„Re-orienting search engine research in information science” | JASIST Special Issue

The JASIST Special Issue on „Re-orienting search engine research in information science”, co-edited by Dirk Lewandowski, Jutta Haider, Olof Sundin, has now been published. It offers lots of reading material about Internet Search and Search Engines, including the article „Impact and Development of an Open Web Index for open web search“ that many OWS.EU consortium members co-wrote are now available in the JASIST Special Issue.

Find shortcuts to the articles here:

Editorial: Re-orienting search engine research in information science
(Dirk Lewandowski, Jutta Haider, Olof Sundin)

Impact and development of an Open Web Index for open web search
(Michael Granitzer et al.)

The influence of knowledge type and source reputation on preferences for website or video search results
(Georg Pardi, Steffen Gottschling, Yvonne Kammerer)

Virtuous search: A framework for intellectual virtue in online search
(Tim Gorichanaz)

Dark sides of artificial intelligence: The dangers of automated decision-making in search engine advertising
(Carsten D. Schultz, Christian Koch, Rainer Olbrich)

Is googling risky? A study on risk perception and experiences of adverse consequences in web search
(Helena Häußler, Sebastian Schultheiß, Dirk Lewandowski)

Towards improving user awareness of search engine biases: A participatory design approach
(Monica Lestari Paramita, Maria Kasinidou, Styliani Kleanthous, Paolo Rosso, Tsvi Kuflik, Frank Hopfgartner)

Making the invisible visible: Critical discourse analysis as a tool for search engine research
(Renee Morrison)

The elusive search engine: How search engine use is reflected in survey reports
(Cecilia Andersson, Olof Sundin)

Shaping information and knowledge on climate change technologies: A cross-country qualitative analysis of carbon capture and storage results on Google search
(Jussara Rowland, Sergi López-Asensio, Ataberk Bagci, Ana Delicado, Ana Prades)

“Join the drive for a new open European infrastructure for web search” I CORDIS

The Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) is the European Commission’s primary source of results from the projects funded by the EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation, from FP1 to Horizon Europe.

OWS.EU – as Horizon Europe project – is currently calling on third-parties to contribute innovations and infrastructure to help further develop the Open Web Index. The Calls have been published on the CORDIS website and they are closing on April 4th 17 CET:


“People to Watch: Dieter Kranzlmüller” I HPCwire

“The OpenWebSearch.eu project and the Open Search Foundation — both founded and based in Europe — come from a background of open source, open data, open access, and open science. These values have always resonated with my academic career, but of course also with LRZ as an institution“, says Dieter Kranzlmüller – Chair of the Board of Directors, Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) – in a recent interview on HPCwire. Being named a “person to watch in 2024“ by the renowned computer-centred news platform, he was asked to share about LRZ‘s role in the OpenWebSearch.eu project. As one of the 14 consortium partners LRZ plays a key role in providing a stable infrastructure as one of Germany‘s top notch data centres.

Read more about LRZ‘s European scope in the full interview:


“Towards an unbiased digital world“ I CERN Courier

“We don’t want to copy what others are doing.“ – Interview with Andreas Wagner of ows.eu project partner CERN

2024 marks the second year for the EU funded project OpenWebSearch.eu – a project that aims to develop and create a European Open Web Index to ensure European sovereignty in the digital arena. Among the 14 project partners is CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva. Andreas Wagner of the CERN IT Department and responsible for the OWS.EU project lead within CERN, was interviewed about the ambitious project in CERN Courier – the renowned monthly magazine for high-energy physics.

In the interview he shares about the collaborative approach of the project in building a foundation for less biased, transparent and open access to information in the digital world. Read about the current status of the project, including first crawling activities, as well as an outlook on how the project could move ahead with regard to aspects such as funding, navigating through legal frameworks and establishing ethical rules of conduct and curation.

Read the article online at CERN Courier

“Those who defend the free Internet against the state and corporations” I Telepolis.de

Three years, five data centers, six universities, six third-party partners,…: The OpenWebSearch.eu project was initiated in 2022 by 14 European partners with the aim to create an open, European search index. One of the partners being the Open Search Foundation in Starnberg near Munich.

For his book “Der Kampf um das Internet – Wie Wikipedia, Mastodon und Co. die Tech-Giganten herausfordern”, author Stefan Mey interviewed the Open Search Foundation‘s board members Stefan Voigt and Christine Plote about the basic ideas, motivations and drive behind the Open Search Initiative.

