Proceedings #wows24 are out

Organized by a committee of researchers of the OWS.EU consortium, the 1st “International Workshop on Open Web Search“ took place as a side event of #ECIR24. The hybrid workshop welcomed over 30 participants to discuss and workshop ideas for the future of #OpenWebSearch.

A Keynote by Negar Arabzadeh from the University of Waterloo on “Evaluation of Information Access Systems in the Generative Era“ kicked off the day, followed by presentations and discussions.
 Eight papers have been selected with topics like “Assembling four Open Web Search Components“, “A Mastodon Corpus to Evaluate Federated Microblog Search“ and “Efficiently Scoring the Health-relatedness of Web Pages“ to name just a few.

The proceedings are out now and can be accessed here.

The workshop was organised and the proceedings were edited by:
Sheikh Mastura Farzana, German Aerospace Center DLR
Maik Fröbe, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Gijs Hendriksen, Radboud University
Michael Granitzer, University of Passau
Djoerd Hiemstra, Radboud University
Martin Potthast, Leipzig University
Saber Zerhoudi, University of Passau

Is Google search getting worse? New resarch says yes.

Is Google search getting worse? Many people now have impression that the search engine behemoth is no longer returning as good results as it did a few years ago. If you search for computer accessories, for example, or want to find out about travel destinations, the search results are mainly links to commercial blogs or comparison portals. And it’s not just Google that is affected; the quality of search results from Bing and DuckDuckGo also seems to be suffering from a flood of affiliate portals.

Researchers from project partner Webis have now investigated this topic. Janek Bevendorff, Matti Wiegmann, Martin Potthast and Benno Stein spent over a year researching how affiliate content influences search engines. To do this, they observed Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo for a year for 7,392 product review queries. According to the study, websites that compare products and link to commercial providers are largely responsible for the deterioration of web search.

Read the summary of the study “Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines” on the Webis Group website.

„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)

“People to Watch: Dieter Kranzlmüller” I HPCwire

“The 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 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:


„It takes plenty of little Davids“ I Agoratalk

The project was mentioned in a recent Agoratalk podcast episode featuring Christine Plote – Chairwoman at the Open Search Foundation which is one of the fourteen OWS.EU consortium entities.

The title of the episode was “Ethics in the digital space. Alternatives instead of regulation on the net”. Together with podcast hosts Daniel Höche and Olivier Blanchard, Christine discussed the current digital landscape including ethical and societal challenges. The conversation also dove into the rather monopolistic search engine market that capitalizes on private data and shapes filter bubbles with huge, yet often invisible societal consequences.

Christine Plote shared insights on the motivation behind OWS.EU, explaining why it takes many “small Davids“ to build true alternatives to the established commerce-driven web search giants.

To listen to the full interview (in German language) click on the link below:

Proceedings #ossym23 – 5th international Symposium on Open Search

The proceedings of the 5th International Open Search Symposium #ossym23 have been published Vol. 5 (2023): Proceedings 5th International Open Search Symposium #ossym2023, 4–6 October 2023, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland Volume five of the Proceedings of the International Open Search Symposium 2023 summarises peer-reviewed articles and research results selected and presented at the Open Search Symposium 2023. […]

Proceedings #ossym22 – 4th international Symposium on Open Search

The proceedings of the 4th International Open Search Symposium #ossym22 have been published.

Vol. 4 (2022): Proceedings 4th International Open Search Symposium #ossym2022, 10–12 October 2022, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

Volume two of the Proceedings of the International Open Search Symposium 2022 summarises articles and research results selected and presented at the Open Search Symposium 2022.

The proceedings are freely available and can be accessed via the following sources:

Direct link to pdf file:

ISSN: 2957-4935

ISBN: 978-92-9083-646-9


Read more

Opinion paper: Impact and development of an Open Web Index for Open Web Search | JASIST

A quick read yet thorough overview of the possibilities, technical aspects and principles of an Open Web Index

The OpenWebSearch.Eu consortium published an opinion paper on “The Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST)” about the impact and development of an Open Web Index. The 23-strong author team explains the challenges and outlines six basic principles for developing and maintaining an open web index, based on the principles of open data, legal compliance and collaborative technology development.


Read the full paper here:

Get the full paper as pdf: