Mellon Foundation grant funds Rebus prototype for a digital reader

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The Rebus Foundation will research and prototype an open, web-based scholarly reading system, supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The US$75,000, one-year grant will enable a team to focus on an open web-book platform that prioritizes the needs of scholarly readers.

Close scholarly reading of texts requires readers to process multiple sources, to understand and link complex concepts, and eventually to synthesize knowledge into new scholarly works.

At the same time, most digital reading environments, whether PDFs or ebooks in ebook reading software, are limited and constrained. We want to open up what ‘deep’ reading can mean, to take full advantage of the web, both in terms of technology and its culture of innovation.

Through the grant, Rebus will conduct in-depth research to better understand the needs of scholarly monograph readers and develop outlines and prototypes of a web-book reader for long-form deep reading.

The results of the work will be published under open licenses.

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