PhD Defense Digital Media: ”Connect-the-Dots: Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Investigative Journalism”

Requested by:
Joana Rodrigues da Silva

Date, time and place
July 19, 14h30, room L119 DEMEC (FEUP)

President of the Jury:
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Teresa Isabel Lopes Romão, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
Luís António Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Ciências de Comunicação, Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade do Minho;
Miguel Ângelo Rodrigues Midões, PhD, Invited Adjunct Professor, Departamento de Comunicação e Arte, Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu;
Helena Laura Dias de Lima, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação e da Informação, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Alexandre Miguel Barbosa Valle de Carvalho, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.


After the COVID-19 epidemic and the consequent humanitarian crises that devastated the planet, there is a need to claim the role of investigative journalism as a watchdog and permeation system of social justice and democracy through public exposure. We are witnessing a sharp decrease in investment in this journalism specialty, either because of its impertinence in dealing with public management issues or because of the time spent on this type of investigation, which fundamentally takes longer than current journalism to produce results. In this sense, we perceive the influence of automation and artificial intelligence in information production processes to highlight all human tasks with the possibility of being carried out in less time by technological systems. Considering this possibility, there was an interest in studying, in-depth, how robotics and the application of artificial intelligence through platforms that support the usual procedure of journalism can help and even improve the global state of investigative journalism practice, nowadays. The Connect-the-Dots platform and the DODO assistant emerge as a hypothetical digital solution for some of the problems that investigative journalism currently faces. It could be a way to practically implement investigative journalism in its scope of innovation by integrating tools and open-source practices in a Design-Based-Research approach to knowledge archaeology.”

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Investigative Journalism, Design-Based-Research, Digital Media.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Modelo para utilização da prosódia e da interacção no acesso às expressões matemáticas através da fala sintetizada para pessoas com deficiência visual”

Adriana Silva Souza

Date, time and place:
July 10, 10:30,  Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury:
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Vitor Manuel Pereira Duarte dos Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor, NOVA Information Management School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
João Manuel Pereira Barroso, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Vice-Reitor para a Inovação, Transferência de Tecnologia e Universidade Digital, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro;
João Paulo Ramos Teixeira, PhD, Coordinator Professor, Departamento de Eletrotecnia, Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão do Instituto Politécnico de Bragança;
Maria Selene Henriques da Graça Vicente, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Psicologia, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto;
Maria do Rosário Marques Fernandes Teixeira de Pinho, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;
Diamantino Rui da Silva Freitas, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (supervisor).


“The synthesized speech of mathematical contents still presents several challenges. For Mathematics to be understood by people with visual impairment, it needs to be verbalized in detail, which generates long outputs and causes cognitive overload; in addition, Mathematics has quite peculiar rules. Therefore, most of the time, prosodic limits such as pauses, and intonation are not adequately synthesized. This investigation proposes a model that uses prosody and interaction to access mathematical expressions to minimize the problems mentioned. We relied on the Design-Based Research methodology to develop the model and divided the study into four stages. In the first stage, a systematic literature review was carried out. We conducted an initial exploration investigation with interviews with students with visual impairments and braille teachers and analyzed the mathematics spoken by speech synthesizers. In the second stage of the investigation, a corpus of mathematical expressions spoken by math professors was created to support prosody research. Intonation and pauses were the investigated prosodic components. Although the studies have yet to go into intonation in-depth, we did some tests of prosodic modulation of the fundamental frequency, highlighting stretches of mathematical expressions according to the level in the MathML tree. Concerning pauses, we identified their main patterns in mathematical expressions. We also performed an eye-tracking experiment with sighted people to understand the cognitive processes surrounding mathematical expressions’ observation, analysis, and processing. In the third stage, a linear regression model which calculates the pauses for mathematical expressions dynamically was created and evaluated with visually impaired students. The results showed advances regarding the solutions found, perceived mainly when the mathematical expressions are unfamiliar to the students. The results of the eye tracking experiment showed that in addition to the complexity of the mathematical expression, it was necessary to propose a new formal concept that was called diversity, quantifying this subjective property of the structures of expressions because it was found that it also impacts during the cognitive processing of expressions. Data analysis provided clues for creating the interaction model that uses diversity to control the cognitive load in accessing mathematical expressions during the process. The evaluation of the model with visually impaired people showed an advance concerning existing works since students performed better when accessing mathematical expressions with the model. In the fourth stage, we made the final proposition of the model based on the assessment of people with visual impairments. The results achieved in this investigation allow greater autonomy in the reading of mathematical expressions; people with visual impairment can govern the interaction in the auditory access according to the need to reinforce their memory; in addition, it can reduce the time in the manipulation of mathematical expressions compared to traditional tools, improve the writing process, since reading is linked to writing and relieve the student’s memory. In addition to these contributions, we can also highlight the discovery of the new diversity parameter, which is strongly related to the cognitive processing of expressions. In general, these contributions make it possible to improve and develop mathematics education, particularly in the teaching-learning process of visually impaired people, making them more autonomous beings, which, in addition to scientific contributions, can also generate social and economic impacts arising from accessibility.”

