Doctoral Research on Web Science, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, User Studies, Germany

Publish Date: Sep 14, 2016

Deadline: Sep 30, 2016


The ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ( is the world’s largest information centre for economic literature. The ZBW is a research-based academic library and a member of the Leibniz Association. In addition, the ZBW is scientifically affiliated to the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel. ZBW is a high-tech information infrastructure conducting research in library and information science, computer science, and related areas, particularly in Web Science, Social Media and User-generated Content, Altmetrics and Science 2.0. In addition, ZBW develops innovative technologies for operating the IT infrastructure for its own library. The research group Science 2.0 of ZBW comprises three professors on Web science (Prof. Peters), Knowledge Discovery (Prof. Scherp), and Media Informatics (Prof. Tochtermann) and currently has twelve PhD students and post-doctoral students.

At ZBW Web Science is considered as specialized „Science 2.0“ that researches technological developments in research and publication processes, usage behavior of economists and other researchers, and interaction with scholarly products via social media (e.g., altmetrics). The project *metrics - MEasuring The Reliability and perceptions of Indicators for interactions with sCientfic productS, funded by the DFG German Research Foundation, aims at studying alternative metrics for the evaluation of scholarly communication and impact. It will focus on the assessment and critical reflection of social media data as basis for novel indicators of scholarly output. Also, the project researches how those indicators are perceived by researchers from social science and economics.

For the project *metrics (funded by the DFG German Research Foundation) we seek to fill for the Web Science group the following position:

Doctoral Researcher (PhD student)

Remuneration is based on the public sector pay scale at grade EG 13 TV-L (100% - 38.7 hours per week). The position is fixed-term to 24 months. Time-limitation is based on the regulations of the German WissZeitVG (Gesetz über befristete Arbeitsverträge in der Wissenschaft). This is a full-time position. The proposed starting date is January 1, 2017. We also offer the opportunity to use this position for working on a PhD thesis in Computer Science at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.

Your tasks

  • Research and application of methods and algorithms in the area of Web Science, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, User Studies
  • Active participation in the DFG project *metrics in the area of social media metrics
  • Analysis of user data from various social media platforms and of surveys and experiments
  • Evaluation of social media platforms and altmetrics aggregators
  • Exchange and networking with researchers and user communities
  • Scientific documentation and presentation of developments and results

Your profile

  • successfully completed (University or University of Applied Science) in library and information science, computer science or related subjects – or in social science or economics. Applicants from social sciences or economics are requested to demonstrate knowledge about information technology. Studies (Master’s degree, Diploma, or similar) need to be accomplished upon commencement of one’s duties.
  • very good programming skills (preferably Python)
  • experience with data mining of social media data or internet data (e.g., APIs or bibliometric studies)
  • excellent analytical skills and ability to work independently
  • fluent in written and spoken English
  • ability to work in teams and to cooperate
  • interest in trends and developments in the field of social media, scientometrics/bibliometrics, including indicators for measuring scholarly communication
  • interest in interdisciplinary research fields such as Web Science and Computational Social Science
  • willingness to travel to conferences or other meetings is expected
  • in addition, first experience in at least one of the following areas would be desirable:
    1. Empirical social science methods and statistics (tools and methods)
    2. Statistic modelling of user behaviour
    3. Performance of usablity tests

We offer

  • challenging and varied tasks in a dynamic environment and relevant research field where team work, transparency, innovation and learning are essential
  • the public sector pension plan (according to VBL)
  • a work place at the Fjord of Kiel
  • close collaboration and exchange with Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, with approx. 24,000 students today
  • part-time is possible
  • equal opportunity and family-friendly policies

Are you interested in joining the Web Science team?

Apply online now (ID-Nr. D3-06).

We are looking forward receiving your convincing application papers. Your application papers should contain a cover letter, a current CV, complete transcripts of university grades, and an informative abstract of the Master’s thesis (max. 1 page).

For inquiries about the open position please contact Prof. Dr. Isabella Peters (, Tel. 0049-431-8814-623.

Please submit your application with the relevant documents online by September 30, 2016.

We look forward to meeting you!

To APPLY ONLINE click "Further official information" below.

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