“TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes” series #10: Sona Arasteh

In the series “TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes”, we feature individual staff members from the TRIPLE project team to give a face to the people behind the scenes. What is their role in the project, their background, and how did they get in touch with the Open Science movement?

Sona Arasteh (Photo: Private)

This time, we introduce you to Sona Arasteh (check out her LinkedIn and Twitter accounts). Sona works at Max Weber Stiftung, one of the leading agencies supporting German research in the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and humanities internationally, through eleven institutes in various countries around the globe.

Sona, what is your role in the TRIPLE project, and what are you currently working in on the project? 

I started working at the Max Weber Foundation as the new leader of work package 8 “Communication and Dissemination” in mid-march, so I’m probably the newest member of the TRIPLE team. My work mainly involves organising events and planning communication strategies as well as putting them into effect. As probably everyone can imagine this means I have to work closely with all of the other work packages to make sure the results of their work are disseminated properly, meaning my job is to keep everyone potentially interested in TRIPLE and its results informed via social media, the TRIPLE website and various other channels. I am currently working on a variety of tasks, including preparing a few workshops, webinars, an overall communication strategy for the last year of the project and organising the next international TRIPLE conference in early 2023. 

What is your background in terms of previous work experience and academic discipline, and which specific perspective(s) does that background contribute to TRIPLE? You may also mention when you first heard about “Open Science” in your career, and how you “got into it”.

I worked as a researcher in German philology at the University of Muenster before I started working on the TRIPLE project. My work as a literary scholar focuses on populist and nationalistic novels in the late 19th and early 20th century. Being a (admittedly pedantic) philologist, I am very keen on wording texts, phrases and sentences correctly which is hopefully an advantage in the communication of TRIPLE.

While working on my PhD I simultaneously worked as an editor at Textpraxis, a digital Open Access journal dedicated to philology and at the Open Access encyclopedia developed at the Collaborative Research Centre 1385 “Law and Literature”. Looking back, I suppose my involvement with Textpraxis for more than half a decade made me aware of the potential and the need for Open Science in general and started my interest in it.

Sona’s office view (Photo: Private)

What are the aspects you’re most excited about for the release of the GoTriple platform? (If you have a good example using some of the tools/innovative services, please describe it)

I have to be honest: As someone who has worked for years with a huge amount of texts to read I am probably most excited about the Open Annotation Tool for GoTriple based on Pundit. Just the option to annotate documents as well as web pages and collect the annotations in a cloud feels like a researcher’s dream come true. Trying out Pundit, I spent 2 hours just annotating random newspaper articles simply because it felt so satisfying.

What is the one thing that you desperately need in your daily work routine? 

That’s easy, it’s my french press. I am not able to do anything without a decent amount of coffee in my bloodstream. Rather mysteriously, most of the colleagues who work in the same building as me seem to not have that kind of addiction which basically means I don’t have to share.

Sona’s MVP at the office: the french press! (Photo: Private)

Can you also talk about an activity that helps you release stress after a hard week at work?

If I had to choose I would probably say what helps me to unwind most boils down to two things. Firstly, reading. Given my background, this is hardly a surprise. I enjoy a broad variety of literature and according to several people, my urge to buy books and own them is borderline pathological. I would discard that evaluation as ridiculous but I actually do use a spreadsheet to make sure I don’t accidentally buy books twice.

Secondly, I harbour a deep love for football tactics in general and a video game series called Football Manager in particular. I must have spent thousands of hours working out tactics and looking at stats. All of these hours spent analyzing and filtering out football statistics provided me with an uncanny knowledge of European football – so in case you have a weirdly specific question about football there’s a good chance I have an answer.

Sona, thank you so much for the interview!

The TRIPLE project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020), Grant Agreement No. 863420. Project coordinator is Suzanne Dumouchel (Huma-Num), Co-coordinator of OPERAS. For more information please contact her at Suzanne.Dumouchel@huma-num.fr.

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