Next steps for the Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs) | 2022-05-09 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“We invite open infrastructure service providers to express interest in being added to the next release of the COIs….

We are releasing the COIs documentation. This documentation is the primary resource for understanding the background, content, and key frameworks for COIs. We define key terms, describe key inputs, and articulate our internal decision-making on what content we included and how we chose to display it in order to inform and engage users of COIs, as well as support those interested in submitting information on services not already included in COIs.

We are launching an interest survey for open infrastructure service providers who are interested in being added to the next release of COIs. In this short survey, we ask service providers to assess their information on the key areas covered in COIs, and how they would like to submit that information to and maintain it on COIs. We would like to invite a broad range of open infrastructure service providers, e.g. of different sizes, governance models, and geographical areas, to take part in this survey. This would help build a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of data types and practices, and increase the resilience of COIs, its infrastructure and processes.

Contribute to developing COIs — We can only move COIs and this work forward with the support of open infrastructure services providers. You can help by expressing your interest in being added to the next release of COIs by filling in the Interest survey, by June 20.

We also invite everyone interested to read and comment on the COIs documentation to help improve the value, usability, scalability and overall user experience of COIs.

We are organizing two Q&A sessions on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 to further discuss these plans with the community and answer any questions you may have: Session 1: 10 am EDT (see this in your time zone) – register here. / Session 2: 7 pm EDT (see this in your time zone) – register here. The sessions will be recorded, and the recordings and a short recap will be shared here on our blog. We look forward to meeting you at one of the sessions!…”

What we are working on: 2022-05-06 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“…Thank you to everyone who provided input to the “Defining Open Scholarly Infrastructure” draft report – we have now closed the open comment period. We will be reading and addressing your comments and will publish the final report early June. We’re also reviewing our public comment process to help make it more inclusive in the various stages of the work so we can incorporate more feedback earlier in the scoping process. We look forward to iterating towards a more participatory process.

We are scoping and conducting new preliminary investigations on topics including training for open infrastructure and tools and community governance. Watch this space for more about these investigations in the next few weeks!

We are finalizing a first version of the documentation for the Catalog of Open Infrastructure (COIs) and preparing the next phase of work. More about our plans for COIs and how you can participate next week!

We welcome Samuel Moore to the team! Sam will be building on his previous work on governance and community-led models in scholarly communication to help enrich our work in this critical area. His contribution will improve our understanding as we work to identify key frameworks for good governance in open infrastructure.

Our Community Oversight Council hosted its first community discussion with Afua Bruce and Amy Sample Ward, the authors of The Tech That Comes Next. Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion – we will publish the recording and a short summary next week, here on our blog.

With our Governance and Nominating Committee, we are scoping out the work to strengthen our governance processes and establish our Financial Oversight Group.

We are exploring and setting up communication tooling and processes, including tools for social media scheduling and customer relationship management. The aim is to make our communication efforts more efficient and scalable, as well as to improve our data practices.

We have updated our privacy policy to better reflect how we collect, process, and store data. We will continue to work with ZwillGen to look at how we can be more ethical, transparent, and accountable in the ways we handle data….”

What we are working on: 2022-04-22 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“What we are working on: We shared a draft report from our preliminary investigation into defining open scholarly infrastructure. This investigation is a step towards building a shared vision for an ecosystem that supports open research and scholarly communication. We invite you to comment on the report, by 3 May 2022.

This definitional work was also described in our latest research update. The update discussed our plans for the Catalog of Open Infrastructure (COIs) and our initial working models for understanding the funding and operation of infrastructure services. Watch this space over the next few weeks!

We reflected on our Strategy Retreat and shared key learnings, recordings, and reusable resources for anyone who would like to learn more about organising such an experience.

Our new Steering Committee had its first meeting. They discussed charters, the development of the Financial Oversight Group, and our strategic roadmap.

We have been looking into budgeting and resource planning for the rest of the year to understand how we can best use our available resources to support our strategic goals and organisational growth.

We hosted our first Collaborator Call, where we gathered individuals and organizations who had invested in infrastructure, responsible technology, and adjacent areas, to begin exploring how we can build a shared agenda for open research and scholarly infrastructure. We intend to host these calls quarterly and are actively thinking about how to expand this space in a safe and inclusive manner. We are crafting our first newsletter, to be sent out next week! There is still time to sign up to get it straight into your inbox.

What we are reading/exploring: A list of highlights below — for a more comprehensive view, please check out the Open Infrastructure Tracking Project!

