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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
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Grants and other research fundings
 


MIT Press receives grant to conduct environmental scan of OS publishing
- 18 Jun 2018

The MIT Press has received a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct a landscape analysis and code audit of all known open source (OS) authoring and publishing platforms. By conducting this environmental scan, the MIT Press will be providing a comprehensive and critical analysis of OS book production and hosting systems to the scholarly publishing community.

The grant affords the MIT Press the unique opportunity to provide the university press community and other not-for-profit scholarly publishers with a comprehensive overview of the numerous OS publishing platforms that are currently in use or under development. These systems, which produce and host platforms for scholarly books and journals, have proliferated in the last decade. The forthcoming analysis will highlight the availability, affordances, and current limitations of these systems, and thereby encourage the adoption and continued development of OS publishing technologies. Open infrastructure could prove to be a durable alternative to complex and costly proprietary services.

The results of the environmental scan and the accompanying code audit, expected later this year, will be made openly accessible. The final report will inform the MIT Press's roadmap for the publishing platform PubPub currently being co-developed with the MIT Media Lab.

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NFAIS receives Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for the NFAIS 2018 Blockchain for Publishers Conference
- 02 May 2018

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) has received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of the NFAIS 2018 Blockchain for Publishers Conference to be held May 15-16, 2018. The day-and-a-half conference is being held at the Embassy Suites, Old Town Alexandria, VA.

The 2018 conference is designed to bring together members of the information services community to explore blockchain's potential application for scholarly publishing and researcher workflows-from data collection to peer review to access of published work.

Topics in the conference include how to prepare for the potential impact of blockchain-based technologies on the information economy in terms of permissions and intellectual property; how blockchain can connect scientific researchers with funding sources or manage researcher grant funding; and how blockchain can be used to improve scientific record-keeping.

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AAAS celebrates federal spending increases for scientific research
- 26 Mar 2018

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) applauded President Donald Trump for signing into law a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 spending measure that delivers significant increases for science and technology programs and scientific research endeavours.

The catch-all spending measure carries significant spending increases for most of the federal government's major scientific agencies, including biomedical health, energy, space, defence, geological and agricultural research programs.

An analysis by AAAS' R&D Budget and Policy Program stated that under the measure, basic and applied research funding would receive its largest year-over-year increase since the FY 2009 Recovery Act.

Big winners included the National Institutes of Health, which secured a $3 billion or 8.7% increase and the Department of Energy's science programs, which received a $6.26 billion or 16.1% increase over fiscal 2017 spending levels. Science agencies also averted many of the double-digit percentage reductions Trump had requested in his fiscal 2018 budget blueprint.

The measure also removes barriers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

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Congress Funds $5 million open textbook grant program in 2018 spending bill
- 22 Mar 2018

In a landmark victory for the Open Education movement, the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. This marks the first major investment by Congress explicitly in open educational resources (OER) as a solution to the high cost of college textbooks, and underscores that course materials are a significant factor in making higher education affordable. The FY18 omnibus is expected to proceed swiftly to votes in the House and Senate and get signed into law this week.

The $5 million investment is the result of a grassroots campaign organised by SPARC and coalition partner U.S. PIRG over the last month. SPARC coordinated a letter to Congressional leadership signed by more than 60 of its member libraries from 30 states, along with phone calls and tweets to key lawmakers from members of the SPARC and OpenCon communities. U.S. PIRG coordinated with student activists to generate calls and tweets on campus, and organised a letter signed by more than 50 student governments. Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Congressman Jared Polis (Colorado) championed the provision inside the beltway.

The $5 million will be awarded as competitive grants to institutions of higher education through the U.S. Department of Education. Open textbooks created under the bill will be released under a permissive open license, ensuring everyone can freely use, share and build upon the content.

Providing this funding for open textbooks is the most significant action Congress has taken in support of OER to date, and builds on a strong track record of state-level programs. States including Georgia and North Dakota have funded open textbook grant programs that have ultimately saved students more than ten times the amount invested. As such, the $5 million Congress included in the FY18 bill could save students $50 million or more.

As the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2018 comes to a close, Congress will now turn to negotiations for Fiscal Year 2019 ahead of the September 30 deadline. This year's open textbook funding is part of a $2 billion FY18 commitment to programs that aid college affordability and completion in the two-year budget deal Congress struck in February. Another $2 billion will be available in FY19, and SPARC has already begun advocacy efforts to ensure that Congress directs more funding toward open textbooks.

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Applications for 2018 Altmetric Annual Research Grant now open
- 14 Mar 2018

Alternative metrics provider Altmetric has opened the call for applications for its 2018 Annual Research Grant.

First awarded in 2016, the grant provides up to 1,500 ($1,900 USD) to support research studies that explore different facets of altmetrics or a related topic that impacts the research ecosystem.

Previous winners of the grant, which aims to support projects that would not otherwise receive the necessary funding, include Dr Lauren Cadwallader of the University of Cambridge and Dr Evan Goldstein from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr Cadwallader and Dr Goldstein conducted projects that focused on where, how and why academic articles were referenced in public policy and on Wikipedia.

For the 2018 grant, Altmetric is encouraging applications from academics, researchers and librarians globally that offer new insight into the data. The review panel is particularly interested to receive ideas which focus on lesser-studied attention sources and move beyond examining correlations between altmetrics and citations.

All applications for the 2018 grant will be reviewed by a panel of research experts that includes Simon Porter, VP of Academic Relationships&Knowledge Architecture at Digital Science; Mike Taylor, Head of Metrics Development at Digital Science; Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric; and Stacy Konkiel, Director of Research&Education at Altmetric. Grantees will be announced on May 8, 2018.

The deadline for applications is 11pm GMT on April 20, 2018. Interested parties may visit https://www.altmetric.com/research-grant/ for more information on how to apply and to submit a proposal.

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