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Grants and other research fundings

Consortium partners for new European Commission funded SCOPE Project announced
- 15 Nov 2016

The European Science Foundation (ESF), l'École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) have been selected as Consortium partners for the new European Commission funded SCOPE project. The Grant Agreement has been signed by all partners and the project will be launched in 2017. SCOPE aims to co-ordinate and enhance the partnership environments between the two European Commission's Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Flagships - the Graphene Flagship, represented here by ESF and the Human Brain Project through EPFL, one of its 117 Partner institutions. FECYT will act as the lead co-ordinator of the overall SCOPE project.

According to EPFL - SCOPE coordinator, Kathleen Elsig, the contribution of SCOPE will be essential to enhance the partnering environment of the FET Flagships, and more particularly for HBP to engage with potential contributors and users of HBP's research infrastructure through meaningful collaborations. It represents a unique opportunity to develop and promote partnerships with research and innovation groups, as well as with other relevant stakeholders such as European industry. We are thrilled the SCOPE proposal was successful and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration with FECYT and ESF.

FECYT will lead the coordination of this project. The Foundation will develop an overall dissemination strategy for SCOPE including a web portal for the project's external communication. As Coordinator, FECYT will also ensure a fluid flow of information between Flagships.

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Elsevier partners with Doctors Without Borders to help tackle Africa's health challenges
- 26 Oct 2016

STM publisher Elsevier and renowned international humanitarian-aid organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have agreed to cooperate in fighting the root causes of some of Africa's most vexing health challenges, including diarrhea and infectious diseases, which leave millions of people dying or severely diminished every year.

As part of the agreement, the Elsevier Foundation has awarded a $300,000 partnership grant to Epicentre's Niger Research Center which was founded in 2009 to produce high-quality and high-impact studies aimed at transforming medical practice. The African-led research center focuses on adapted, concrete responses to diarrheal diseases, malnutrition and malaria. The three-year partnership will support the development of Epicentre's medical and scientific staff training and mentoring and aims to boost the Center's overall visibility through a "Scientific Day" Conference to be held in Niger.

The joint Collaboration Agreement represents a cooperative effort between four organisations: Doctors without Borders, Epicentre (Doctors without Borders' research and training arm), the Elsevier Foundation (Elsevier's corporate charity focused on global health and research capacity building) and Elsevier, which will provide courtesy access to products and services such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, Clinical Key, Embase and Mendeley.

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ÜberResearch unveils global grants database, Dimensions, for publishers
- 17 Oct 2016

Data science company ÜberResearch has unveiled its global grants database, Dimensions, for scholarly publishers - to enable them to understand new trends in research as they emerge, and compare the most up-to-date activity in research funding with ongoing publication trends.

Dimensions is the industry's first searchable database of awarded research funding, including $1 trillion USD in global research funding from hundreds of funding organisations across the World, with more than three million funded projects. With hundreds of thousands of projects presently ongoing, or starting in 2017, it offers publishers a unique and forward-looking view into the global research landscape to support them in making informed, strategic business decisions based on current and future research activities. For example, the information can be used to support editorial, product development and sales plans, as well as to help find relevant thought leaders for conferences and events and potential reviewers for manuscripts.

The database offers easy to understand data visualisations as a core feature and can be used to compare activity in new research funding with publication trends. It provides up-to-date metrics, including the Relative Citation Ration (RCR) score. Customers who already license the Altmetric Explorer from ÜberResearch's sister company, Altmetric, will also see the associated badged attention scores in the publication listings. Collectively, these metrics provide awareness to a range of activities.

Funding data and information from the database is already being used by the MIT Press, Wiley, Springer Nature and IOS Press to inform their business decisions and gain advantage.

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bioRxiv receives additional financial support
- 07 Sep 2016

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has announced that its free, not-for-profit preprint service bioRxiv has received generous additional financial support.

In the three years since bioRxiv began, biomedical scientists have warmly embraced the sharing of results as preprints prior to formal publication. Submissions to bioRxiv are growing at an increasingly rapid rate, with more than 1 million article views each month. bioRxiv currently hosts more than 5,500 manuscripts featuring the work of 23,500 scientists from more than 40 countries.

The additional funding for bioRxiv was provided by Robert Lourie, a Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Head of Futures Research at Renaissance Technologies. This is the second gift Lourie has made to the service since its inception and is an addition to his recent $2 million pledge in support of the Laboratory's endowment.

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UC Davis and CDL complete 'Pay It Forward' project
- 12 Aug 2016

The University of California, Davis and the California Digital Library recently completed the 18-month Pay It Forward project, an effort funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. The project brought together research libraries at Harvard, Ohio State University, the University of British Columbia, and all ten University of California campuses; publishing industry and bibliometric partners Thomson Reuters (Web of Science), Elsevier (Scopus), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers; and scholarly communications experts and researchers at several institutions across North America and Europe.

The research team was tasked with evaluating the viability and sustainability of a financial model for scholarly publishing funded entirely through APCs from the perspective of large, research-intensive North American institutions. This evaluation involved both a qualitative assessment of authors' attitudes towards open access publishing through article processing charges (APCs), undertaken through a series of focus groups and a large-scale author survey across several of the institutional partners on the project; and a quantitative financial evaluation, performed through an in-depth analysis of a wealth of data describing institutional publishing patterns, library subscription expenditures, extramural research funding, and publisher pricing patterns. By combining the results of these qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis processes, hypothetical models were proposed for distributing costs among stakeholders in the scholarly publication process, with varying economic implications.

The project draws several important conclusions which will further the discussion of an APC-funded model for scholarly publishing- and, more broadly, of the prospects for a large-scale 'flip' of the journal literature to open access.

First, for research-intensive North American institutions, library journal budgets alone are unlikely to be sufficient to fund publishing activities through APCs. However, the difference in funding could be made up by other stakeholders, such as granting agencies, who in many cases already support publishing costs.

Second, while author attitudes towards open access publishing vary across disciplines, all authors exhibit price sensitivity with regards to publishing charges. Leveraging this price sensitivity appropriately has the potential to induce competition in the marketplace, thereby restraining costs.

Finally, funding models can be developed which ensure that authors have some 'skin in the game' while still providing sufficient financial support to allow these authors the freedom to choose where to publish. One possibility would be to provide a flat library subsidy which would approximately cover the costs of publishing in a baseline-level journal, and then to establish author discretionary funds that are controlled by authors and can be used for publishing costs above the subsidy level, as well as for any other research activity. In this way, the institution provides funding to support its authors' publishing activity along with other research activities, requiring authors to think strategically about where their discretionary funds would be best invested.

The final report, the publicly-available datasets compiled and used throughout the project, and an Excel-based tool that enables other institutions to replicate the study within a local context by estimating an institution's publication costs and funding distributions under various conditions, are all available at http://icis.ucdavis.edu/?page_id=713.

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