RUB | Fakultät für Philosophie und Erziehungswissenschaft | Institut für Philosophie II
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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Last changes:

This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for current and future members of the research group.

Moving to Bochum

Before moving to Bochum

  • there are online services that help you find apartments (e.g.,
  • when searching for an apartment, make sure that you do not have to travel too long to the university. One way to make sure is to check whether the U35-line is reachable from your apartment. This is the main tram-line leading to the University. It has a very high frequency (as opposed to other lines). One way to check the connection from an arbitrary address to the RUB is at the address of the RUB is “Universitätsstraße 150”.
  • a warning: in Germany aparments are by default non-furnished. In particular, usually there is no kitchen in the apartments.

What to do at the RUB?

Here’s a checklist:

  • get the RUB-card (either online or at the help-desk@rectorate)
  • get your library account so that you can borrow and order stuff (@central-libary)
  • get your email/computer login (@Rechenzentrum)
  • ask Christian for an IP-address for your computer plus ask him to install the printer for you
  • if you’re a PhD-student: sign in as a PhD-student (you’ll get free travelling in the Ruhr-area). However, you’ll have to pay approx. 270€/semester.
  • check at Dezernat 3 webpage who’s the person responsible for administrative things for you (depends on the first letter of your surname)
  • make an entry on the webpage about you (plus link to your academic homepage)
  • consult this guide (german)

What to do outside the RUB?

  • (maybe) sign in at the town office
  • (maybe) open a bank account
  • (as soon as possible) get an internet provider: it will take some time for them to get you online. If you choose unitymedia please not that you will not get vpn-functionality … in other words, you will not be able to use useful things like downloading papers from home. You can though sign up for a unitymedia-business account: then you get vpn.
  • if you have a preference: make sure you’ll get a health insurance of your choice in time, otherwise the university will automatically sign you in some health insurance of their choice. @campus-options are: TK or GEK Barmer.

Research and Writing papers

What about libraries?

There is one on our floor next to office 3/39. It’s a presence library, meaning you can’t take books with you but have to read them there. There is also a printer and a scanner. You need the copy card to use it. It is in room 3/39.

There is the central library. You need to workers card to loan stuff, but first you need to make an account there (they may ask you for your contract).

How to check if stuff is available and where it is located?

How to do an intra-library request?

  • You go to, log in and query for the book/article in question.
  • When ordering you are asked to enter a TAN-number: there should be some in your office. Make sure to cross it out so that nobody tries the same number again.
  • You’ll get an email when stuff arrives.

Before your first login, you’ll need a passphrase. You see the email address at the bottom of the page. You can write them a mail to get your initial passphrase. You may use the following template:


hiermit beantrage ich ein Erstpasswort für das Fernleihesystem der Universitätsbibliothek.

Meine Angestelltennummer lautet: [put here the personal nummer on your workers card].

Vielen Dank und mit freundlichen Grüßen,

[put here your name]

What to put in the acknowledgement section?

The research of [your name] was supported by a Sofja Kovalevskaja award of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research.

What to do with preprints?

  • Put them on our webpage.

What to do when a paper has been published?

  • Update the webpage with your publication.
  • Update the “people we’re cooperating with” section of the webpage.
  • Ask Christian to treat you for a drink.

We’re living in the age of digital social networks, does logic keep up with it?

Yep, there are lots of logic related email-lists:

Office and IT-related

Printing and IT

  • We have our own network under the domain nonmonlog.
  • The range of available IPs is: –
  • Currently – are in use.
  • The printers are available under:
    • Samsung SCX-3205 in office 3/39 (ip:
    • Brother HL 5450DN in office 3/155 (ip:
  • Samsung SCX-3205 is also a scanner and should be usable using the software xsane.
  • If you have a new computer, please inform Christian to reserve an available IP for it.

The settings for your computer are as follows:

  • Fixed IP
  • IP: 134.147.185.xx (see above for available IPs)
  • default gateway:
  • Subnet mask:
  • DNS Server 1:
  • DNS Server 2:

If you need some ports to be freed, ask Christian, he has full administrative rights for the network.

Saving paper, saving the environment, saving your eyes…

If you want to put two pages on one but maximize the font-size in the printout, you may use briss ( It automatically removes white space from pdfs. You can then print the file in acrobat using “many pages on one page”.

