On November 11th 2020, the Crossref Board voted to adopt the “Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure” (POSI). POSI is a list of sixteen commitments that will now guide the board, staff, and Crossref’s development as an organisation into the future. It is an important public statement to make in Crossref’s twentieth anniversary year. Crossref has followed principles since its founding, and meets most of the POSI, but publicly committing to a codified and measurable set of principles is a big step. If 2019 was a reflective turning point, and mid-2020 was about Crossref committing to open scholarly infrastructure and collaboration, this is now announcing a very deliberate path. And we’re just a little bit giddy about it.
Sharing lessons learnt. This might involve developing communities of practice and guidance; pooling resources and working with initiatives such as Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) and JROST.
Following good governance practices. This allows the community to trust that the infrastructure or service will be steered by the needs of the community and stay true to the values of research.
Going open source and adopting open standards. “Despite a strong uptake of open source and open standards by many, challenges remain for some in sharing good governance, open content and applying open standards,” wrote the authors.
Diversifying fund-raising efforts, upskilling to embrace a range of business revenue models. This allows the organisation to spread financial risk….”
“On May 1, 2020, the COPIM project hosted a half-day workshop focused on community governance. COPIM intends to set up an open, community-led governance system for its infrastructures and processes, a structure that we want to develop together with the community of stakeholders that will be involved in the project more broadly, such as academics, publishers, librarians, researchers, and knowledge managers. This community workshop brought together governance experts, key stakeholders in OA book publishing, and representatives from allied large community-led projects, to collaboratively explore what the governance procedures of COPIM’s open publication ecosystem for monographs should look like and to begin thinking about developing models to sustain the governance of the infrastructure as a community-based OA service organization….”
“As part of our research on governance for the COPIM project, we (Sam and Janneke) are currently undertaking a landscape analysis, initially based on desk research. For this analysis we are looking at the kinds of organisational structures different projects and institutions in the scholarly communication and publishing space (ones that focus on open access publishing and open infrastructure, or whose mission is close to COPIM’s), use to govern their efforts. By examining the disparate approaches to and best practices around governance that are being employed in scholarly communication, we hope to understand how best to devise our own horizontal governance systems for the infrastructures and workflows COPIM is currently developing to support open access for books. In the next stage of our research, we will continue our exploration by additionally looking at various grassroots and activist organisations outside the scholarly communication space that are engaged in experiments with community governance that might be of interest to COPIM. We hope this will help inform our project in creating the durable organisational structures that we need for the coordination, governance and administrative support of the project’s community-owned infrastructure….”