Keywords: Synthesized Speech, Mathematics, Accessibility, Visual Impairment, Complexity, Diversity.

DEI TALKS | “From Numerical Libraries, To Efficient Matrix Multiplication Compiler-Only Code Generation, To a Modular Automated General Packing Data Transformation” by Prof. J. Nelson Amaral

By the author:

“To support both Artificial Intelligence and High-Performance Computing workloads, new processors have introduced hardware acceleration for matrix multiplication. Examples include the Matrix Multiply Assist (MMA) in the IBM POWER10 and the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) in the Intel Sapphire Rapids microarchitecture for Xeon servers. This talk describes how, in a collaboration between the University of Alberta, the University of Campinas, and IBM, we developed compiler technology to support such accelerators. An initial solution delivered a robust pattern matcher for General Matrix Multiplication (GEMM) computation operating at the LLVM intermediate representation that allows the replacement of the computation with an invocation of a high-performance library. A later solution delivered a compiler-only path for code generation by adapting the layered approach used in numerical libraries to the compiler code-generation process. Finally, a modular and automated general strategy for data packing, which can be applied to multiple algorithms, was developed for the Multi-Level Intermediate Representation (MLRI).”

From Numerical Libraries, To Efficient Matrix Multiplication Compiler-Only Code Generation, To a Modular Automated General Packing Data Transformation” will be presented July 17, at 11:30, room B006, moderated by Prof. Pedro Diniz (DEI) and co-organized by DEI Talks and the University of Porto – Faculty of Engineering ACM Student Chapter.

J. Nelson Amaral, a Computing Science professor at the University of Alberta with a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, has published in optimizing compilers and high-performance computing. Scientific community service includes general chair for the 23rd International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques in 2014, for the International Conference on Performance Engineering in 2020, and for the International Conference on Parallel Processing in 2020. Accolades include ACM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Faculty Fellow, IBM Faculty Awards, IBM CAS “Team of the Year”, awards for excellence in teaching, the University of Alberta Graduate-Student Association Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision, an University of Alberta Award for Outstanding Mentorship in Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities, and a recent University of Alberta 2020 COVID-19 Remote Teaching Award.”

PhD Defense in Digital Media: “Location-Based Serious Games for Science Communication of Natural Heritage”

PhD Defense in Digital Media

Liliana Andreia da Rocha Santos

Date, time and place:
June 29, 14:00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury:
Pedro Nuno Ferreira da Rosa da Cruz Diniz, PhD, Full Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Teresa Isabel Lopes Romão, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
João Paulo Fonseca da Costa Moura, PhD, Assistant Professor, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro;
Paulo Simeão de Oliveira Ferreira de Carvalho, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto;
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Rui Pedro Amaral Rodrigues, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.


“Science Communication assumes increasing importance to encourage people to become more conscious about natural heritage, which is most important for a sustainable society.

This thesis proposes the use of location-based serious games as an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage. We hypothesise that serious games can be an effective tool for science communication of natural heritage and that location-based serious games can further improve science communication of natural heritage by allowing that science communication message to occur in its respective physical context (in loco). With our research questions, we set out to find the role of serious games for science communication of natural heritage, how can location-based serious games contribute to science communication of natural heritage, and how we can help others design location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.

A systematic literature review helped to understand the possible roles of serious games in science communication. It revealed that serious games can raise awareness, enjoyment, interest, opinions and understanding of our natural heritage. We also identified different types of technologies, game mechanics and science communication contents that these games integrate.

