The aim of the Open Source Awards is to encourage, support and reward open source projects, in part through cash prizes, which have topped $100,000 since 2006.
To identify excellence, the public votes for finalists within each category are combined with ratings from a panel of judges. Packt itself notes that it has no input nor say in the finalists nor the winners of any award category.
Voting for 2011's awards began yesterday and closes on 31 October. Winners will be announced in early November.
Further information can be found on the Packt Open Source Awards 2011 website, which also provides explanations regarding eligibility for each of the categories.