• Proceedings 3rd International Open Search Symposium #ossym2021, 11–13 October 2021 Online, hosted by CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
    Vol. 3 (2021)

    The Open Search Symposium - #ossym - with now its third edition, has become a vibrant meeting place for the ever-growing open search community—a community of scientists, developers, entrepreneurs, public organisations, concerned citizens and many more, to care for and thrive to develop the next generation of public, open and democratic internet search. In times when information, data, privacy, and separation of true and fake in the digital sphere becomes ever more important the open search community seeks to develop methods, tools, and technology to cooperatively crawl the web, generate substantial open web-indices and build a web search ecosystem that is governed by openness, ethics, respect of privacy as well as democratic and legal values.

    With these first ‘fully-fledged’ proceedings of #ossym 2021 we are happy to kick-start a routine series of #ossym-proceedings aggregating and disseminating the articles and findings submitted to and presented at the yearly Open Search Symposia also in the years to come. It is great to see the quality and quantity of the contributions and we hope that these proceedings will help to raise awareness and may help to inspire even more active participation in the Open Search Initiative from all relevant scientific, societal, public, and economic domains.

    We hereby kindly want to thank all the active authors, contributors and supporters of #ossym series for making the #ossym conference an interesting and dynamic place for discussing and developing the next generation of internet search - for the current and future users of an democratic, fair and open Internet – for us all.

    Together, for a better net.
    Andreas Wagner, Michael Granitzer, Christian Gütl, Christine Plote and Stefan Voigt

  • Proceedings 4th International Open Search Symposium #ossym2022, 10–12 October 2022, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
    Vol. 4 (2022)

    The 4th International Open Search - #ossym – was held at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland from 10-12 October 2022. It was a great experience to meet everyone in person again after two years of online meetings due to the pandemic. The the participants on site enjoyed the personal exchanges, discussions, coffee-breaks and social events to exchange and advance scientific and personal topics.  The symposium saw a series of inspiring keynotes as well as many interesting talks in the research tracks and in the industry and application oriented sessions. Further more very interesting considerations were shared in the more interactive sessions on search quality and ethics as well as in search literacy and education parts.

    The community flagship project had just begun a few weeks prior to the symposium, thus many talks and presentation gave a perspective on what research and piloting activities are expected happen during the three years of this project. All in all it was a very lively and inspiring meeting, fostering the exchange of many different disciplines involved in the Open Search Initiative: from computer science, information retrieval, law, ethics, economy, industry, education, media-science and many more. 

    We are very happy to present herewith the 2nd volume of #ossym proceedings, which document the symposium in 2022 and its many innovative and interdisciplinary contributions, advancing Open Search. We kindly want to thanks all the authors, presenters, panellists and keynote speakers for sharing their science work, ideas, expertise and thoughts at #ossym and within these proceedings.

    Finally we want to extend a warm thanks to CERN as local host and co-organiser of #ossym2023!CERN in its structure, scope and organisational set-up demonstrates impressively that some large scale science tasks can only be achieved in systematic and humble cooperation of sharp minds, working in synergy with large scale technological facilities. Furthermore is reminds us, that with impactful and fundamental research findings - as is is the case with nuclear physics - large responsibilities emerge for scientists, technicians, decision-makers and society as a whole: to mindfully and responsibly handle the capabilities that science and technology provide us with! Although very different in nature, Open Search and open, unbiased access to data and information via an public open Web index, similarly, require cutting edge science, large-scale and distributed computing-facilities, clear ethical and legal guard-rails as well as a sound governance to be operated as a public and open infrastructure in future. We hope that #ossym2022 marked another tiny, and we hopefully worthwhile, stepping-stone on our joint venture towards open and unbiased information access in the Web and Open Search in general.

    Enjoy reading these proceedings and we are looking forward to the next instances of #ossym in the years to come.

  • Proceedings 5th International Open Search Symposium #ossym2023, 4–6 October 2023, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
    Vol. 5 (2023)

    We are delighted to present the 2023 volume of the #ossym Proceedings. It documents the many innovative and interdisciplinary contributions of the #ossym23 International Open Search Symposium. Hosted at CERN in Geneva from 4 to 6 October 2023, the conference brought together researchers, technology experts, political representatives, and industry executives for the 5th time to discuss the foundations of human-centred, transparent, and open web search.

    The conference offered a variety of formats, from scientific presentations, interactive workshops on the ethics of internet search as well as legal and environmental aspects, to a panel discussion with industry players and talks by representatives of alternative search engines fragFinn, Mojeek and Marginalia. Researchers from the EU Project “” gave updates on the project’s research in dedicated tracks, covering all aspects from technical challenges of search engine operability, crawling, web page classification and prototyping of Open Web Search applications to aspects of ethics and governance of an Open Web Index.

    Not covered in these proceedings, but nevertheless important to mention are the keynote speeches, providing valuable insights into technical, governmental, community-related and ethical aspects:

    • Christoph Schumann (LAINON e.V.) emphasised the power of the open AI community.
    • Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, outlined the vision of a human-centric internet and stressed the importance of open, transparent Web Search Services for Europe.
    • Ricardo Baeza-Yates (Director at the Institute of Experiential AI at Northeastern University) delivered an in-depth keynote on “Bias in Search and Recommender Systems”, covering all concepts of biases as well as methods to tackle them.
    • Angella Ndaka, head of the The Centre for Africa Epistemic Justice and researcher at the University of Otago, presented insights on how tech-driven businesses change African societies and can endanger democratic structures.

    All in all, it was once again a very stimulating meeting with a lively exchange between many different people from many different disciplines. We would like to thank all authors, presenters, panellists and keynote speakers for sharing their scientific work, ideas, expertise and thoughts with us at #ossym23 and in these proceedings. A special thank you goes to CERN as local host and co-organiser of #ossym2023 for their great preparation and tireless commitment.

    The conference is an exemplary demonstration of how multifaceted the vibrant Open Web Search community approaches the topic and explores it from a wide range of disciplines and angles. Every #ossym conference takes the Open Web Search initiative a big step further year after year.

    In this spirit: We look forward to the next conference – #ossym24 in Munich!

    Andreas Wagner, Michael Granitzer, Christian Gütl, Christine Plote and Stefan Voigt