This research follows the methodology of design science research. We developed three game prototypes to understand how location-based serious games can contribute to this area, thus answering the second research question. These games included a map with points of interest, the location from a Global Navigation Satellite System, geotagged information, contextualised mini-games, a collectables photo gallery, and content for the general public. They were developed within the context of a specific natural park, however, the concept can be adapted and applied to different parks, botanical gardens, and other green spaces.

The knowledge and experience obtained with the literature review and the creation of the prototypes helped develop a framework and guidelines for creating location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage, thus answering the third research question. The framework includes the context, objectives, how to do it, the product and the responses. The guidelines further assist in the analysis, design, development and evaluation. A co-creation workshop for designing location-based serious games for an urban park was created to validate the framework and the guidelines.

Location-based serious games are an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage, allowing communicating in a more contextualised way and further enhancing the visitor experience. Our main contributions are the framework and guidelines, for designing location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.”

Keywords: Serious Games, Location-Based Games, Science Communication, Natural Heritage.

DEI Talks | “Research, teaching and services in Biomechanics: a virtuous marriage with informatics” by Prof. João Paulo Vilas-Boas

The Porto Biomechanics Laboratory (LABIOMEP-UP) was created with the intention of bringing together the efforts of the critical mass of the University of Porto in the fields of Biomechanics, whether dedicated to teaching, research and university extension, in the fields of sports, forensics, clinical, health and safety, ergonomics, etc. It is, therefore, a unit whose vocation is transversal to most of the University’s territories and, therefore, eminently trans and interdisciplinary.

Dedicated to the study of the causes and effects of forces and tensions generated and applied by and to biological systems and prosthetic and orthotic devices, LABIOMEP-UP uses the measurement and processing of data related to internal and external forces to biological systems and their effects, namely kinematics and plastic adaptations. The operating domains extend from dynamometry to kinemetry, passing through electromyography, morphometry (internal – using medical imaging – and external – using planar and 3D geometries extraction), thermography, and bioenergetics. In any of these spaces, and particularly in the domain of its cross and integrated interpretation, information technology is recurrently present, either through “customer” applications or through dedicated solutions aimed at solving specific problems. This is, obviously, a virtuous marriage: one that flows without great tension being perceived between the merits and limitations of each party. On the contrary: they can no longer live without each other…

 “Research, teaching and services in Biomechanics: a virtuous marriage with informatics” will be presented June 28, 15:00, room B011 at FEUP, moderated by Prof. Rui Camacho (DEI).

João Paulo Vilas-Boas was born in 1960; Full Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Porto, Faculty of Sport, since 2004; Head of LABIOMEP-UP – Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Porto; ISBS Geoffrey Dyson Award 2022; Invited Full Professor of Biomechanics at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, since 2009; resident of the International Council Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming (icBMS); Head of the Biomechanics Laboratory of the University of Porto (LABIOMEP); Member of the Scientific Committee of the Doctoral Course in Sport Sciences of the University of Porto; Member of the Scientific Committee of the Doctoral Course in Physiotherapy of the University of Porto; Member of the Scientific Committee of the Doctoral Course in Occupational Health and Safety of the University of Porto; Member of the Direction Board of the Research Unit CIF2D / FCT; Participant and responsible for several financed research and co-promotion applied research projects; Promoter, co-promoter or advisor of more than 40 Ph.D. defended thesis in Portugal and abroad; Promoter of more than 95 M.Sc. dissertations; teaches Biomechanics and Swimming Science at graduation and post-graduation courses of Sport Sciences, Bioengineering, Physiotherapy and Podiatry in a number of universities in Portugal and abroad; Invited speaker at more than 220 scientific and professional meetings; Author of more than 760 presentations to scientific and professional meetings; Author of more than 420 scientific papers internationally published under peer review process, from which more than 290 indexed at SCOPUS (h-Index=32); Author and / or editor of 14 books with national or international circulation;

Editorial boards member of: Journal of Swimming Research; Springer Book Series: Lecture Notes in Computational Vision and Biomechanics (LNCVB); Journal for Computational Vision and Biomechanics; Revista Brasileira de Docência, Ensino e Pesquisa em Educação Física, Faculdade Central de Cristalina, Brazil; Motricidade; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Review Editor of: Frontier in Bioengineering – Biomechanics.

Associated Editor of: Sports Biomechanics; Portuguese Journal of Sport Sciences; International Journal on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Innovation (IJMAI).

