What was the project about?

The JISCPress project developed a prototype publishing platform for the JISC funding call and dissemination process. It demonstrated how WordPress Multi-User (WPMU) can be used as an effective document authoring, publishing, discussion and syndication platform for JISC?s funding calls and final project reports.

Work was undertaken by Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development, Alex Bilbie, ICT Online Services team, Tony Hirst, Open University, and Eddie Tejeda.

Why did we undertake the project?

We hoped to provide a means by which JISC project investigators can more effectively discover, and hence build on, related JISC projects. We think that the cumulative effect of publishing this way could lead to an improved platform for the discovery and dissemination of grant-related information and project outputs. In general, the project sought to promote openness and collaboration from the point of funding call announcements onwards.

What did the project achieve?

The JISCPress platform is inspired and informed by WriteToReply, a service developed by the principle project staff (Joss Winn and Tony Hirst) in Spring 2009 which re-published consultation documents for public comment and allowed anyone to re-publish a document for comment by their target community. The project exploited well understood and popular open source technologies to implement an alternative infrastructure that enables new processes of funding-related content creation, improves communication around funding calls and enables web-centric methods of dissemination and content re-use. The platform is extensible and could therefore be the object of further future development by the HE developer community through the creation of plugins that provide desired functionality in the future.

One of the main outputs from the JISCPress project was the development of digress.it, a plugin for WordPress, which allows readers to comment on documents at the paragraph level. digress.it has since been used by thousands of people and a number of organisations such as the New York Public Library, universities around the world and as the basis for the Regulation Room, a joint project between Cornell University and the Whitehouse.

We continue to contribute to the development of digress.it, which is open source software available to download for free. Most recently, Alex Bilbie has improved the accessibility of digress.it through the use of better semantic markup. digress.it is available to use on the University of Lincoln WordPress platform.

When did the project take place?

June 2009 to December 2009. May 2010 to July 2010 (Benefits and Realisation funding).

What did the project cost?

Total project cost: £32,466.20. Funding received: £25,972.96 + £10,000 Benefits and Realisation funding.

Where can I find more information?

The project website

The JISCPress platform

digress.it