The University of Minnesota Press with CUNY’s GC Digital Scholarship Lab and Cast Iron Coding to launch Manifold Scholarship Phase Two

Second phase will focus on expanding installations of the platform and developing new features

Apr 17, 2018

Manifold_logoMINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 17, 2018)—The University of Minnesota Press in partnership with the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and digital development agency Cast Iron Coding has been awarded a $789,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch phase two of Manifold Scholarship, an open-source web-based publishing platform that integrates the publication of media-rich, networked monographs into existing university press publication workflows. With this grant the Manifold Scholarship project will focus on assisting with installations at other institutions, further development of platform features, and a research project about potential OER (open education resources) uses of the platform.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler says, “We take great pride in our press’s strong commitment to innovation and its productive, long-term partnership with such a leading digital humanities center as the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The results thus far have been impressive. That so many other presses and scholarly publishing venues at other institutions have expressed an active interest in adopting Manifold confirms our sense of the platform’s significant promise.”

In May 2018, the Manifold partners will issue a call for applications from presses and institutions wanting assistance with getting started in using the Manifold platform. 20 (twenty) groups—10 in 2018, and 10 in 2019—will be selected by to receive free installation support and free on-site training to assist them in getting started using the platform.

Doug Armato, University of Minnesota Press Director and Co-PI on the grant, says, “We are excited to have this opportunity to help other university presses, library publishing groups, and university centers install and get started in using the Manifold platform as part of their work to publish scholarship on the web. Working with twenty groups will allow the Manifold team to better understand the goals and needs of publishers who install the platform, and incorporate that feedback in our planning for Manifold’s future development.”

Other priorities of Manifold’s phase two grant are enriching the reading experience for users of assistive technology, expanding the platform’s interoperability with other platforms, and a CUNY-led research project focused on open education resources (OER) uses of the platform.

Matthew K. Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Co-PI on the grant, says, “Manifold has the potential to be a powerful platform for open digital pedagogy, allowing groups of students and faculty members to collaboratively read and annotate multimodal texts. OER initiatives have the potential to drive down textbook costs for students and we are particularly excited to work with Minnesota and CUNY librarians as we explore such uses for Manifold.”

Development of Manifold Scholarship began in April 2015 culminating in Release 1.0 in March 2018. Publishers, and any group wanting to publish open-access works on the web, can quickly and easily turn existing files into online publications, through a robust ingestion system that can import texts from EPUB, HTML, Markdown, and Google Doc source files.

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