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ASAP Awards: Rewarding and acknowledging novel uses of Open Access resources

May 27, 2013
The Accelerating Science Award Program | Image from the ASAP Website (click to go to ASAP website)

The Accelerating Science Award Program | Image from the ASAP Website (click to go to ASAP website)

Those of you who know PLOS know that PLOS is a big advocate of Open Access – making research and findings available to everyone. To support Open Access work, and to highlight innovative and creative uses of OA, PLOS recently announced the new Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP), three $30,000 award aimed at highlighting three exceptional ways that individuals have used OA research in fields as diverse as science and medicine, technology or even at the societal level.

Nominees can be individuals, teams or cross-disciplinary groups – as long as the Program Rules are met, it’s all fair game! I wanted to highlight this award for our readers, as I’m sure there are some of you using OA research in innovative ways, and I strongly encourage all of you to consider nominating yourself (or others) for this award.

I also ask that you spread the word through your institutions, organizations and other connections – this is a great initiative and can help promote excellent Open Access work that is occurring worldwide.

The deadline for ASAP nominations is June 15, 2013, using an online form located on the ASAP website.

Some specific details about the award: The project/idea must be based on research articles or content published through Open Access before May 1st, 2013 in a peer-reviewed journal or in a repository recognized in the Open Access community. If the use results in a publication, the publication must be Open Access. For those interested, there are details available on the Program Rules.

From the ASAP FAQ, here are some examples. These are for illustrative purposes only and don’t refer to anyone in particular, and there are other projects that would fit the ASAP requirements. If you are unsure, you can contact ASAP[at]plos.org to check.

The health minister of a low income country was able to confidently and quickly change cancer treatment protocols based on an oncology research article detailing successful uses of a repurposed cancer drug published by a peer reviewed, Open Access journal, which had been translated into multiple languages by a group of retired language teachers.

A climate policy expert took original figures and examples from a recent Open Access climate change research paper — correlating temperature increases with rises in ocean depth — and repurposed these findings in a policy-focused presentation at a conference of experts from 25 Asian and Oceanic countries – leading to the adoption of stricter emissions standards by several participating countries.

A technologist used the APIs provided by Open Access publishers and aggregators to chart trending topics in environmental science research. He then mapped these research priorities against NSF and RCUK grants to show how grant monies impact what areas researchers pursue.

A team of bioinformatics researchers utilized tissue samples from an Open Access repository to obtain tumor DNA sequence abnormality data, which they repurposed to create a new web-based app for oncologists to analyze a new patient’s tumor cells – thus facilitating personalized cancer treatment.

I’m excited to see the nominees for this award, and I can’t wait to see how people have used OA research in new and creative ways. Good luck to all the nominees!

Ed note: This post was posted simultaneously on PLOS Blogs Sci-Ed

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