About Us

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

In our digitally networked world, information is an essential resource that both plays an important role in the stability of our society, but also makes progress, technical developments and research in many areas possible. Our communication is as dependent on the reliability of information as is the news, or the data on which political decision-making is based.

The Information Integrity Academy is a spin-off of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, supported by Humboldt-Innovation, the HEADT Centre, and the iSchools. We – as the Information Integrity Academy – aim to teach the skills needed to recognize and assess false or unreliable information. Learn more about the members of our team and our story!

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Our Story

Like many projects, the Information Integrity Academy had multiple sources for its origin. One came from the principal investigator's twenty year experience as a journal editor dealing with integrity issues. Another came from a decade of experience as chair of the University commission on research malpractice. The third source was substantial funding from the publisher of Elsevier to do research on a number of forms of research integrity, which resulted in the establishment of the HEADT Centre (Humboldt-Elsevier Advanced Data and Text Centre). Topics include data falsification, image manipulation, and plagiarism.

 

As a research project, the Information Integrity Academy remains part of the HEADT Centre under the administrative umbrella of Humboldt Innovation, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. For outreach, the Information Academy has allied itself with the iSchools, Inc., an international non-profit educational organization with member universities on all inhabited continents. The iSchools provide a permanent home for the curriculum, and a base for recruiting additional experts to contribute lectures, workshops, seminars and other training materials.

 
Our Mission

Unreliable information threatens our social coexistence and our democratic societies. The Information Academy has therefore set itself the goal of restoring trust in information.

Since such a goal can only be achieved in a concerted effort, we aim to build a worldwide network of ambassadors for information integrity. We are reaching out to students as well as teachers, academic editors, and the many experts who are committed to verifying information in a variety of fields. Only together can we limit the influence of fake news and propaganda in journalism and social media, plagiarism and manipulated images in research and publications.

The Information Academy teaches the basic skills needed to evaluate and critically analyze information and to share those skills with others.

Meet the Team
Prof. Dr. Michael Seadle

Prof. Dr. Michael Seadle

Co-Director

Katarzyna Biernacka

Katarzyna Biernacka

Researcher, Trainer

Prof. Dr. Niels Pinkwart

Prof. Dr. Niels Pinkwart

Co-Director

Slava Sterzer

Slava Sterzer

Business Manager

Dr. Thorsten S. Beck

Dr. Thorsten S. Beck

Researcher, Trainer

Katharina Gudat

Katharina Gudat

Program Manager