Hypothesis is pleased to announce that it has recently been awarded $2 million in new funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This is our sixth grant from the Mellon Foundation, and we are grateful for their continued endorsement of our mission and work to scale the use of open, standards-based web annotation and the Hypothesis annotation tool suite in scholarship and research.
Specifically, the focus of this multi-year grant, Scaling Annotation in Scholarship and the Humanities, will be to support feature enhancements and program development for Hypothesis’ annotation software and services, with an emphasis on the arts and humanities. With the support of the Mellon Foundation, Hypothesis has made substantial progress in adding important features such as group functions and moderation, realizing a W3C standard for web annotation, building the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition to bring together major publishers and scholarly platforms around open annotation, and growing our user base in the arts and humanities through outreach in publishing and education. This new round of funding will enable us to capitalize on our previous work and current trends in scholarship, publishing and education to accelerate growth in annotation and execute our business strategy for long term sustainability.
“The web is a vital source of information for study and vigorous debate. In a flourishing democracy, these debates can explore a range of features from the provenance of the sources, their veracity, and the interpretations they represent or provoke,” said Donald J. Waters, Senior Program Officer for Scholarly Communication at the Mellon Foundation. “For citizens to pursue these ideas, they depend on a reliable and full set of web-based tools, of which annotation is among the most important. Hypothesis has been in the forefront of embedding annotation deep into the fabric of the web, and this grant promises to help increase the utility and wide availability of these tools.”
We see multiple trends where open annotation can have significant impact. Researchers are increasing their collaboration and communication on digital platforms, where annotation provides an interoperable communication channel directly on top of scholarly works. Publishers are expanding their services, using annotation to improve editorial processes, enable research workflows, and engage readers more deeply. Educators and students are interacting more and more with digital readings and assignments, using annotation to build digital literacy and enable deeper private and collaborative reading. To realize this impact, Hypothesis will use this new support from the Mellon Foundation to ensure that open, standards-based annotation is broadly deployed across scholarly content and the platforms and tools where scholars and students produce, review and consume works.
About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, the Foundation supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.
Hypothesis is a mission-driven organization dedicated to the development and spread of open, standards-based annotation technologies and practices that enable anyone to annotate anywhere, helping humans reason more effectively together through a shared, collaborative discussion layer over all knowledge. Hypothesis is based in San Francisco, CA, USA, with a worldwide team.
Hypothesis has developed its open-source annotation software in collaboration with many partners and funders, including specific projects to augment groups and authentication capabilities with eLife, to enable annotation on EPUBs with NYU, the Readium Foundation, Evident Point, and EPUB.js, and many others. We thank our funders, partners and community for working with us to advance standards-based, interoperable annotation for all.