Institutionalizing Open Science in Africa: Limitations and Prospects by Izuchukwu Azuka Okafor et al, April 2022.

Building the Public Interest Technology Infrastructure of the Future by Jenny Toomey, Latanya Sweeney, April 2022….”

Preliminary investigation: Defining Open Scholarly Infrastructure

Today, we share the preliminary findings from our investigation into defining open scholarly infrastructure. This investigation is a step towards building a shared vision for what an ecosystem of open systems and services looks like that supports research and scholarly communication. We invite you to comment on the report, by 3 May 2022.

Research Update: COIs, Defining Infrastructure, and Exploring Utility Financing as a Useful Model

The following is a brief summary of our current plans for Catalog of Infrastructures, our work understanding the nature of infrastructure, and our initial working models for understanding the funding and operation of infrastructure services.


What we are working on: 2022-03-25 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“…What we are working on: We shared our journey and lessons learnt from evolving our governance. In our latest blog post, we shared some of our readings and research into non-profit governance, our reflections and motivations for designing new governance structures and bodies, and what we have learnt on the way.

As next steps in our governance roadmap, we are creating charters with our Steering Committee and Community Oversight Council to bring clarity to our respective responsibilities and ways of working.

We welcomed (back) Saman Goudarzi to IOI! Saman is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto and worked with us previously on the Future of Open Scholarship report. She’ll be working with us as a part-time research analyst on several ongoing projects. We are looking forward to working with her again and onboarding more research analysts to support our research work in the future.

With Saman’s help, we are looking at the literature defining infrastructure particularly in the context of open science and scholarly communication.

We’re finalizing our initial draft of research on water utility funding models and costs frameworks as we explore the parallels between funding for water supply and open infrastructure. We look forward to releasing this research in a preliminary investigation report in the near future.

We continue to work on our strategic roadmap following the conclusion of our strategy retreat. We look forward to having details to share publicly in the near future.

We have a new Research Organization Registry (ROR) ID for IOI: 0588n4k65….”

Evolving our Governance: Motivations, journey and lessons learnt

“The structures and processes governing an organization are critical for ensuring the organization acts by its values and puts its beliefs into practice. We [IOI] outline our recent governance changes and learnings to be more transparent and share our experiences with others on a similar path….”

Open Scholarship Policy Observatory » The Future of Open Scholarship Project Report on Open Infrastructure

“Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is an international organization that researches and advocates for open, community-led research infrastructure and works toward coordinated and sustainable funding models. In August 2021, IOI released the final report from the Future of Open Scholarship (FOS) project….

The report recommends the creation of an Open Infrastructure Technology Oversight Committee comprising key stakeholders and emphasizes that funding models are a key consideration for sustainable open research infrastructure. Finally, the report presents five recommended interventions, with updates about what has been achieved toward them so far and possible future timelines. These recommendations are, in the short term (<1 year),

to explore models for enabling greater interoperability between information-sharing systems
establish a committee for open infrastructure technology oversight.

In the medium term (1–2 years+),

to identify opportunities for collective service and support models to maximize collective benefits and improve resilience.

And in the long term, (3 years+)

to pilot a rapid response fund to support project maintenance, building on the previous pilot project
develop a funding model framework to assess the feasibility of a collective funding model, coordinating efforts currently underway (28–29).

In addition to its final report, the FOS project includes an interactive financial modelling tool and an accompanying report that models the costs and benefits of collective investment in open infrastructure….”

RLUK22 | Keynote – Kaitlin Thaney, Invest in Open Infrastructure – YouTube | Research Libraries UK

15 March 2022, “RLUK22 Conference, Research Libraries UK

The need for open infrastructure – Kaitlin Thaney, Executive Director, Invest in Open Infrastructure

These past two years have shown us the increased need and demand for investments in openness across all areas of research and scholarship — from content and data to the underlying systems that make those discoveries available and accessible to the world. Invest in Open Infrastructure is an initiative dedicated to improving the funding and resourcing for those underlying technologies and systems. This talk examines higher education’s complicated relationship with research infrastructure, and look at critical issues and questions surrounding the tools and providers underpinning open knowledge….”



What we are working on: 2022-03-11 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“…What we are working on: We concluded IOI’s Strategy Retreat. In the last two weeks, we learnt from experts Pia Mancini (, Joy Owango ( and AfricArXiv), and Elizabeth Searing (University of Texas) about investment and non-profit assessment. We discussed various models of resourcing and outlined a roadmap for the next months with IOI’s Steering Committee and Community Oversight Council. We hope to share resources and learnings from the Retreat with the public in the coming months – stay tuned!

