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BISE Student: From Desk Drawer to Center Stage: Highlighting the Value of Student Theses

BISE Student: From Desk Drawer to Center Stage: Highlighting the Value of Student Theses

Veröffentlicht: 2022 Dezember

Journal: Business & information systems engineering
Nummer: 6
Seiten: 701-706
Verlag: Springer
Volume: 64

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In today’s academic practice, at the end of most of the study programs worldwide students submit a thesis, which often disappears into a non-public university archive or desk drawer, never to be seen again. Many of these works are being carried out with great thoroughness and produce results of high practical and scientific value for other students, researchers, and practitioners. Looking back into the past, there are many examples of ideas from student theses that changed the world, such as Carl Friedrich Gauss’ research in 1799 on “A new proof of the theorem that every integral rational algebraic function of one variable can be resolved...“, Alan Turing’s work in 1938 on “On Computable Numbers, With An Application to the Entscheidungsproblem”, or recently in 2001 Rebecca Mercuri with her work on “Electronic Vote Tabulation: Checks and Balances”. Following in the footsteps of these geniuses, in 2021 alone over 500,000 students in Germany have received university-level degrees, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Federal Statistical Office 2022), each of which was completed with some form of written thesis (e.g., a bachelor’s or master’s thesis). However, the magnitude and potential of this source of knowledge is currently scarcely used. The main problem lies in the fact that most theses are often not revised into papers. After submitting their thesis, students often go straight into professional life and simply do not have the necessary time, motivation, or know-how to attend the typical scientific publication process of conferences or journals. This includes, among other things, shortening the thesis to a few pages, revising the text several times, and translating it into English, if necessary. This work can also only very rarely be taken on by the examiners of the thesis or colleagues at the university, as the effort would exceed the available resources. Consequently, student theses are not submitted to appropriate outlets and thus often not published. In order to pave the way towards a more open knowledge culture that thrives on all potential sources, we must boldly rethink what constitutes valuable scientific knowledge and the way it is shared through technical information infrastructures. Facilitating discovery, usage, and extension of all knowledge, the open knowledge ideally allows anyone for whatever purpose to freely access, use, modify, and share it, limited only by measures that preserve provenance and openness (Open Knowledge Foundation 2015b). In this sense, it is not enough to offer free access to raw data or information in order to promote openness. Open knowledge is what open data becomes when it is useful, usable, and used, which means that it is accessible, understandable, meaningful, and able to solve real problems. Hence, knowledge needs to be useful (Open Knowledge Foundation 2015a). In this regard, a rethinking in the public and private sectors has become apparent in recent years under the collective term open knowledge. Many projects such as Wikipedia, the Open Government Partnership Initiative, or numerous Citizen Science projects provide community created knowledge. The goal of the open knowledge movement is to open access to knowledge as well as to expand and share it with all levels of society. For example, the Open Knowledge Foundation defines that knowledge is only truly open when everyone "can freely access, use, modify, and share it – limited at most by measures that preserve the origin and openness of knowledge" (Open Knowledge Foundation 2015b). However, such a barrier-free exchange between knowledge creators and knowledge consumers, or even the merging of these two roles, is currently still the exception. Our vision is to create, disseminate and expand knowledge. We firmly believe that we can only move forward as a society if we build on existing knowledge. A functioning democracy is built on free access to knowledge and education, and this is also one of the society's core responsibilities in the digital age. In hope of improving the current situation regarding the publication of student theses, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in cooperation with the BISE Journal have developed BISE Student (, a platform to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from student theses – starting with the area of Information Systems – to society. BISE Student aims to make the publication of excellent student theses much easier for students and universities. It provides an open and highly visible platform that makes the inherent knowledge usable and, thus, reveals the real value of bachelor’s, master’s, and diploma theses. BISE Student aims to achieve four principal goals. First, our main goal is to increase the visibility and, thus, the benefit of student theses. In particular, the platform aims to reduce the publication effort of theses by providing a very simple and fast publication process, while ensuring that quality standards are met. Second, in the spirit of the open knowledge movement, the goal is to provide access to student theses (and thus to the knowledge they contain) to as many people as possible without restrictions. In science, access to knowledge is often only possible for payment or locally limited (Piwowar et al. 2018). This has certainly its justification, due to the high expenditure for publishers which arise during a publication process (i.e., copy editing etc.). Therefore, it is difficult to publish a large number of student works in this way, which in turn is a major limitation to the free dissemination of knowledge. Third, BISE Student aims to make the publishing process as transparent and secure as possible, so that at any time the process is traceable, a subsequent change cannot be made unseen, and thus ultimately the trust in the system and the publication should be increased. Fourth, the platform’s goal is to enable anyone interested in the project to easily participate and help to operate and evolve the platform. In this way, BISE Student is not only less reliant on a single party and its influence, but also increases its digital resilience and sustainability.

ISSN: 2363-7005, 1867-0202
Weitere Informationen unter: Link
DOI Link: 10.1007/s12599-022-00781-9


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