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08.05.2020 | SSP News & Releases

Ask the Experts Preview | Funders

Our second Ask the Experts event is here! On August 12 at 1:00 pm EST, we are excited to offer the publishing community a chance to bring their questions directly to three funding agencies. This event is FREE but registration is required.


Publishers and funders often talk about each other, but they don’t always have the opportunity to talk to each other. This virtual discussion group brings together a panel of funders to answer your questions about funder policies and mandates and how funders view their role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem. Read on to learn more about what each expert brings to Wednesday’s discussion.

Our panel of experts includes Ashley Farley, Program Officer, Knowledge & Research Services, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Chonnettia Jones, Vice President of Research at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; and Tim Wilson, Associate Vice-President at Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Moderator Greg Tananbaum is the Director of the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG), a partnership of 17 funding organizations committed to the open sharing of research outputs. The ORFG engages a range of stakeholders to develop actionable principles and policies that promote greater dissemination, transparency, replicability, and reuse of papers, data, and a range of other research types.

Mr. Tananbaum took the time to answer questions about the event:

Tell us a little more about your goals for this event.
This session is a great opportunity to hear directly from several funders about the work they support, how it gets disseminated, and how they would ideally like to tweak that dissemination to align with their organization’s mission statements and worldviews. It is a forum to ask questions about funder policies and mandates, both on a philosophical level (why are you doing what you do?) and a practical one (how do you support grantees operationally, how do you monitor compliance?) Ultimately, this is an opportunity to forge a clearer understanding of how funders view their role in the dissemination of research, how they view the current ecosystem, and what they are doing to optimize it.

Who is the intended audience for this event? What is the value of attendance?
Anyone engaged in the research endeavor could benefit from this event. Funders are obviously a key stakeholder group helping to shape the future of research dissemination. Hearing their vision and their concerns directly will no doubt be illuminative for publishers, learned societies, scholars, and others.

What do the selected speakers bring to the discussion?
The panelists bring a terrific depth and breadth of experience to the conversation. Their work spans disciplines, geographies, and organizational structures. Participants will benefit from this diversity of perspectives to better understand the range of considerations that go into funder policies.

Why do you think this topic is important and timely?
The current pandemic has already had profound implications on the ways research is conducted, disseminated, and discussed. Many funders are (or soon will be) asking themselves,” If rapidly and openly sharing research data and papers is critical to understanding and combating COVID-19, doesn’t the same hold true for the big challenges our organization aspires to tackle?” To the extent that funders answer that question affirmatively, they will be increasingly interested in developing and implementing open policies. This session provides a great opportunity to open lines of dialog with other research stakeholders.

We invite you to bring your questions! Attendees of “Ask the Experts” events have the opportunity to steer the conversation, asking whatever questions you’d like of our panel of experts. You can also continue the conversation online in the weeks immediately following the event. These discussion groups are a great opportunity to speak with other members of the community who share your interests and stay abreast of the latest issues in scholarly communications.

Click here to register now!

News contribution by SSP member, Michael Groth. Mike is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services.

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