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DFKI's semantic search engine for idw services: finding thematically relevant press releases more easily

| Press release | Knowledge & Business Intelligence | Language & Text Understanding | Multilinguality and Language Technology | Saarbrücken

Together with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (idw) has developed, evaluated, and integrated a semantic search engine into the idw service. The new service has been available to all idw users since January 12, 2022. It recommends semantically similar documents for each press release and supports the idw expert finder service for journalists.

+++Joint Press Release with idw, Bochum+++

The joint project of idw and DFKI - Semantic Search for Science Communication (3SC) - started at the end of 2019. The developed search engine facilitates content discovery for users and supports idw in content networking. Unlike a keyword-based search, the semantic search engine takes into account the complete content of documents. In concrete terms, the system, which is based on an idw domain-specific language model, tracks down thematically relevant press releases for a press release or an expert inquiry. This even works when the connecting topic - for example, "climate change" or "pandemic" - does not occur as a term in the texts.

In a first application, idw uses the search engine to display the five most closely related idw press releases in terms of content in the detailed view of each press release on idw online. The service helps journalists constructively with their research and encourages all users to deal more intensively with the selected topic in order to learn about other scientific facets and institutions.

In addition, idw uses the prototype via its expert placement service ( to search for suitable experts. With the help of this tool, media professionals find appropriate scientific contacts in idw member institutions. The research status and the journalists' expectations of the contact person are also included in the query. In addition, the semantic search engine accesses this information to offer thematically relevant idw press releases as supplementary research material in real-time.

The system uses the Generalized Semantics Retrieval Engine (GSRE) developed by Prof. Günter Neumann and his DFKI research group QAIE (Question Answering and Information Extraction). GSRE identifies and evaluates the semantic similarity of documents. The system functions as a discovery tool in the idw application. It offers the semantically most similar document candidates for each of the approx. 420,000 press releases published via idw since 1995. The project was initiated and managed in cooperation with the DFKI's Corporate Communications Department in Saarbrücken. The service supports more than 1,000 communication departments of scientific institutions, over 9,000 journalists, and the 600,000 monthly users of idw in their everyday work and research.

After activation and testing, idw will examine further areas of use for the semantic search engine. Future press releases, events, experts, images, and videos offered by idw will be linked in an even more targeted manner.

About idw:
Informationsdienst Wissenschaft e. V. (idw) was founded in 1995 and is the news portal for the latest news from science and research. It brings science and the public together by publishing the news and events of its more than 1,000 member institutions and sending them to 42,000 subscribers, including 9,000 journalists. idw supports science communication in the entire D/A/CH region and records 600,000 unique monthly visits.


More information:

idw:  (for all idw users)

idw expert finder:  (for logged-in journalists only)

Semantic Search for Science Communication (3SC):

Question Answering and Information Extraction Research Group, QAIE, in the DFKI research department MLT:

DFKI Research Department Multilinguality and Language Technology, MLT:




Prof. Dr. Günter Neumann

Head of QAIE Research Group , DFKI

Svenja Niescken

Content-Managerin , idw

David Niechoj

Manager IT-Entwicklung , idw

Press contact: