It’s been relatively quiet from me for the last few weeks. One of the reasons for this is that I have been submitting a JISC bid. I’ve not submitted a JISC bid before, so it was quite a lot of work; it’s exactly the same as a research council proposal, except for all the bits that differ.

The bid, in this case, was for extensions to the Knowledgeblog environment; we want to make sure that it supports research better than at the current time. Our initial experiences were generally good, with a few naysayers. Additionally, we wanted much better linking to external forms of data; array express, Swissprot and the like. And, finally, we wanted to trial this out against a set of specific use cases. Critically, I also got tired of writing “knowledgeblog” the entire time, so they will now be “k-blogs”.

If it gets accepted, we proposing to develop some additional functionality, often reusing existing software. We really are trying to avoid developing any software that we don’t have to. The plans include:

  1. A documented k-blog process, including information on who does want, and how to use various existing tools (word and latex in particular).

  2. Proper support for referencing — authors should be able to drop in a PMID, or DOI and get a reference list and in-text citation automatically.

  3. Various metadata support, so that the in-text citations have semantics from the readers side.

  4. Trackback proxying for those resources which don’t support trackbacks.

  5. Integration and additional tooling for adding references and cross-links.

I’m hoping that we get the money; if we do, the work will give us a platform on which to build a publishing environment, a place for an educational resource, and finally, and excellent extension point for playing with semantic forms of publishing. I am not sure what the odds are; I know quite a few other proposals are going in, and there’s a reasonable chance that George Osbourne will cut the money back before its awarded. All I can do now is wait.

I’ll probably blog the whole proposal in a few days; this gives me a chance to try out the “blogging from Word” experience. How exciting.