In windows and ubuntu-based linux distros you have to download and install briss from the webpage. In arch you can get it from the AUR-repositories, eg. via

yaourt -S briss

If you like the command line you can use:

briss -s file.pdf

If you want to adjust the margins, just use

briss file.pdf

You can also first glue two pages on one using

pdfjam --nup 2x1 --landscape file_cropped.pdf

For this install first pdfjam on your system. In Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install pdfjam

In arch-based distros:

pacman -S pdfjam

What are our telephone numbers?

  • Office 3/39:
    • internal: 24721
    • external: 0234/3224721
  • Office 3/155
    • internal: 28714
    • external: 0234/3228714

When in the weekend is the university (building GA) open/closed?

It is only open on Saturday before noon. (Exact timing?)

Where’s the snail mail we get?

It’s delivered to the post-room. Unfortunately we do not have yet a key for it. Andrea and Claudia have keys in case you expect something urgent.

Where are scanners?

You find them in:

  • office 3/39: You may be able to use it with xsane under the IP (Samsung SCX-3205)
  • post-room (copy-card needed)
  • library in GA (copy-card needed)
  • central library (copy-card needed)

How to upload changes to the webpage

I recommend using filezilla. Here’s the settings: ftp.png

Ask christian for the passphrase.

Yes, we have a group email address …

… and it’s

It auto-forwards to all the members of our research group.

How to get the card-reader running on linux

There is some instruction at It seems a bit outdated and also it’s ubuntu/debian-based, so if you run an arch-based distribution such as me, you have to do some things a bit different. Here is how:

  1. Install the needed drivers.

    $ yaourt -S opensc acsccid
  2. Run the service:

    $ sudo systemctl start pcscd.service
  3. Install the needed certificates in firefox. You can do so by clicking on them here:
  4. Go in the firefox preferences / advanced / security devices. Click load and enter as path /usr/lib/pkcs11/ The mask should look as follows:


  5. Go to
  6. Put your card in the card-reader and click anmelden. You should be asked for a password and be able to log in.


Writing nice RUB-styled letters

You need the file rub-2009.lco (this is my own version – the original gave problems with the font-configuration). Be also sure to have a subfolder figure with the file LogoRUBBLAUAJ.pdf in it.

Then use the following template

You also need to make a file called my-config.lco which looks roughly as follows:



The offices in GA (and many other buildings) have a PCB-problem. You probably recall to have signed a PCB-statement when you signed up for you job. Here’s a list with the data from the last measurements in GA. You will see that the values of 3/39 and 3/155 are rather high. This should encourage you to often open the windows fully (e.g., when you come in the morning and after lunch).

Interestly and somewhat depressingly, our two offices belong to the ones with the highest values. One possible explanation (caution: this is a highly defeasible abductive and optimistic inference) is that during the measurement they were hardly used and thus minimally ventilated. This would explain why seemingly frequently used offices tend to have rather lower PCB-values while the spaces with the high values tend to be places that are not that frequented by work staff.

There is also the problem with PCB-118 which is an indicator for toxids similar to PCB. The following recommendation can be found on the web:

Zusätzlich gibt es seit 2007 einen Grenzwert für die dioxinähnlichen PCBs. Überschreiten die Gehalte den Wert von 10 ng PCB 118 / m³ Luft (PCB 118 ist ein Indikator-PCB für die dioxinähnlichen PCBs), sind gemäß der Ad-Hoc-Arbeitsgruppe Innenraumlufthygiene-Kommission des Umweltbundesamtes und der Obersten Landesgesundheitsbehörden expositionsmindernde Maßnahmen gefordert.

This is bad news for room 3/39 where the value according to the last measurement was 74.6 ng per m³ while they recommend values lower than 10ng per m³ (see the document above).

You can find more information concerning the PCB issue at the RUB:

and contact information here:

You can find an overview of the PCB polution here:

You need to login with your rub login id and password.

You can find information concerning the biomonitoring here:


The university offers relatively cheap sport courses. You can find a list here: For some you have to be quick. The dates the subscription opens is listed under “Info & Dates” on the right hand side of the website.

Teaching and Philosophy Studies @RUB

I want to teach – what steps do I have to take?

You have to catgorize your courses in one of the major modules: e.g., module a (Knowledge and Reason), b Acting and Norms, etc. Also, you have to categorize your course according to what study level you address (early Bachelor (level I), late Bachelor/Master (level II/III), Master (level (III))). For inspiration, take a look at the so-called Grünbuch for a list of courses and check this document for the different modules. Your course has to be acknowledged on the faculty level. You’ll be asked to sign a honorary contract for people who give courses but do not get paid for it. Finally, you’ll need access to the so-called ecampus-system. For this you fill out a form. (Unfortunately this doesn’t work well with linux: if you run Ubuntu you can give this a try.)

