On July 31 this happened:
The Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, announced today six new initiatives that will support greater collaboration between researchers, both domestically and internationally.
One of the six initiatives is an extension to ICE, known as ICE-RS.
6. Integrated Content Environment for Research and Scholarship (ICE-RS)
Lead institution: University of Southern Queensland
Funding recommended: $196,000
ICE-RS will create open standards based technical solutions to facilitate and encourage the efficient creation of flexible documents in the process of conducting and reporting on research. ICE-RS will deliver a research authoring environment that assists researchers to systematically create, structure, and manage their publications and reports, and aids the automation of research workflows. The project will build on existing work undertaken at the University of South Queensland, and The Australian National University along with contributions from the Regional Universities Building Research Infrastructure Collaboratively (RUBRIC) project.
This means funding equivalent to two full-time people for one year to pilot ICE in a research context, and some money to travel to other sites. We'll be looking for people writing theses at various stages of completion (Hi Katie Cavanagh – you can be first!), papers, books and chapters.
Why would authors want to use ICE?
What ICE can/will do
ICE will offer:
A template that makes the technical aspects of authoring, preparing a manuscript and submission easy.
Automated backup and version control via Subversion.
HTML and PDF conversion for all content with no effort.
The ability to run project intranets.
Best practice referencing and bibliographic support.
We'll be working on ways to manage bibliographies and citations that will interoperate between Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org and with online services.
This project will give us the resources to add some basic infrastructure to ICE. Notably:
Full-text search and metadata indexing for discovery and automated browsing.
Annotation and discussion features.
Feeds (ATOM / RSS).
A first version of ICE on a server (until now it only runs on a desktop computer with content kept on the server).
A plugin architecture that will be used for bibliographic support and IR integration.
The next step is to organize the project team, which will take a couple of weeks. Then we'll set up our tools and begin recruiting pilot users.
How do you pronounce ICE-RS?
Well one of our senior colleagues says it is “ICE arse”.