fz dkmi - Research on the pulse of time

The dkmi provides the framework for many of its members' research projects and supports them with its infrastructure. In this way, the various competences can be consolidated and further developed in the different areas. Currently, there are the following research focuses and activities in the dkmi:


Self-determination and competence in digital worlds

In her research workProf. Dr. habil. Katrin Döveling focuses on the increasing interdependence of people and technology. The main focus is on emotions in the digital age, especially social media and the influence of Instragram on feelings of self-esteem and the self-perception of young adults against the background of digitalisation and the interconnectivity of digital communication. These studies are related to technical and cultural-social developments on the micro, meso and macro levels and especially the change of international communication cultures. Similarly, Prof. D. habil Döveling also studies other forms of emotional communication, including grief and experiences of loss in social media, as well as the influence of mediatised communication on emotions. Through her research, she has coined the term "affect cultures".


Immersive Storytelling

With technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or 360-degree videos, storytelling is becoming ever more immersive and thus more powerful. Immersive storytelling first and foremost creates a sense of presence. It gives the audience the feeling of "being there." Immersive experiences so open up other possibilities to convey a message or entertain the audience.

Prof. Thorsten Greiner, Prof. Tilmann Kohlhaase and Prof. Georg Struck devote their research to the question of how these new possibilities can be explored and used for relevant social challenges.

Research data management

Science is becoming increasingly digitised and both the quantity and heterogeneity of information and data are growing steadily. Research requires technical and professional support for data management plans, for storing and securing smaller and larger amounts of data, as well as for legal issues. Research data management encompasses all measures in dealing with predominantly digital data throughout the entire research process.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmunk focuses on this area in his research work.

Ethical Issues and Social Responsibility in Natural Language Processing

With the advancement of machine language processing (NLP), methods developed in NLP are becoming more attractive for multidisciplinary projects and research questions. Nonetheless, NLP methods used as black boxes may have biases and serious flaws, and their use could raise ethical issues. Educating the public about what NLP methods can do is also one of these challenges. What ethical questions do NLP researchers face in their research? What are the weaknesses and potentials of current NLP developments? How can NLP research and development become more ethical?

 Prof. Dr. Margot Mieskes will explore these research questions.

Sustainability communication


Public communication plays an important role on the way to a sustainable society.
The research team looks at sustainability communication on different levels.
One focus is on journalism and e.g. the role of its reporting on aspects of climate change and other sustainable development issues. Another focus is on strategic sustainability communication by companies, but also by NGOs and public institutions.
Current issues deal with the role of organisational culture in transformation processes, with the development of transformative PR at the societal level or with questions of mindfulness in learning processes.
The interdisciplinary team combines perspectives from journalism, PR research, organisational research and economics.
Projects in this field include "Mindful University", "Green Journalism" or " Middle Class Digital Centre Future Culture" as well as several doctorates in the Doctoral Centre for Sustainability Sciences.

Research activities in this field are carried out by Prof. Dr. Pia Sue Helferich, Prof. Dr. Thomas Pleil, Prof. Dr. Lars Rademacher and Prof. Dr. Torsten Schäfer.

AI & Visual Analytics

Visual analytics combines artificial intelligence models with interactive visualisations to enable deep analysis and predictions in very large amounts of data. This often focuses on human decision-making, such as strategic decisions in companies, decisions about the best possible treatment method in medicine, investment decisions and much more.


The Human-Computer Interaction and Visual Analytics group researches its own machine learning and artificial intelligence methods and combines them with various other methods and approaches to answer problems in business, society and politics with cutting-edge technologies. The identification of potentials in companies plays a special role here. A qualitative analysis is carried out in advance, followed by a feasibility analysis, which leads to a targeted problem-solving procedure.

At the moment, research focuses on the following areas:

  •     Technology and innovation management
  •     Strategic orientation of companies
  •     Smart Manufacturing & Factories of the Future
  •     Healthcare
  •     Politics & eGovernance
  •     Next Generation Internet & Social Generated Content

The contact person for this research area is Prof. Dr. Kawa Nazemi.

Emotional Affect of Videogames / Narrative Gaming

Digital worlds offer potentially helpful interaction spaces for experience and competence acquisition. Based on the analysis of comparable games and the development of new design strategies that explicitly promote empathy, risks and opportunities for the acquisition of cognitive and emotional competences are explored.

In her research, Prof. Carla Heinzel investigates the potential of games for promoting empathy and a sense of responsibility and how this can be specifically promoted through new game design strategies. She is also researching new strategies, formats and developments of narrative games.

Open Educational Resources

At universities, Open Educational Resources (OER) are increasingly developed on learning platforms, repositories, but can also be made available in other ways - sometimes without an explicit OER reference. In this research area, the question is whether OER used by higher education institutions are also suitable for non-university continuing education. Using the example of the thematic focus of information literacy for continuing education, in what form are OER offered to teachers and learners and what are the criteria for OER?

The contact persons for this research area are  Prof. Dr. Marc Rittberger and Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmunk.

Centre speaker

Thomas Pleil

Communication Max-Planck-Straße 2
64807 Dieburg
Office: F01, 119


Managing Director

Rita Vas-Deuschel

Communication Max-Planck-Straße 2
64807 Dieburg
Office: F01, 202