Alternatively, you can teach in the Optionalbereich: contact Dunja for more info.

My course has been acknowledged, what now?

You’ll get at some point a mail from Mrs. Gottmannshausen asking you to open the course on ecampus. This means that students will be able to sign in electronically for your course. Do this rather quickly, so that you don’t loose students because they get frustrated since they cannot sign in. In order to open the course you’ll have to already have to be able to access ecampus. Thus, fill out the form in time.

How are philosophy studies organized @RUB?

How to get my courses up on blackboard?

Write a mail to

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

ich möchte Sie bitten, folgende Blackboardveranstaltung für
mich einzurichten.


1) Seminar: [name of your seminar]

1. Blackboard-Benutzernamen: [your rub loginID]
2. Titel der Veranstaltung: [title of your course]
3. Veranstaltungsnummer mit Semesterangabe: [check in the Grünbuch for the course ID and the semester]
4. Kategorie im Blackboard-Kurskatalog (optional): Philosophie

2) Seminar: [name of your other seminar (if applicable)]
1. Blackboard-Benutzernamen: [your rub loginID]
2. Titel der Veranstaltung: [title of your course]
3. Veranstaltungsnummer mit Semesterangabe: [check in the Grünbuch for the course ID and the semester]
4. Kategorie im Blackboard-Kurskatalog (optional): Philosophie


Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Mühe.

Beste Grüße,

[Your Name]

Things concerning the work-contract

Retirement insurance

  • Here’s information concerning retirement:

  • Here’s the contact person for international stuff concerning retirement:

In a nutshell: depending on the specifics of your contract it could be that you have a VBLclassic or VBLextra insurance which is an additional retirement insurance. There is the possibility to downgrade this insurance to a VBLspecial insurance. For the latter only the university pays the part of your retirement insurance. It seems that this is the recommended step if you do not intend to work more than 5 years in Germany. If you want to downgrade your insurance fill out this form.

Confusingly, there is also an obligatory retirement insurance which is independent of the VBL and for which you will automatically pay (this is typicall around 9.35% of your income).

Travelling and Holidays

I want to travel for a conference/workshop: what do I have to do?

  • First, ask Christian, whether there is enough budget left for this term.
  • Before you travel, fill out this form (sample). It has to be signed by Christian and sent to Dezernat 3.4 (we have a map for that).
  • For reimbursement see below.

I want to go for a conference/workshop: how do I get my money back?

You will have to buy the tickets yourself and get reimbursed.

  • After you travel you’ll have to fill out this form and send it to Christian.

I need a vacation

Fill out this form and let it be signed by Christian.

Finances and ordering stuff

How to pay for stuff and get reimbursed?

We need to keep bills and send them to Dezernat 4. Here’s how it goes:

Pay directly from the university budget

  1. Make a copy of the original bill.
  2. Fill out the Kontierungsbeleg:
    • For office supplies: form
    • For travelling: form
    • Other things: form and find out the correct code to fill in Sachkonto (this document contains a list of codes)
  3. Send the original bill and the Kontierungsbeleg to Dezernat 4 (we have a map for that).

Please keep a record of stuff you buy from the project money. For this keep receipts/bills/etc. in your respective folder within the Receipts folder.

Important: If some of the ordered things is above 410€, or we are talking technical equipment (Printer, Screens, etc.) with costs higher than 150€ then you also need to fill out this form and put an ’inventory sticker’ on the respective equipment. This document explains how to get the stickers in case we’re running out of them.

Here’s a list of the currently used inventary numbers:

Entity Number
Mathieu Monitor 2015105241
Mathieu PC 2015105242
Printer Brother 155 2015105243
Dunja Screen 2015105244
Jesse Screen 2015105245
Jesse Laptop 2015105246

Get reimbursed after you paid already yourself

  1. Make a copy of the original bill.
  2. Fill out this form.
  3. Send the original bill and the Kontierungsbeleg to Dezernat 4 (we have a map for that).

Check out the note above for expensive orders.

How to order stuff?

This depends on what you need.

  1. paper for the printer:
    • we need this form filled (here’s a sample), it can be sent by email.
    • Before you send it, consult with the other office whether they also need paper.
  2. you need office supplies:
  3. TAN-numbers for the library: you do it in the central library. You have to pay cash and will be reimbursed.

What printer toner to order and/or I can’t find the printer toner!

We buy them via Amazon since they are much cheaper there.

