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Client Profile: Dr. Jason Kelly, CEO, Open Scholarship Project

Interview: April 8, 2015

In his teaching and publishing, Dr. Jason Kelly, Director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and Associate Professor of History there, grew frustrated with the current system of scholarly publication in the humanities. He noticed two major problems that needed to be addressed. First, there were few open access publishers, which meant the bulk of scholarly research was not being made available to the general public, other researchers, and students whose libraries could not afford expensive professional journal subscriptions. And secondly, he saw a massive opportunity to redefine journal publication by harnessing the open nature of the web.

The system in use currently is based on a model created in the 17th century which has remained largely unchanged. Rethinking the process for the digital age would allow researchers to increase publication speed from years to weeks or months, significantly enhance collaboration, and reduce publishing costs.

Being a career academic, Dr. Kelly had intimate knowledge of the publishing process and how it could be improved, but did not have experience with building the type of technology needed for the project. He approached Sticksnleaves for this purpose, and they helped with designing and streamlining a prototype.

Sticksnleaves worked with Dr. Kelly to develop a product strategy, user experience and interface design. The end result was a clickable prototype Dr. Kelly leveraged to gather early customer feedback to validate need for the product. The product strategy, prototype, and product roadmap were also used to assist Dr. Kelly in securing funding from other universities and institutional backers.

Sticksnleaves is experienced offering services to a variety of clients, from software beginners like Dr. Kelly, walking through the process for the first time, to technology companies with exacting specifications for their desired software.

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