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Resources for the Field: PubHub/FOLIO

July 28, 2008

The Foundation Center launched its online PubHub application four years ago and has been working steadily ever since to create the most comprehensive, fully searchable catalog of foundation-sponsored reports on the Web. As of this writing, there are more than 2,400 reports (300 of them annual reports) in the PubHub database.

Here's a more detailed explanation of the project and its goals:

What is PubHub?

Housed on the Foundation Center's popular Web site, PubHub (http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/pubhub/) is a searchable online catalog of annotated links to thousands of research reports, case studies, issue briefs, literature reviews, and annual reports published or funded by U.S. foundations. It is updated daily with the latest publications on a wide spectrum of specific issues, from Aging, Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, and Education, to Health, Human Services, Philanthropy/Voluntarism, and Public Affairs.

How does PubHub work?

PubHub makes a diverse and rapidly expanding sphere of knowledge easily accessible through user-friendly keyword search and browse functions. Each listing includes the report's title, publisher, publication month and year, a brief abstract, funders(s), related organization(s), and subject(s). The ten most recently uploaded reports are listed in Recent Additions. PubHub links point directly to the PDFs of reports on foundations' or nonprofits' own Web sites.

Users can sign up to receive e-mail alerts when a report on a topic of interest is added to PubHub, enabling them to stay up-to-date on the knowledge being created in their fields.

What's the purpose of PubHub?

PubHub was created to showcase the knowledge generated and/or funded by foundations, and to foster the exchange of best practices and lessons learned among foundations, nonprofits, and other institutions. It helps raise the profile not only of the research funded by foundations, but also of the foundations and nonprofits themselves.

By bringing foundation-sponsored reports out of narrow organizational "information silos" to a broader audience, PubHub helps maximize the impact of a diverse spectrum of insights and findings. We believe that knowledge is infinitely more valuable when it is shared -- especially knowledge upon which the philanthropic sector can help build a better society.

What is FOLIO?

FOundation LIterature Online, or FOLIO, is a permanent digital archive of foundation-funded publications housed at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library. The Foundation Center and IUPUI are working in collaboration to develop the collection in order to preserve these reports and to maintain public access to them over the long term. With the permission of the publishers, FOLIO archives digital copies of the publications and makes them freely available to the public. Organizations can also register to upload their reports directly via the FOLIO Web site.

FOLIO is searchable by keyword, and its home page highlights new submissions and featured reports, increasing their exposure and impact.

What is the Foundation Center's relationship to FOLIO?

The Foundation Center and IUPUI are partners in the FOLIO project. While the collection is housed at IUPUI, the Center serves as a link between foundations and the project. Because we believe strongly in the value of these reports being made available to a wider audience, and in the importance of a permanent archive that will remain accessible to the public for decades to come, we encourage foundations with reports in PubHub to participate in the FOLIO project.

PubHub itself is not a permanent archive, in that the links in PubHub point to reports on other Web sites. Many report listings in PubHub have both a PubHub link and a FOLIO link. The FOLIO link points directly to the permanently archived digital file in the FOLIO repository. If a report is ever removed from a publisher's Web site, the PubHub link will be removed from the PubHub entry, while the FOLIO link will continue to provide public access to the report.

For more information about PubHub or FOLIO, or how your organization can participate in the project, contact Kyoko Uchida at kyu@foundationcenter.org.

--Kyoko Uchida

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