George Mason University

To pioneer new methods for capturing and highlighting online scholarly materials in ways that are useful to research communities

  • Amount $861,762
  • City Fairfax, VA
  • Investigator Joan Fragaszy
  • Year 2011
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Scholarly Communication

The shift to digitally-mediated forms of scholarship has been characterized by a substantial growth in channels for and diversity of scholarly work. We see this in the flourishing of content in preprint servers and rapid- publication channels like arXiv, PLoS ONE, and the Social Science Research Network alongside unconventional forms of scholarly communication like research blogs and personal websites, all of which enable scholars to put their work out for broad access. Part of the Foundation's emerging strategy to ease this transition is to support the development of new models of filtering and curating online scholarly materials. This three-year grant supports the work of Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt at George Mason University's Center for History and New Media (CHNM) in the development of a software platform that will enable professional societies and interdisciplinary networks of scholars to collectively organize and review relevant resources. Cohen and Scheinfeldt will undertake a detailed study of various models for aggregating scholarly content, as well as a broad landscape survey of new and changing techniques for managing content on the "open web." In addition to contributing to the general body of knowledge about collective information filtering systems, this research will also directly inform the development of CHNM's "PressForward" platform, a substantial modification of the popular "Wordpress" blogging application that will enable the aggregation and curation of online scholarly resources at both an editorial and community level. Funds from this grant also support the experimental expansion of PressForward, currently powering, into four additional scholarly disciplines.

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