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Birkbeck centre begins work on open-source translation tool for scholarly communications

Birkbeck Centre for Technology and Publishing begins development of open-source translation tool with Open Library of Humanities

The Birkbeck Centre for Technology and Publishing, based in the School of Arts, has announce that work has begun on its open-source translation tool for scholarly communications. The tool, being developed as part of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a private donor, will be designed to allow users to write and read translations of openly licensed work, rather than resorting to the more common machine-based, automatic approaches.

The Director of the Centre for Technology and Publishing and a CEO of the Open Library of Humanities, Dr. Martin Paul Eve (pictured top), said: “Among the greatest problems in our scholarly communication systems are financial, geographical, and linguistic fractures. Each of these elements fragments and divides our global communities of knowledge. The Open Library of Humanities has thus far worked to address the former two of these elements, allowing anyone to read and contribute to the platform without financial charge, from anywhere in the world. Although it is a huge social challenge to address, with the open development of a human-based translation platform that anyone can re-use, we seek to make progress on this third axis.”

The development of this software sees two staff members join the Centre:

Richard Brownlow (pictured bottom left) has a BSc in Physics from the University of Leicester and an MSc in Advanced Information Systems from Birkbeck. He has over 20 years’ experience in industry as a Software Engineer and Software Project Manager and is currently studying for a PhD at the London Knowledge Lab where he is a member of the Weaving Communities of Practice Project. His research is in the design of tools to help domain experts integrate heterogeneous data sets.

Dr. Marija Katic (pictured bottom right) has MEd in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Split and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Zagreb. She has experience as a Lecturer, Researcher and a Software Developer. Her main interest is in software evolution, a sub-area of software engineering that aims to help software engineers to cope with ever changing environments in an easier way.

About the OLH

  • Unlike many emerging “gold” open-access models, the OLH does not charge authors to publish. Instead, it is funded by an international library consortium whose members recognise that the greatest benefit for the academy and society will only be realised when access to scholarly work is not based on an exclusionary pay-to-read system.
  • Since opening for library partnerships earlier this year, over 140 institutions from around the world have already signed up to support the OLH platform financially, many pledging multi-year support upfront.
  • Libraries outside the US and UK interested in joining the OLH Library Partnership Subsidy model should contact Dr. Martin Paul Eve:  
  • UK-based libraries can join through Jisc Collections. US-based libraries can join through LYRASIS.

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