... [T]he National Science Foundation is now rethinking NSDL's
status as a research program. In one sense, it remains a typical NSF program,
operating through the traditional NSF project-award cycle of publishing a
solicitation, receiving proposals from R&D teams, and awarding the best
among them. In other ways, it is an atypical program because the goal of its
projects is not simply to broaden the knowledge base of science education
research and practice; it is also to build an integrated enterprise that will
persist and be valuable to learners and teachers of all ages.
But whether typical or not, NSDL has reached the point at which it must
either change substantially or start winding down. Many NSF programs come and
go in less than a decade, often after accomplishing their primary goals and
laying a foundation for a new research agenda. As a library, NSDL is becoming
mature enough to be an operational center. Because NSF is primarily a research
agency, investing further in NSDL would seem to run counter to NSF's policy of
not supporting routine science and education operations.
Nonetheless, there are compelling arguments for NSF's continued investment
in NSDL ... I believe that
NSDL gives NSF an opportunity to tighten the link among R&D projects: The
library is poised to provide a standardized technical infrastructure that
encourages—perhaps even requires—a much higher degree of project
In that mission, I see NSDL growing both as a platform for improving the
productivity of educational resource development and transforming education
research and also as a tool for creating and managing scientific knowledge
about education and learning. More broadly, NSDL could be a key component in
building a new cyberinfrastructure for education and education research.
NSF's continued investment in NSDL would have strong implications for how it
funds education R&D and how it manages projects to foster effective
partnerships among highly diverse and distributed groups of education
researchers, developers, and practitioners....
Gavin Baker at 2/28/2008 10:58:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.