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2018 Award Winner

The 2018 WDS Data Stewardship Award was won by

Dr Wouter Beek
(Knowledge, Reasoning and Representation group, VU University Amsterdam)

Dr Beek will be presented with the 2018 Award and a prize at SciDataCon 2018.


Wouter Beek is an Artificial Intelligence researcher in the Knowledge, Reasoning and Representation (KR&R) group at VU University Amsterdam, collaborating with the institute for Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS; WDS Regular Member) in The Hague.

Dr Beek is co-developer and principle investigator of the LOD Laundromat: an infrastructure that crawls the web for Linked Open Datasets, cleans them to be standards compliant, and enables them to be accessed through uniform application programming interfaces that ease reuse. A collection of over 650 thousand datasets (containing over 38 billion statements) has been made available in this way. A snapshot of the data is also archived in DANS: Electronic Archiving SYstem, a CoreTrustSeal-certified Trusted Data Repository.

The data cleaning and republishing services of LOD Laundromat are broadly reused. To date, over 40 million datasets have been downloaded, and tens of millions of queries have been answered. These queries are performed by users from all over the world. The LOD Laundromat was recognized as an enabler for data science in the Open Data community and was awarded Best LOD Application of 2015.

LOD Laundromat has led to high-impact research conducted by Dr Beek and his collaborators, including LOD Lab (best paper award, International Semantic Web Conference 2015), LOTUS (2nd place LOD Award 2016, Extended Semantic Web Conference 2016), LOD-a-lot (best paper nominee, SEMANTiCS 2017), (best resource paper award, Extended Semantic Web Conference 2018). LOD Laundromat is also used as a stepping stone for research conducted outside of its original research group.

In addition to his scientific work, Wouter is a contributor to Open Source projects and co-founder of the start-up company Triply, which sells large-scale Linked Data deployments to customers in geospatial services; galleries, libraries, archives, and museums; academic research; manufacturing; and eGovernment.