Peer Review boards of more than 30 international journals.

Chairman of the X International Symposium on Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Porto 2006; Co-chairman of the XXIX International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports, ISBS’2011, Porto; Swimming coach for more than 20 years, having participated at European and World Championships; Six times proposed and three times elected “Coach of the Year” of the Portuguese Swimming Coaches Association ; Three times Swimming Teams Portuguese National Champion (Futebol Clube do Porto); Coached bronze medalists in Dunkerque and Malta European Junior Swimming Championships; Olympic Coach at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004; Member of the board of the Portuguese Swimming Federation between December 2004 and 2008; President of the General Assembly of the Portuguese Swimming Federation from 2008 to 2012; Member of the Board of the Olympic Committee of Portugal since 2012; Vice-President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal since 2021.”

CreativityTalks | “The creative individual: from the confluence of requirements to cognition challenges” by Fátima Morais

The twelfth session of Creativity Talks will have as speaker the distinguished researcher from the University of Minho, Fátima Morais, about “The creative individual: from the confluence of requirements to the challenges of cognition”.

“Creativity is explained in the conception of a network of interacting variables, personal and social. However, the focus of this work will be on the individual, the initial actor in the gestation of a creative idea.  Rather than trying to answer what creativity is, it will reflect what a creative individual requires – the term ‘requirements’ potentially implies the operationalization of concepts, hence a proactive and concrete stance of promotion. In this context, after understanding the creative individual as a confluence of different dimensions, his or her cognition will be targeted in greater detail. The creative cognitive processes are the tools that typically mark, in quality and in greater frequency of use, the individuals who provoke innovation. This analysis will carry the responsibility that such tools are applied and promoted in everyone’s daily life – several examples of this educational challenge will be shared. It is hoped that such sharing will allow new ideas in the practices of those who listen to us”.

Maria de Fátima Morais has a degree in Psychology from the University of Porto and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minho. At the latter University, she is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Education. She is a researcher at the Centre for Research in Education (CIEd) at the University of Minho. She is a member of the National Association for the Study of Intervention in Overgiftedness (ANEIS) and of the International Network for Research, Intervention and Evaluation in High Intellectual Abilities (REINEVA). She belongs to the Scientific and Editorial Board of some journals. She has been a consultant for associations that study and promote creativity (e.g. Torrance Center Portugal; ANEIS) and has published nationally and internationally on this subject.

The session will take place on June 22, at 18:00, in room B008 of FEUP, and will be moderated by Manuel Firmino Torres, Professor at DEI. It will also be broadcasted via Youtube.

The entrance is free but registration is required.

DEI Talks | “Internet of Things and Security” by Prof. Mostafa Azizi

“Internet of Things and Security” will be presented on Wednesday, June 21, at 14:45, in room B006, moderated by Prof. António Pimenta Monteiro, from DEI.

By the Author:

“Internet of things (IoT) as a new discipline has emerged since more than two decades, it is a technology vision to widen the classic Internet by integrating new applications and connecting
physical devices (such as sensors, actuators …). Reinforced by AI, IoT has gained a broad presence over different economic sectors, namely industry, agriculture, transportation, logistics, health, management of cities and homes … According to some criteria of energy autonomy, distance and smartness level, several connection types and protocols are available. Similarly as for the OSI or TCP/IP models for computer networks, IoT could be also perceived as a succession of at least three layers (Edge layer, Fog layer, and Cloud layer). Some connection protocols, such as RFID, ZigBee, WIFI, NB-IoT, and LoraWAN, are used for the communication infrastructure, while other protocols such as MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP are considered at the application level. With the advent of Industry 4.0, the proliferation of IoT was intensified, leading to the emergence of smarthomes, smartcities, smartfactories, industrial IoT (IIoT), Medical IoT (MIoT) … IoT combined with AI and data engineering is transforming our daily lives and environments. Meanwhile, this wide use of IoT is facing real security threats that could disrupt the availability of the services or inject fake data streaming. Unfortunately, most of the used devices are not prepared to protect themselves, and do not assure the least level of security. In this talk, we will present some concepts, technologies, and applications of IoT; then, we will deal with the IoT security aspect and raise awareness on this topic.
Keywords: IoT/IIoT, Industry 4.0, Smart devices, AI, IoT layers, IoT protocols, Security.