You can now read an excerpt from the interview on Telepolis (available in German): https://www.telepolis.de/features/Wer-das-freie-Internet-gegen-Staat-und-Konzerne-verteidigt-9585983.html?seite=2

Also in the book: a portrait of the Open Search Foundation. Find the book on the publisher’s website: https://www.chbeck.de/mey-kampf-internet/product/35518159

“Ethical, open and non-commercial: the Open Web Search project is designed to provide Europe with the right alternative to existing search engines” | CERN news

Our project partner CERN featured OWS.EU in their news section. Very readworthy article about the Open Web Search project and its goal of securing Europe’s contributing to Europe’s digital sovereignty as well as promoting an open human-centered search engine market.

“Together with the other partners, we have started by simply discussing possible ways of building a new neutral indexing system,” explains ows.eu team member Andreas Wagner from CERN. “Although the system is still very preliminary, running the it on our own set of webpages at CERN has proved useful as it has allowed us to learn critical things about our own internal search engine. In other words, the project will also help CERN to improve its own search capabilities and will provide an open science search function across CERN’s multiple information repositories.”

Read the full article on the CERN news section

“Meet the StormCrawler users: Q&A with the OpenWebSearch.eu project” | Digital Pebbles

Interview on StormCrawler blog for an interview with Michael Dinzinger and Saber Zerhoudi, both researchers in the ows.eu project.

Learn about their research at the Uni Passau, about resource-efficient crawling and how they build crawling pipelines for an open web index – and why the heterogeneous infrastructure of the project is a major challenge in their work.

Read the interview here:


“Eine Suchmaschine für Europa” | ORF

Austrian broadcaster ORF reported in his radio program „Ö1 Digital.Leben“on our European OpenWebSearch.eu initiative and the EU project and called the movement “Search Engine Rebels”. The two interviewed are Alexander Nussbaumer from TU Graz and Stefan Voigt from Open Search Foundation/DLR.

Here is the radio piece (German):

“The web is critical infrastructure, and should be treated as such” | HIPEAC info

… headlines #HIPEAC magazine #69. It features a comprehensive interview with OpenWebSearch.eu researchers Noor Afshan Fathima (CERN) and Katja Mankinen (CSC – IT Center for Science) and project coordinator and Michael Granitzer (Universität Passau).

HiPeac Cover #69Very readworthy article about Open Web Search, Large Language Models and why an Open Web Index is important for Europe’s economy and science landscape.

Download the magazine here:


“Basis for a thousand search engines – The EU wants to build a public web index by 2025” | c’t

“Does it always have to be Google or Bing? With the OpenWebSearch project, the EU wants to protect its sovereignty on the Internet. The goal is a freely accessible web directory that feeds diverse search engines and language models and should trigger a boom in new web services.”

In the German IT and tech magazine c’t, journalist Arne Grävemeyer takes a detailed look at the EU project openwebsearch.eu, with which 13 European organisations are pushing the development of an open web index. Michael Granitzer (University of Passau, OSF and project lead of openwebsearch.eu), Stefan Voigt (Open Search Foundation, DLR), Christian Gütl (Graz University of Technology) and Phil Höfer (SuMa e.V./MetaGer) have their say. The article is in German, here are some quotes:

“But what could you do with a large web index if it were freely available to the public? One could build alternative search engines or specialised search services according to selected topics. Users would have free choice and could better protect their private user profiles. Linguists could use the data pool of a large web index to follow how our language is developing, and sociologists could observe how we interact with each other in the social media. Web services could use it to look for clues to incipient pandemics or other catastrophic events and thus build an early warning system.”

“We are not a European Google,” says Michael Granitzer, Chair of Data Science at the University of Passau, who is coordinating the OpenWebSearch project. He says the project is not about building a large search engine, but much more fundamentally about establishing an infrastructure that search engines and other services can later work with. Google’s size is certainly out of reach at the beginning. “It will be more like Wikipedia, which started with a small core compared to large publishers and then grew continuously.”

“Even at the start of the project, and thus before the hype around ChatGPT, the partners considered the Open Web Index, with its focus on European content and languages, as a data pool for specialised language models. New search engines could also immediately use these models as an interface for search queries. “Users are usually not looking for links, but for answers to their questions or even suggested solutions,” says Gütl. That speaks for the use of chatbots, he says.”

“In terms of Europe’s digital sovereignty, the Open Web Index can certainly be seen as a critical infrastructure. The project partners hope that it will create transparent structures on the web. The envisaged European web index promises more plurality and hopefully benefits above all those who simply provide the best and most reliable information on their websites.”

Online version of the (german) article (paywall) at heise.de

Links to Open Web Search, compiled by c’t: ct.de/y6sw