Here is the time to summarize the events, activities and achievements of 2021. Although there were some challenges and issues hat have been overcome, it was quite fruitful, and I am absolutely grateful for that. Therefore, in this post I would like to refer to positive events and their results.
Perhaps the first achievement to be mentioned is the LATA award. More specifically, this year, for my research, public activity and other achievements, the LATA (Latvian Open Technologies Association) has recognized me as a person of the year and has awarded me for promoting open data and open technologies. I believe it gave me strength, forces and inspiration for future activities.
So, I have worked hard this year, both independently and with some very skilled and intelligent colleagues, and this gave some results. In short:
- 16 papers, including one chapter (some of them will be officially published in 2022), 6 conference papers, 9 journal articles, including 6 articles in Q1 journals. Some of these articles have been recommended by international organizations, including the world’s largest and most significant open data portal data.europa.eu, the Open Data Daily (PSI Monitor), World Health Organization, Europe PMC and FreeMedArt etc.;
- 7 international conferences attended as a speaker with 5 papers, 2 posters, 2 more talks on the results of ongoing projects and 1 invited talk. Thank you RCIS (International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science), ICEGOV (International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance “Smart Digital Governance for Global Sustainability“), IDSTA (International Conference on Intelligent Data Science Technologies and Applications), IoTSMS (International conference on Internet of Things, Systems, Management and Security), EBW (European Biobank week), International Conference and Expo on Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials – it was a really great experience, and it is great that, despite the pandemic, you have managed to organize such great events with such a nice audience and brilliant speakers (both participants and keynotes).
Some of these activities were the results of very independent non-funded studies (mostly relates to open (government) data-related studies), others were the results of projects in which I was involved in recent months and years:
- three ERDF-funded projects, two of which have already been completed during this year and one currently running;
- H2020 project “INTEGROMED: Integration of knowledge and biobank resources in comprehensive translational approach for personalized prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders” conducted in collaboration with the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, BBMRI-ERIC Latvian National Node, which I have joined this year as an IT-expert;
- European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Task Force “FAIR metrics and data quality”, where we work hard with so many colleagues from different countries representing different areas and share our experience, knowledge and skills, including our very first activity – an input provided on Horizon Europe Work Programme, i.e. we really want to make this world and science better.
Over the next months, I have joined several associations and teams with which we have worked on different topics. In particular:
- joined the above mentioned European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Task Force “FAIR metrics and data quality”;
- became a part of Quantum Humanities Network hosted by the university of Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany), which is represented by researchers from Germany, Spain, Finland, Latvia and Romania. With the colleagues forming this network, the application for CHANSE funding has been submitted and has already successfully passed the first round of review.
- became an expert of the Latvian Council of Sciences – (1) Natural Sciences – Computer Science and Informatics and (2) Engineering and Technology-Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
- became a part of BBMRI-ERIC node, Quality Management Task Force;
- and even took part (although in a tiny activity) in providing an input for proposal for a European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities and Communities (EIF4SCC) – the study conducted by Deloitte and KU Leuven (Belgium) for the European Commission.
In addition, although I had some experience in reviewing papers for both journals and conferences, this year I took a step further and became part of the Editorial Board and / or Editor for several venues and even became the general chair of one international conference. More precisely:
- almost 50 reviews provided for 13 high-quality journals (mostly Q1-Q2 journals) and 7 conferences;
- Editorial Board Member for BMC Research Notes (Springer Nature);
- Associate Editor for the International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems (IJSWIS) (IGI Global),
- Guest Editor for Special Issue in the MDPI Energies “Hybrid Data-Driven and Physical Modelling for Energy-Related Problems: Towards Smarter Energy Management”;
- Topic Editor of “Digital Transformation and E-Government”;
- General Chair of the Electronic Governance with Emerging Technologies Conference (EGETC) together with my colleagues from Spain and Mexico. We have already managed to invite and get accepted very experienced PC members and excellent keynote;
- program committee for 9 conferences, the publicity chair for one conference and chair for two sessions in the one of the above conferences;
- invited as Plenary Speaker for ONE – Health, Environment, Society – conference co-organised by the EFSA, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC);
- invited to organize my own panel session for Research & Innovation forum (2022), which I have titled „Security of data storage facilities: is your database sufficiently protected?”.
In addition, I have gained a new experience of delivering Invited Talks and Guest Lectures. The Invited Talk entitled “Open Data as a driver of Society 5.0: how you and your scientific outputs can contribute to the development of the Super Smart Society and transformation into Smart Living?“ was delivered during the International Conference and Expo on Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials, which organizers have invited me to speak about the open science and its role in current scientific community. For the Guest Lectures, they were two – (1) “Open data: ecosystem, current and future trends, success stories and barriers“, the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) (Norway, web-based), (2) “Open data potential“, LU Faculty of Social Sciences/ Institute for Social and Political Studies, Latvia. I am grateful to both, the colleagues who have invited me and the audience – I was very surprised by your passionate for the knowledge and lively discussion we had at the end of these lectures. Although here I should also refer to my own students and particularly Accenture students – you really are a dream audience. And thank you for your very positive feedback you left – it is my pleasure and I am so pleased that you really appreciate the efforts I have invested in my lectures and courses and feel my support.
In addition, there were some local activities and achievements, such as:
- developed and successfully launched a course for master and doctoral students (Faculty of Computer Science), entitled “Open government data in a data-driven world” (3 ECTS),
- served as an expert / mentor for Latvian open geospatial data hackathon for pupils 2021 organized by the National Centre for Education Republic of Latvia – the team I have mentored, won!
- served as an expert for the “Idea Laboratory 2021” in scope of the Emerging Technologies and Innovations Days of University of Latvia – here the same, the team I have mentored, won!
- supervised 15 thesis, successfully defended by my students. For two of them conference papers have been developed and already published, thus doing my best to find new talents and engage them in the scientific community;
- delivered lecture “Open data: ecosystem, use-case, potential advantages and open questions” to participants of the School of Excellence (in collaboration with the youth Foundation “Vertical” (“Vertikāle”)) in addition to invited lectures I mentioned above;
- served as an advisor for the Faculty of Social Sciences/Institute for Social and Political Studies;
- delivered a talk during the 14th conference of Latvian Association of Open Technologies “How to Stay Open in the New Era” entitled “Timeliness of open pandemic related data in national open data portals: a long way from the data publisher to the data user“
- participated in the 79th International Conference of the University of Latvia and presented two talks – (1) “User-centered analysis of the usability of Open Government Data (OGD) portals“ and (2) “DQMBT or data quality model-based testing of information systems”.
This is just a short list of the activities conducted and the achievements achieved, for which I would like to thank both 2021 and all those who have supported me. Thank you 2021 and bye! Welcome 2022!