Mostafa AZIZI received a State Engineer degree in Automation and Industrial Computing from the Engineering School EMI of Rabat, Morocco in 1993, then a Master degree in Automation and Industrial Computing from the Faculty of Sciences of Oujda, Morocco in 1995, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Montreal, Canada in 2001. He also earned tens of certifications in Programming, Networking, AI, Computer Security … He is currently a Professor at the department of computer engineering, ESTO, University Mohammed 1st of Oujda. His research interests include Security and Networking, AI, Software Engineering, IoT, and Embedded Systems. His research findings with his team are published in over 100 peer-reviewed communications and papers. He also served as PC member and reviewer in several international conferences and journals (See”

Symposium on Informatics @DCE 2023

The 5th edition of the Doctoral Congress on Engineering (DCE) will take place at FEUP on June 15 and 16, with this program.

The Symposium on Informatics, integrated in the event, will take place Friday, the 16th, in B034, with the co-organization of ProDEI, PDMD and MAP-i, where some of the ongoing research work of the 3 doctoral programs will be presented.

The Keynote: Digital dreams, real thrills: unleashing the power of XR in performing arts and beyond, conducted by Prof. António Baía Reis (PDMD Alumnus), will take place right after the opening session.

Abstract: As virtual worlds expand and develop, the integration of live performance and XR technologies becomes a prominent aspect not only in the arts and entertainment sector, but also within corporate and various other industries. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of immersive experiences and virtual platforms, creating a diverse array of live performances and interactive moments. Groundbreaking productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ferryman Collective, Double-Eye Studios, and La Cuarta Pared VR have paved the way, while spontaneous events like poetry slams on VR Chat or Rec Room continue to gain traction. In this presentation, XR researcher and performer António Baía Reis will delve into the Avatarium method, a work in progress that aims to explore the ecosystem of virtual worlds and their implications for the future of performing arts and beyond. By identifying unique challenges and opportunities, we will uncover the potential of digital performance to transform not only arts and culture but also reshape how corporations and various industries engage with virtual realms.

Bio: António Baía Reis is an interdisciplinary university professor, researcher, and artist with an unwavering passion for extended reality (XR) and interactive media, along with their boundless potential to connect with broader society. He holds a BA in International Relations, a Professional Acting Diploma, an MA in Communication Sciences, and a practice-based PhD in Digital Media. The latter was completed in collaboration with the University of Porto and Stanford University, focusing on XR, creative processes, and social change. With a diverse artistic background spanning professional acting, music, and multimedia art for over 10 years, he has been developing a creative and research portfolio at the intersection of digital media, VR, performance, experimental music and film, and art installations. Having prior experience in digital media and the arts and cultural industry, including executive-level positions such as his role as Academic Executive Director at the Los Angeles-based company Umaya, where he was involved in multidisciplinary teams collaborating with brands such as Loewe, Nvidia, AMC, Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica, and MasterChef, Reis regularly shares his knowledge in XR, digital media, communication, the arts, and their interconnected fields across various sectors. Currently, he is an Invited Assistant Professor at both Universidad Complutense de Madrid and NOVA University of Lisbon, where he shares his expertise in digital and emerging media at the postgraduate level. He also leads research on emerging media and communication as an integrated PhD researcher of the Innovation on Digital Media research lab at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. As the Course Director for the “Live Performance in the Metaverse” course at the Multiverse Institute for Arts & Technology (MIAT) in Milan, he mentors students in designing and executing live performances using VR and other innovative technologies. Additionally, he is the founder, stage director, and VR actor of La Cuarta Pared VR, a pioneering virtual reality theater collective based in Madrid that explores live acting and performance in virtual realms. Recent awards and special achievements include receiving a MSCA Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021 for his groundbreaking project aimed at enhancing science communication through immersive media arts. As a published author in leading scientific journals and the Director and Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Cinema & Territory, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Q1 journal Media Practice and Education, Reis continues to contribute to scholarly discourse. More at

The program of the session can be seen here.

Appointment of the new board of NIAEFEUP

Last June, 7th, the new board of NIAEFEUP took office in room I-105 of FEUP, at 11:00. André Moreira, the ceasing president, conducted the session, which was opened by Prof. João Cardoso, DEI Director, Prof. Rui Rodrigues, M.EIC Director, Prof. Rosaldo Rossetti, L.EIC Director, and by the recently elected AEFEUP President, Francisco Portela, with speeches of gratitude to the ceasing board and best wishes to the one that will ensure the continuity of the activities for another year.

