Jason Priem, doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, and his colleague Heather Piwowar, have received a grant from the National Science Foundation for nearly $300 thousand for their ImpactStory program.
"We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been awarded a $297,500 EAGER grant from the National Science Foundation to study how automatically-gathered impact metrics can improve the reuse of research software," said Priem.
The grant has three main components:
First, the team will improve ImpactStory’s ability to track and display the impact of research software. They will build tools to uncover where and how software is downloaded, installed, extended and used. They will also mine the research literature to find how software is being reused to make new studies possible. They plan to present the impact information in an easy-to-understand dashboard that researchers can share.
Second, Priem and Piwowar will use quantitative and qualitative approaches to see if this impact data helps promote actual software reuse among researchers. They plan to gather data for a sample of software projects, survey researchers and track inclusion of impact data in grant, tenure and promotion materials.
Finally, they will work to build an engaged community of researchers to help support the project, starting with a group of ImpactStory Software Impact Advisors; these folks will help with feedback and ideas, and also let Priem and Piwowar know when and how they’re using software impact metrics in their own professional practice.
The long-term goal of the project is big. Priem and Piwowar want to transform the way the research community values software products. This is in turn just one part in the larger transformation of scholarly communication, from a paper-native system to a Web-native system.
Priem says that they expect to offer key support to this revolution in the making, and "we can’t wait to get started."
Copy used with permission from the ImpactStory blog.