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Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2019-04
End: 2022-03
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Make good science discoverable through endorsements

Plaudit is open source software that collects endorsements of scholarly content from the academic community, and leverages those to aid the discovery and rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge. Endorsements are made available as open data. The NGI Search & Discovery Grant will be used to simplify the re-use of endorsement data by third parties by exposing them through web standards.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Should the findings of scientific research funded by public means be publicly available? Today we have limited access to the papers and academic articles that researchers write while working at universities supported in part by taxes we all pay. Publishers and publication platforms put most scholarly content behind (very) expensive paywall that usually only the same tax-funded universities can actually afford. The call for open access now grows louder, with scientists, journalists and activists arguing that scientific knowledge should be available for the common good and educate people, inspire innovation and be an important voice in an age of "fake news" and misinformation.

Plaudit supports open academic access by providing a tool scientists can use to independently endorse valuable and important research. This signals readers what articles are reliable and relevant, strengthens the credibility of researchers who become less dependent on major journals and supports the platforms that actually provide open access with an authentic stamp of approval. The tool itself is easy to use and integrate in for publishers and works with identifiers for articles and researchers that are already commonplace in the academic field. This project aims to integrate the Plaudit tool into preprint servers (where work is published before formal peer review and publication in a journal) and academic journals to encourage scientists to endorse relevant work and to channel these endorsements to other researchers, journalists, funders and anyone interested in academic work that is relevant for their interests. Scientists can take back their agency to determine what scientific work is relevant and users, journalists, businesses and governments can learn from these insights and innovate.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.