“This is the final report for the Future of Open Scholarship research project, a participatory research effort conducted by Invest in Open Infrastructure….
The culmination of decades of resource deficiency and over-reliance on commercial solutions, scholarly infrastructure systems across the globe were unprepared to adequately respond to the pandemic when it hit. For many in this ecosystem, this experience has cemented the need for sustainable change. Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) believes any worthwhile change must consider improving the adaptive capacity of the academic community so it can not only deal with future crises but also evolve and improve with its changing circumstances. Central to this change is the development of a robust preparedness model that can inform mitigation and response strategies in events of socioeconomic stress or disaster.
For any preparedness model to be successful, it must consider the strengths and capabilities of the stakeholders committed to making it a success. In the face of sweeping budget and staffing cuts, increased demand and strain on core shared infrastructure, and heightened concern over the stability of the infrastructure scholarship relies on, IOI mounted a participatory research effort to support decision makers looking to employ, support, and sustain open technology and systems that advance research and scholarship.
Over the past year, we have interviewed and worked with institutional decision makers, infrastructure providers, and funding bodies to better understand key decision points, costs and funding models to maintain, sustain, and scale open infrastructure projects, and thresholds for change. We spoke with 128 institutional leaders, press directors, infrastructure providers, societies and scholars in an effort to better understand the challenges they’ve encountered in furthering open scholarship (including the use of open infrastructure) in their communities, and to subsequently map a path forward.
This work focuses on open infrastructure and its relationship to the future of open scholarship. We believe that for open scholarship to thrive, we need to ensure that the software, systems, and tooling that enable knowledge production and dissemination are also tended for and aligned with the values of the community, with adequate resourcing, support, and oversight.
The findings highlighted below are about choice and tensions, product and people, and costs and benefits. They also demonstrate the ways in which the structuring of the current system has impeded responsiveness to current events….”