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OU History of Science Department Receives Sloan Foundation Grant to Build an Innovative Tool for Collaborative Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

4-11-14

Contact: Jana Smith, Director, Strategic Communications for R&D, (405) 325-1322, jana.smith@ou.edu

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis Bibliography of the History of Science. The project is jointly supported by OU and the History of Science Society. The grant supports the first two years of development.

Stephen Weldon, assistant professor in OU’s History of Science Department in the College of Arts and Sciences, will direct and manage the project, which will transform the distinguished Isis Bibliography into a dynamic, web-based service that will encourage collaborative, global scholarship. Weldon will work with Gavan McCarthy, director of the eScholarship Research Centre at the University of Melbourne; and Kerry Magruder, curator of the History of Science Collections at the OU Libraries.

Weldon serves as editor of the Isis Bibliography, which was founded in 1913.  Only the previous 40 years of the bibliography is currently in digital form, and until recently, only paid subscribers could have access to the data. The Isis Platform will change both of these things.  It will expand the database to include the first 60 years of the bibliography, and it will make the entire database available at no cost to the user.  These two changes alone add great value to the existing bibliography. 

The Isis Platform will go further than this and give users the ability to manage their research through state-of-the-art digital tools, share their work with others and discover new avenues for investigating the history of science. The data will be made available through an Application Programming Interface for people who want to use this data for projects of their own. The Isis Platform also will be integrated with an open-access publishing environment that will allow users to build, create and print their own bibliographies.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corp., the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

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