The printer models are:

  • Samsung SCX-3205 in office 3/39 (ip:
  • Brother HL 5450DN in office 3/155 (ip:

How do we get our drinks (water, etc.)?

Currently we use the delivery service which is reachable under the email dilomeuser at t-online dot de. ``still’’ water is water with a light sparkle while ``naturell’’ means no sparkle. You can use the following sample to write up a mail:

Liebe Herr Meuser,

die folgende Bestellung ist für die Arbeitsgruppe von Prof. Straßer an der Ruhr-Universität (Universtitätsstraße 150, Gebäude GA, Raum 3/39):

  • X mal Kasten mit 12 Stiftsquelle still 0,75l (Glasflaschen)
  • X mal Kasten mit 12 Stiftsquelle naturell 0,75l (Glasflaschen)
  • X mal Kasten mit Kastell Apfelschorle (Glasflaschen)

Vielen Dank und beste Grüße,

your name here

Practical things related to Campus life

I am lost on campus?!

First rule: don’t panic! Second, take a look at this.

Lunching: what to eat and where?

Here are the respective menus of the four main lunch places around campus:

  1. main mensa
  2. Q-west
  3. bistro
  4. Lucy’s (vegan place in Uni campus)

Practical fun things related to Bochum


… well, yeah … sorry


Here’s a list of stuff ’we’ tried and recommend:

  1. Karawane (@town-center)
    • + usually no reservation needed
    • + lots of space (also good for rounding up workshops, etc.)
    • + great teas (e.g., the exotic herbal tea)
    • + huuuuuuuge portions
    • + food is quite decent
    • + nice choice for vegans/vegetarians
    • + prices are fair
  2. Gülüm (@Bermuda3eck)
    • + very cheap
    • + good food (try the lentils soup)
    • + we used to go there every Tuesday evening after the language course
    • + artificial fire on the television
    • - artificial fire on the television
  3. Lucy’s (@unicampus)
    • + vegan only
    • - vegan only
    • +/- food is ok-ish, sometimes the daily mail is pretty good
    • +/- prices are not that low
  4. NhyStar (@Bermuda3eck)
    • + great food
    • + fair prices
    • + great options for vegans/vegetarians
    • reserve if you want a place
    • + good lunch menus
    • + try the third desert on the list
  5. Burgerado (@Town-center)
    • + maybe best burgers in town
    • - nearly always booked out: better reserve a day before
  6. Blondies (@Town-center)
    • + good menu
    • + bio-meat
    • + lots of choice for vegans/vegetarians
    • - sometimes long waiting times
    • better reserve your place

Cafes, Icecream, etc.

Unfortunately not too much to add here.

  1. RöstArt (@Town-center)
    • ++ best coffee in town (Italian style)
    • + nice interior
    • - sometimes feels like a transition-space for shoppers and people like your aunt and uncle
    • - no wireless
  2. Kugelpudel (@Town-center)
    • + great ice cream
    • + great cakes
    • + lots of vegan choices
    • +/- coffee is mediocre
    • - in the cold months they don’t heat much: take your jacket
    • - you might hear the same (scratched) CD everytime you go there
  3. I-am-Love (@Schauspielhaus)
    • see Kugelpudel except for the problem with the heating
    • - music can be really bad German indie-rock (a reason not to learn German) or some world-music-kitsch
    • - prices are a bit high

About this FAQ

How to add content to the FAQ?

If you want to add points: feel free to edit the file in the same folder. You can do that with any editor, however with world’s most powerful editor emacs it’s most fun and you can export the file to html (org \(\rightarrow\) export/publish \(\rightarrow\) choose html, you can also export it to LaTeX, pdf, txt, etc.). It’s EXTREMELY simple to write .org-files:

  • italics: put stuff between /.../ (eg., /this will be italic/)
  • bold: put stuff between *...* (eg., *this will be bold*)
  • formulas: put latex code between $...$ or $$...$$ (eg., $\alpha$ produces \(\alpha\))
  • headlines:
    • 1st level: “* Headline 1
    • 2nd level: “** Headline 2
    • etc.
  • links: example [[url][click this link]] or [[../forms/form.pdf][this form]]
  • lists: just precede items with ’-’ or ’1., 2., etc.’
  • pictures: just put [[image.jpg]]
  • for other things like pictures, tables, etc. ask me or check

Alternatively, send an email to Christian with the content you want to add.

Author: Christian Straßer, Jesse Heyninck, Mathieu Beirlaen, Dunja Seselja

Created: 2016-12-12 Mon 16:43