September 27, 2021

West Virginia University Receives $1 Million Grant From Mellon Foundation to Develop Scholarly Publishing Platform

From West Virginia University:

West Virginia University has been awarded $1 million from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Scholarly Communications and Information Technology program to develop a new academic publishing platform for mixed-media and print-based scholarship materials.

Cheryl Ball, an associate professor in the Department of English within Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator at WVU. She currently teaches in the professional writing and editing program and is editor of the journal Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Andrew Morrison, professor of interdisciplinary design and director of the Centre for Design Research at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Norway, is co-principal investigator.

Dubbed Cairn, this editorial-management system will be a modular publishing platform for print-like and scholarly multimedia journals, books, and data sets.

The platform includes features that will help editors and publishers provide an accessible, secure, sustainable, flexible, open, free, and collaborative environment for authors and readers, and which will help them engage in building and reading multimedia-rich, peer-reviewed content.

“Cairn is the only academic editing and publishing platform built for multimedia content from the outset,” Ball said. The system will enable scholarly artifacts to be routed through multiple steps including design, submission, peer-review, editing, and publication.

“This software platform expands our understanding of what counts as scholarship, so that it’s not just a print-based medium of communication anymore,” she said.

Bengler, a design and development team in Oslo will develop the publishing system.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.