UNT To Develop the First Cyber Knowledge Bank With $1.2M Grant

The international data trust will be the "first-of-its-kind" for scholarly publishing.

The University of North Texas is creating an international data trust, which is expected to improve the measurement and analysis of open access book usage through a $1.2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

UNT is leading an international team in the first of its kind scholarly publishing project which will allow universities and publishers to share and analyze data on open access works, according to a statement. The two-year project highlights an area of interest for the university as UNT was the first Texas public institution to enact a policy in support of open access and has hosted an annual Open Access Symposium since 2010.

“Advancing accessibility to research is a priority for UNT as a Tier One research university,” Diane Bruxvoort, dean of UNT Libraries, said in a statement. “We are proud to remain on the forefront as leaders in open access.”

The project will be led by UNT librarian Kevin Hawkins and conducted in partnership with the Educopia Institute, Curtin University, University of Michigan, and the Book Industry Study Group. The team plans to compile e-book usage data and standardize analysis and reporting tools with the goal of facilitating academic data sharing of open access materials. The project is expected to fill a gap in open access material practices as there is no current system for collecting usage data, according to a statement.

“Open access to scholarly literature has developed more slowly for academic books than for journals,” Hawkins, who serves as assistant dean for scholarly communication at UNT Libraries, said in a statement. “The data trust will be designed to ensure responsible use of e-book metrics and will be a vital source of insight into the ways scholarly books are being accessed and used, and the impact of the knowledge they contain.”

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