Publishing as a student

Well-qualified young scientists contribute to research competence, innovation and knowledge gain in a decisive way. Already having published as a student? The LSWI supports students on their way to their first scientific publication.

Picture: Our publication author and student assistant Laura Scheel is currently studying abroad at Umeå University in Sweden.

Lauras publication:

Plattform-Bereitstellungsstrategien im Maschinen- und Anlagenbau: Strategien deutscher Unternehmen im Industrie 4.0-Kontext

Exclusive interview on the publication with Laura:

We met our student assistant and publication author Laura Scheel, who issued her first publication with the help of  M.Sc. Benedict Bender, Dr. Sander Lass and Nathalie Habib and had her explain the exact path towards her publication.

LSWI: Hi Laura, congratulations on your first publication! Can you tell us about how you get to the point of having your first own publication as a student?

Laura: I have been working on the SME Navigator project since November 2019. The goal of the project is to develop a decision support tool for SMEs. This tool will help companies to decide whether to offer a digital platform to their customers and if so what the strategy could look like (e.g., develop platforms themselves or join an established platform). At this stage of the project, companies in the field of mechanical and plant engineering are being considered. In the course of the project, publications will be issued repeatedly to publicize new findings from the project or the progress made.

LSWI: That's a very exciting topic! And what exactly is your publication about?

Laura: The publication systematically examines the possible deployment strategies of digital platforms for companies. At first, the different strategies are systematized theoretically and then examples are given of how these strategies are used by different companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. In addition, specific characteristics that influence the use of a strategy are identified as a starting point for a strategy formulation process. The basis is a reference database with more than 120 companies with mechanical and plant engineering background that offer digital platforms. We built up this reference database in the project over the past few months. The database documents the companies, the platforms and their certain characteristics, from which we intend to derive knowledge for the SME navigator in a later phase of the project. In addition, interviews with selected platform providers have been conducted in the last few weeks but their results were not part of the publication yet.

LSWI: You are still in your master's program. How was the supervision by the research assistants?

Laura: In the project, we exchange information at regular intervals - and this was also the case for the publication. The tasks were divided and everyone contributed their share to the publication. Nevertheless, we always coordinated everything. I was also able to get in touch with Benedict Bender (the WiMi responsible) at all times if I had any queries. All of us were involved in the review process and went through the publication several times.

LSWI: What do you take away from the publishing experience?

Laura: This publication was my first publication - so practically everything was "new" to me. It was totally interesting to see how articles are created that are usually cited in seminar papers or theses. Now we can be cited in scientific papers ourselves - that's very cool! I also know how long the process is and how many people and steps are necessary until a publication is ready to be published. The review process was also very interesting: What are the reviewers' criteria and how does something like that work? The critique we received will definitely help with subsequent publications.

LSWI: And what did you enjoy the most?

Laura: What I enjoyed most was the project work and the frequent exchanges about possible findings from data and the research. The collaboration in this project is a collaboration "at eye level" and the input and collaboration from us students is very much appreciated. In the process, it is really fun to think about what dependencies can be discovered in the data and what findings might be exciting. These "aha" experiences are super!

Thank you dear Laura for the insightful interview! We wish you a successful and unforgettable time during your semester abroad and look forward to seeing you again at the LSWI!