Rebus Launches Development of an Open Reading Initiative

After conducting primary research into the viability of a web-based system for open reading, we are now moving forward with its development, thanks to generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation is a leader in support to the arts and humanities, directed at the long-term well-being of diverse and democratic societies.

The US$873,000, two-year grant funds our ongoing work in the conception, design, and development of a reading and research platform, based on open principles and optimizing the reader’s experience. Users will be able to read, take notes, cite, and organize their collection, helping them write or produce other outputs that best suit their needs. A big focus is on developing partnerships with libraries and university presses as we develop the software, so that our work reflects the needs of the whole ecosystem.

A previous US$75,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation supported the original research, carried out by our team over 2017. Surveys and in-depth interviews with members of the scholarly publishing community (librarians, publishers, aggregators, scholars) led to a white-paper report on the values and needs of this community. The report, An Open Approach to Scholarly Reading and Knowledge Management, serves as a framework for the current development initiative.

Established in April 2016, the Rebus Foundation is a Canadian non-profit organization. Our objective is to help create an alternative publishing ecosystem, based on open principles. This reading initiative adds an important complement to the open publishing and project management platform of Rebus Community and the Rebus Press.

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