Researchers of different scientific domains record data in different ways. The WissKI system already supports two ways of creating semantically enriched content: First entering data in a traditional web-form and second the aggregation of data in free texts. These two possibilities were implemented because of the assumption that some scientists are used (and like) to record data by entering data manually in a database with a form-based interface. This data is normally high potential input for scientific discussions and work, however hardly available in the semantic web. Moreover scientists communicate and publish data by writing scientific texts (papers, articles, books, etc.). This specific scientific content needs a clear identity of authorship, the authenticity of information and persistence of citations. Different modules of the WissKI system allow these requirements to be reached by using well known techniques from content management systems and other web based knowledge management approaches. The WissKI project additionally enables support for semi-automatic connections between content. Such connections, for example, allow researchers to create inter- and transdisciplinary content, and to verify their results with facts from other research communities without large expense.
The core of the WissKI system is the "pathbuilder". This tool allows the administrator to construct semantic definitions for the content creation of the system based on an uploadable ontology. These definitions are used to automatically construct the forms for data aggregation in the system. Moreover a special parser is developed by the AI department, which parses natural english and german language (texts) and creates instances of concepts of the application ontology according to these definitions. In the current state of development the parser recognises named entities like time and date phrases, person names and place names according to several dynamically incorporatable name authority files. Due to the fact that at the moment an automatic detection and computation of instances in natural language texts cannot have the same quality of annotations made by a human author, a WYSIWYG-Editor enhanced with capabilities of semi-automatic semantic markup is provided by the WissKI system. Annotated documents created with this WYSIWYG-Editor are themselves annotated semantically. Semi-automatic means, that the system automatically computes proposals for annotations, which the author can accept or revise.
The probably most important type of scientific communication is the discussion between researchers. The base CMS of WissKI provides several communication functionalities and modules like mailing(lists), forums, blogs, etc. Moreover the CMS provides the possibility to create and manage different usergroups. Therefore different roles and rights can be assigned to the users. E.g. the WissKI system provides a role that can be described as scientific project manager. This role decides for the concrete project which statements from a discussion are integrated in the description of an object, in the free texts, incorporated in the knowledge pool and if they can be published. This facilitates a cooperative preparation of scientific publications.