We are delighted to announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has generously awarded $481,340 to fund a new phase of PressForward. A free and open-source software project launched by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media in 2011, PressForward enables teams of researchers to aggregate, filter, and disseminate relevant scholarship using the popular WordPress web publishing platform. Over the next fourteen months, PressForward will shift from initial development to implementation of its innovative alternative publishing platform.
The centerpiece of this new grant is a series of intensive collaborations with a range of new, high-profile pilot partners: PLOS, Zooniverse, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and microBE.net. With the support of the PressForward team, each partner will produce a new publication that makes use of PressForward software and its workflow. The partners will serve as models to other research and scholarly organizations, and they will provide essential feedback to guide the ongoing development of PressForward.
In the coming months we’ll release new and improved versions of the PressForward software, conduct extensive outreach, publish guides on editorial workflow, and host a workshop to bring together existing and potential future partners. We also plan to hire a new outreach coordinator to join the existing PressForward team, and we’ll post a complete job description later this month.
Pilot Partner Profiles
PLOS Neuroscience offers an online hub for current and prospective authors of neuroscience-centered research. With more than 14,000 articles published to date, neuroscience is one of the most extensive subject areas in PLOS, and the PLOS Neuroscience community works to provide a space for discussion of those articles, as well as offering a venue that fosters collaboration and appreciation for the benefits of open-access scholarship.
The largest citizen science project on the web, Zooniverse is produced and maintained by the Citizen Science Alliance. Its community of volunteers help scientists and researchers sift through massive amounts of data and bring attention to projects ranging from their popular Galaxy Zoo, which asks citizen scientists to help classify images from the Hubble Space Telescope, to Seafloor Explorer, which asks volunteers to identify species in images of the seafloor.
Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
A joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society is an international, interdisciplinary research center focused on education and investigation of environmental humanities and social sciences. Based in Munich, the Rachel Carson Center runs the Environment and Society Portal and takes as its mission furthering understanding on the relationship between humanity and the environment, and to bring the humanities into debates about the environment.
microBE.net is the online home for scientists whose work overlaps in the questions that the built environment present to microbiologists. Based in Jonathan Eisen’s lab at UC-Davis, the site is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Program on the Indoor Environment, and encourages discussion and collaboration amongst other researchers funded by the program and provides outreach to interested researchers, government staffers, and citizens.