James Weis, Amy Brand, and Joi Ito, in their Inside Higher Ed commentary:
Through the construction of such partnerships, we can leverage the continually growing ecosystem of open-source tools to develop, test and deploy new, open, transparent and cost-effective systems and processes that will help researchers and organizations. That will enable a shift toward greater institutional and public ownership of the platforms underlying the dissemination of knowledge — and the recapturing of the territory lost to publishers and commercial technology providers in the past decades.
It’s an interesting byline: MIT Press’s Amy Brand, the recently ousted head of the MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito, and a graduate student at the Lab. The Knowledge Futures Group (KFG)—a Media Lab/MIT Press collaboration—is the real focus of the piece. The Group’s PubPub platform is pathbreaking (and it’s the one I use for a publishing project). Still, this paragraph, referencing the Group’s Underlay data project, sketches a chillingly algorithmic vision for research funding:
… the Knowledge Futures Group is supporting the development of new platforms for the calculation and sharing of more rigorous metrics of scientific impact. By combining such metrics with machine learning, we can gain insight into the trends and features that lead to impactful ideas. Such predictions can also help construct quantitative, data-driven frameworks for the allocation of resources to research projects in a way that maximizes impact, and we are exploring opportunities to pilot these new funding mechanisms in the real world.