A conversation with Vinodh Ilangovan and Jennifer D'Souza
Vinodh Ilangovan and Jennifer D'Souza work on the Open Research Knowledge Graph (ORKG) aiming to describe research papers in a structured manner and make them easier to find and compare. They join Jo on this podcast to give insight into the tool and their organization.
The Open Research Knowledge Graph (ORKG) is a tool designed to make research outputs more discoverable and machine-actionable. The ORKG uses a semantic model to represent information and provides structured descriptions of articles, allowing for easier searching and building upon previous research. The tool is currently in English, but efforts are being made to incorporate other languages. Researchers can sign up for an account and add content to the ORKG, which can then be visualized and cited. The ORKG aims to enhance the quality of human life by improving access to scientific knowledge.
Vinodh Ilangovan (pronouns: they/he) is a star-dust with consciousness promoting anti-kyriarchy. Vinodh is the Coordinator for curation of the Open Research Knowledge Graph at Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology (TIB), Hannover, Germany. They earned PhD from the University of Goettingen in 2016, then was a Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, studying circadian clocks and sleep using an integrative approach by combining molecular genetics, animal behaviour and evolutionary biology. Vinodh was an Open Science Ambassador and strongly advocated for the practice of responsible behaviours in scientific research. They served as a member of the early career advisory group of the open-access journal eLife. Vinodh enjoys experimenting with science communication through performing arts and was a finalist of Dance your PhD contest.
Jennifer D'Souza (pronouns: they/she) loves dabbling with funny video creation tools powered by AI. As her day job, Jennifer works as a postdoctoral researcher at the TIB Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology in the R&D Department. Her research interests mainly include developing supervised machine learning techniques for natural language processing to facilitate text mining and automated information extraction. Her current primary research theme is knowledge graph construction from scientific text by NLP methods. Aside from this, she is also interested in scientometrics.
Which researcher – dead or alive – do you find inspiring?
Vinodh: Amita Sehgal, Leslie Vosshall, Manu Prakash, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Elinor Ostrom*, Veronica Rodrigues*, C.V. Raman*
What is your favorite animal and why?
Vinodh: Should it be only one? Spiders for now: I admire the patience and strategy of spiders. My dream is to understand spiders' cognition as they have similar dream states as humans. The common fruit fly Drosophila used to be my favorite animal because I worked on genetics. All time favorite is the elephant (disclaimer: I did not go to school on elephants but saw a couple of them walking on the streets while going to school in captive conditions). I admire the elephants' versatility in doing elegant things with their trunk, and their social structure, and they are very visible/ gigantic.
Jennifer: Pandas! — big & cuddly, cute & non-threatening, vegetarian (with an environment and human friendly diet) bears.
Name your (current) favorite song and interpret/group.
What is your favorite dish/meal?
Vinodh: Rice noodles dipped in coconut milk (missing my grandmother's version since 2021)
Jennifer: Thai satay (found it to be the easiest flavorful recipe to cook at home)