ASAP Awards – Winners Announced

Earlier this month the six finalists for the ASAP awards were named. They represented six outstanding contributions to innovation that exploited Open Access. The 3 winners were announced at a kickoff event at the World Bank in Washington DC, on the Monday of Open Access Week 2013. This year’s OAW theme is “Redefining Impact” and few project speak more to that than the six finalists of the ASAP.

Nitika Pant Pai, Caroline Vadnais, Roni Deli-Houssein and Sushmita Shivkumar, developed a mobile phone app that will help people affected with HIV use a home diagnostic test and then connect with the right kind of information and the right kind of people. I asked Nitika about the project and about winning the award. Here is what she had to say:

Image courtesy of ASAP

The award inspires me to do more—and i thank God for rewarding hard work- and my family and my trainees for being there for me. I share this award with my extended family of trainees- Roni, Caroline and Sush who put in many hours of work with me. All of them pitched in, with their different perspectives. I am grateful to Open access— a movement that i strongly support, give my time and strongly believe in. i am an editorial board member of Plos one and review for Plos Med and several other open access journals.And i thank my sponsors—Google –and Wellcome Trust.

And finally, I dedicate this award to my husband, Dr Madhukar Pai, who is my role model. It was he who encouraged me to apply for it. As my future plans, lets keep our future plans for another interview. I do not like to talk about my work unless it is near completion…..i believe that our work and deeds should do the talking.

Read the full interview with Nitika Pant Pai here.

Mat Todd’s contribution to finding an open source solution for drugs to cure malaria speaks for itself. I talked to Mat about his project when he was named a finalist, and more recently I asked him about how he felt about winning the award:

Image courtesy of ASAP

Well, I’d want to emphasise:

I’m really happy to win this award. I am, however, representing a whole consortium of people. These guys have contributed because, I think, they just want to do the best science. They may have contributed because they realise we can do science more efficiently and with more impact if we’re open. The OSM-ers include people in my lab, in other labs around the world and the funders, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Aussie government, who had the courage to back a risky idea. Hopefully we can attract more people on board and do something extraordinary by discovering a drug that enters clinical trials.

Read the full interview with Mat Todd here.

Daniel Mietchen, Raphael Wimmer and Nils Dagsson Moskopp were nominated for the work they did “rescuing” multimedia files in  the Open Access literature. They built a bot that harvests these files and then gives them a new life in WikiMedia Commons. I’ve worked with Daniel and hope to work with him in the future, so I was really curious to ask Daniel what came next. Unsurprisingly, a lot. Daniel has so many great projects in his mind it is hard to keep up. The first line of his response was “Lots, actually” and here are some examples:

Image courtesy of ASAP

For instance, we could try to import media from other databases Dryad, Pangaea […], we could import files other than audio or video (e.g. images), or we could export to places other than Wikimedia Commons (e.g. YouTube).,[..] we’re not done, we’ve just tested the ground for bot-assisted large-scale reuse of openly licensed research materials, and we’d be delighted if others were to join in.

Plus, if we manage to reach out to the crowd (e.g. via the YouTube channel; then that could provide a new way for them to engage with scientific materials, and we can only imagine what people would do with them in a remix culture as on YouTube.

Read the full interview with Daniel Mietchen here.

Other finalists for the ASAP awards were:

Smartphone Becomes Microscope (Saber Iftekhar Khan, Eva Schmid, PhD and Oliver Hoeller, PhD)

Calculating Ecotourism Impact (Ralf Buckley, PhD, Guy Castley, PhD, Clare Morrison, PhD, Alexa Mossaz, Fernanda de Vasconcellos Pegas, Clay Alan Simpkins and Rochelle Steven):

Measuring and Understanding the Sea (Mark J. Costello, PhD)



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