André Moreira, who took the floor, spoke to those present about all the activities promoted by the group during the mandate, thanking all those who, with him, carried out so many missions, reinforcing “how gratifying the experience was”, highlighting the importance of the nuclei and the positive impact they have on FEUP student life.

This was followed by the appointment of the 10 new elements, seen on the attached photograph, from left to right: Inês Gaspar (secretary), Nuno Pereira (Projects Co-Coordinator), Luís Duarte (Projects Co-Coordinator), Madalena Ye (Image Coordinator), Rita Cachaldora (Vice-President), João Pereira (President), Diogo Silva (Communication Coordinator), José Martins (Events Co-Coordinator), Gonçalo Miranda (Events Co-Coordinator) and Mariana Solange (Treasurer).

The session ended with a speech by the motivated new president, João Pereira, who reinforced the importance of the nucleus for the opportunity it gives computer science students to learn about what they most like through the exchange of experiences and knowledge, not forgetting to address heartfelt words of thanks to the ceasing board.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Research data description in multiple domains: supporting researchers with data management plans”

Yulia Karimova

Date, time and place
June 2, 14:00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with habilitation, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

Maria Manuel Lopes de Figueiredo Costa Marques Borges, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento Filosofia, Comunicação e Informação, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra;
José Luis Brinquete Borbinha, PhD, Full Professor, Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa;
Irene Pimenta Rodrigues, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Évora;
Maria Cristina de Carvalho Alves Ribeiro, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Carla Alexandra Teixeira Lopes, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

The growing amount of research data and the recognition of their value in the scientific community has led to the development of policies, infrastructures, tools and services. Researchers are encouraged to open their data and make them FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) to ensure the verifiability of results and transparency of research, while increasing their value. In this context, Research Data Management (RDM) becomes a vital component of high-quality research and a regular activity for researchers. The Data Management Plan (DMP), provision of quality metadata, repository selection, and data publication are some of the activities that researchers need to undertake when following the Open Science policies. However, these activities are time-consuming and not obvious to researchers, requiring specific knowledge, effort and experience. To support researchers, institutions are looking for solutions and developing workflows, tools, systems and services that aim to meet RDM requirements of both researchers and funding agencies. Implementing any information system, tool or service at a research institution requires their development, testing and evaluation, as well as adaptation to existing regulations. In this work, we present the development of a DMP support system that meets RDM requirements and researcher needs. We also propose its implementation in the institutional infrastructure and workflow. We explore various aspects related to the DMP support system development, namely RDM and DMP requirements and legislation at the international and national levels, institutional project management and RDM workflows, existing initiatives, recommendations and tools. We introduce a collaborative DMP-building method based on collaboration between researchers and a data steward. We describe its application to case studies from different scientific domains, analyze the results and propose its systematic evaluation. We also propose a path that simplifies the DMP creation process, to make plans more standard, high-quality, and detailed, by implementing controlled vocabularies in the DMP support system. To this end, we apply the collaborative method on projects from the same scientific domain, identifying specific aspects for this domain and proposing terms that can be used with controlled vocabularies and possibly contributing to the design of Domain Data Protocols. The proposed DMP support system also considers the existing mechanisms of automation and interoperability, namely the machine-actionable DMP (maDMP) standard. We analyze the maDMP standard and existing tools created according to this standard and propose a DMP structure and a DMP workflow that can help to make the DMP machine-actionable. Finally, we suggest the implementation of the DMP support system in the institutional RDM workflow, and the interface to support researchers in DMP creation and RDM activities in general. Moreover, this work concludes that the DMP support system can be implemented in any institution, and used for projects in different scientific domains. The results constitute a guide for institutions that are still at the beginning of the development of the RDM infrastructure. The feedback from researchers shows that they need support in DMP creation and monitoring, not only at the planning stage of the project but also during its course and sometimes even after. They are very positive about the implementation of the proposed system, highlighting its importance and necessity. Along with researchers, institutions also benefit from the implementation of such a system by providing support to researchers in RDM issues, reducing the time to create plans, improving the quality of DMPs and making projects comply with the RDM and funders’ requirements, thereby contributing to the prestige of the institution.