Johns Hopkins University

To pilot an Open Source Contributor Fund and build capacity at the Johns Hopkins University Open Source Projects Office

  • Amount $350,000
  • City Baltimore, MD
  • Investigator G. Choudhury
  • Year 2020
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Better Software for Science

Open source software (OSS) is an increasingly vital component of the scientific research enterprise, used in one form or another at every point in the research pipeline, from instrument calibration, to data collection and cleaning, to analysis and visualization, to archiving.  The centrality and importance of OSS has led to the realization within academic institutions of the need for formal mechanisms to identify and support those OSS projects most central to its researchers.  One model being explored is the creation of university Open Source Programs Offices (OSPO), special intra-university bodies charged with the support of important open source software.    This grant provides funding for the Open Source Contributor Fund at the Johns Hopkins University, a pilot initiative designed to enhance and deepen the university’s support for and engagement with faculty working on open source software projects.  Spearheaded by Associate Dean for Research Management G. Sayeed Choudhury out of the university’s new Open Source Programs Office, the Fund will make small grants of $10,000 to those open source software projects deemed to be most important to campus researchers.  The 16 projects supported over the grant period will be selected through a combination of voting and data analysis of research software dependencies. In addition to surfacing appropriate projects for support, the nomination and voting process will be used to canvass the use, development, and maintenance of open source software across Johns Hopkins. Choudhury and his team will also produce a playbook and other open source tools for use by other institutions who wish to implement similar programming in support of open source development.

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