • 1. Authors submit article texts, metadata and references in OJS.
  • 2. Following an assessment, the submitted document – if it is available as a DOCX file, for example – is converted into a Markdown file with Pandoc.
  • 3. After the conversion process has been completed, the text corpus must be checked and edited manually.
  • 4. As part of step 4, the references are prepared for the use of the submitted BibLaTeX file.
  • 5. With the help of Netlify CMS the metadata is recorded.
  • 6. Formats such as HTML or PDF are continuously produced with GitLab (universal content management system), Docker (container virtualization) and pandoc-scholar (format conversion).
  • 7. The final files are finally uploaded to OJS and published.


Practical application and workshop

In practice, the different possibilities of the process chain were tested with specialist colleagues inside at the TUHH and beyond. Most recently, the freely available and peer-reviewed scientific journal kommunikation@gesellschaft – which has carried out research regarding information and communication technologies for 20 years – was relaunched according to Open Access and Open Science standards using the method shown above.

The project team is looking forward to the workshop and is always open to questions and suggestions.


Further information on the Modern Publishing project:


More about the Open Access Week 2020:

tub. receives “Open Library” Award

The Library of the Hamburg University of Technology (tub.) has been committed to openness in science and teaching for many years. For example, the projects Research Data Management, Modern Publishing and Research Information System are and have been initiated within the Hamburg Open Science (HOS) program, and open education has been initiated through the projects Open Academic Work and tub.torials as part of the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). The tub. was also involved in the openTUHH Policy for the promotion of digital cultural change at the university. The policy emerged from the HOOU and HOS projects at the TUHH.

These efforts have now been awarded with the Open Library Badge 2020. The award honors the commitment of libraries to more openness in science and society. We at the tub. support various openness movements (e.g. Open Science, Open Access, Open Education) out of conviction and are very pleased that our efforts have now been recognised with the Open Library Badge.

On the best practice pages of the award you can see which criteria we already meet today.

You can also find more information about our projects in the project overview.

Open Library Badge 2020

#OAWeek2019 tub.torials – thoughts, ideas and materials about openness in science, research and teaching

Open Access, Open Data, Open Educational Resources, Open Methodology, Open Science, Open Source, Open Peer Review – movements dedicated to the openness, transparency and accessibility of information. These values are associated with the prospect of participation, diversity and equality. If possible, knowledge should be available and usable free of charge for all. But what exactly does openness mean? Continue reading

Today is Tolkien Reading Day!


The 25th of March is certainly marked red in calenders of many reading enthusiasts because today is “Tolkien Reading Day”. The celebration of the works and fantastic worlds of the British author J.R.R. Tolkien has taken place since 2003.

The date is not chosen randomly as the 25th of March marks the fall of the Dark Lord Sauron in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”-Trilogy.

For patrons of the tub. it is therefore recommended to take a glimpse in „A companion to J.R.R. Tolkien“ (available within TUHH intranet). Among other things the scientific work provides an insight into the life of Tolkien as well as defining topics in his works.

Anyone who has always wanted to know more about unpublished stories, poems, maps or notes about Middle-earth should also take a look.

Screenshot of "A companion to J.R.R. Tolkien" in tub.find

Patrons of the library can also view further scholarly engagement with Tolkien’s work in the Journal of Tolkien Research. Here you can learn more about the flora of Middle-earth or the general representation of nature in Tolkien’s works.

We hope you enjoy browsing, reading and marveling.