DFG Project: Automatic Harvesting, Indexing and Provision of Open Access Figures (NOA)

The Project NOA · Automatic Harvesting, Indexing and Provision of Open Access Figures from the fields of Engineering and Technology Using the Infrastructure of Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata · is a cooperative project of the Hochschule Hannover and the Technische Informationsbibliothek Hannover funder by the DFG under grant number WA 1506/4-1.


Multimedial objects, especially images and figures, are essential for the visualization and interpretation of research findings. The distribution and reuse of these scientific objects is significantly improved under open access conditions, for instance in Wikipedia articles, in research literature, as well as in education and knowledge dissemination, where licensing of images often represents a serious barrier.

Whereas scientific publications are retrievable through library portals or other online search services due to standardized indices there is no targeted retrieval and access to the accompanying images and figures yet. Consequently there is a great demand to develop standardized indexing methods for these multimedial open access objects in order to improve the accessibilty to this material. To address the objective it is necessary to develop a process for automatic harvesting and indexing of multimedial open access objects. Wikimedia Commons, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, is one of the most important open access media collections and a platform and service for the harvesting and distribution thereof. Wikimedia Commons collects freely licensed objects, mainly images and figures, including their metadata and provides them to Wikipedia and all other web users.

It is the aim of this project to develop a process for the automatic harvesting and indexing of articles including their images and figures derived from quality controlled open access journals in the fields of engineering and technology, using the infrastructure of Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. To reach this goal it is planned to harvest scientific publications and subsequently extract and enrich the metadata of the accompanying images and figures in order to generate a standardized index.

The main outcome of the project will be the provision of an information service which improves the retrieval of and the access to freely licenced images and figures from the fields of engineering and technology.

For further information refer to this article.

Search engine

Currently we have indexed over 1 Million images from open access journals published by Hindawi. More publishers will follow.

All images are form open access journals. However, before using any images it is your own responsibility to check the conditions to use the image. The offered service is completely experimental and we take no guarantee for proper functionality and no responsibility for using the service.


NOA – Scientific Image Search: