Microsoft Research Connections seeks to advance the state of the art, accelerate discovery, and inspire the next generation of computer scientists through collaborations with innovative institutions and researchers around the world. We seek out and develop new ways for the research community to leverage Microsoft commercial technology and the productions of Microsoft Research to enhance their own efforts. We celebrate excellence and diversity via a variety of awards and sponsorships and also work directly with faculty through a number of focused research and development efforts. Everything that our group develops is free and much of it is cross-platform and open source. We are committed to open access as a way to accomplish many of our goals – open, transparent, and equal access to scientific articles and data enables more people to make more connections and solve more problems. Connections forged between otherwise disparate domains encourages the development of entirely new fields of study as well as new ways of presenting results of research. We believe that these new scholarly productions have the potential to transform scholarship. As new forms of publication such as blogs, rich media, and collaboratively edited documents enter the mainstream of academic productions, the opportunities for and varieties of expression will become richer and in doing so will enrich the data available for use. The deluge of data that is a hallmark of the 21st century is an opportunity and also a challenge. In order to search, browse, organize, and leverage this terrific quantity of information it is necessary to reduce barriers to access and encourage both broad and deep interconnectedness of all human knowledge.