The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University created PressForward to explore and produce the best means for collecting, screening, and drawing attention to the vast expanse of scholarship that is currently decentralized across the web or does not fit into traditional genres such as the journal article or the monograph.
The web beyond academia has had to develop mechanisms for filtering for quantity, on sites such as Techmeme and The Browser; the academy has honed a set of methods of filtering for quality, through peer review. PressForward aims to marry these old and new methods to expose and disseminate the very best in online scholarship.
PressForward will pioneer new methods for capturing and highlighting presently orphaned or underappreciated scholarship—including “gray literature” such as conference papers, white papers, reports, scholarly blogs, and digital projects—in ways that are useful to scholarly communities. Through a structured study of existing methods and by modeling a new kind of active publication, PressForward will collect data to provide the project and other organizations improved knowledge about open-web scholarly curation. Meanwhile, PressForward will release open-source plugins for the WordPress platform to enable scholarly communities and organizations to create their own trusted, high-value streams of relevant content. All data and code produced by PressForward will be freely available on this site.