We welcomed IOI’s new Steering Committee. This Committee brings new ideas, strategies, and learnings to the work of IOI from adjacent communities and areas of infrastructure. We would like to thank IOI’s inaugural founding members, who have supported and guided us as we evolve our governance.

We met with our Community Oversight Council. We reflected on the retreat and discussed questions to clarify the scope, objectives, and ways of working of the Council. This forms solid foundations for our work to draft a charter and documentation.

We ran a Financial Strategy session as part of the Digital Infrastructure Incubator. The Digital Infrastructure Incubator at Code for Science & Society is supporting open source project leaders implementing best practices in sustainability, governance, and community health. Our Executive Director Kaitlin Thaney spoke with the cohort on strategies for financial planning and strategy, and discussed how to approach building resourcing for your project….”

IOI announces new Steering Committee members | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“…Today, we are excited to welcome eight new members to IOI’s Steering Committee, our main governing body, to join us in working to sustain effective digital infrastructure needed for open knowledge to flourish. The IOI Steering Committee brings new ideas, strategies, and learnings to the work of IOI from adjacent communities and areas of infrastructure. The new members are joined by three members of the previous Steering Committee – Danielle Robinson, Leslie Chan, and Evviva Weinraub Lajoie. Please join us in welcoming the new Steering Committee to our work to advance open infrastructure investment and adoption. (Biographies can be found here.)

Amy Buckland, Libraries and Archives Canada
Mmaki Jantjies, Telkom SA; University of the Western Cape
Omo Oaiya, WACREN
Danil Mikhailov,
Lorrayne Porciuncula, Datasphere Initiative
Berhan Taye, Internews
Amy Sample Ward, NTEN
Leslie Chan, University of Toronto Scarborough; Knowledge Equity Lab
Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, State University of New York at Buffalo
Jochai Ben-Avie, Connect Humanity*
Danielle Robinson, Code for Science & Society*

*Denotes non-voting advisors….”

What we’re working on: 2022-02-25 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“…What we’re working on:

We are exploring the challenges we would like to work on, and how. In the second week of our Strategy Retreat, IOI staff, Community Oversight Council and Steering Committee members discussed work values and expectations and defined what we need from each other. We also started identifying and understanding the top challenges that we should tackle as a group. This paves the way for us to start investigating solutions. …

We are exploring relevant models for better understanding infrastructure and continuing our conversations with community members to plan out the next stages of our work developing the Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs).

We are investigating methods and tools used to finance sustainable water infrastructure. In an effort to learn from other sectors, we are investigating the efforts of the OECD and IRC to reach the sustainable development goal of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all….”

What we’re working on: 2022-02-11

“…What we’re working on:

We kicked off IOI’s first Strategy Retreat. Our organization-wide Strategy Retreat began this week, with 20 participants from our Steering Committee, Community Council, and staff. Over the course of the next month we’ll be exploring ideas together about money, investment, non-profit effectiveness, ways of working, and courage. This retreat is fully virtual, with participation across seven time zones. Stay tuned for more on the retreat and changes to IOI governance over the coming weeks!

We compiled an Orientation Guide for those new to our work, which includes an organizational timeline of IOI’s work to date, key priorities, staff and governance documentation, and more about our current and past funding. This is designed as a public resource that we will be updating annually….”

Wikidata as a Tool for Mapping Investment in Open Infrastructure

“This working paper shares the results of research conducted to explore Wikidata’s current coverage of the domain of open infrastructure and investment therein. The research question investigates whether Wikidata, a collaboratively edited and multilingual knowledge graph hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, is a viable prospect for hosting investment flow data for open infrastructure. 

At present, Wikidata partially describes the domain. Coordinated efforts to collectively define relevant data categories, relationships, and values, and to align distributed editing will help to improve coverage.

This study was conducted as part of a Research Fellowship with Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), and is generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

We invite feedback and comments directly in this document. Please feel free to add your thoughts via the commenting function. Have questions? Contact us. …”

COIs Informational Sessions Recap: Video, Slides, Notes | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“COIs Informational Sessions Recap: Video, Slides, Notes

Last week, we held two public information sessions via Zoom to introduce the newly launched Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs). We presented details on the catalog’s ideation, research process, design, prototyping, and plans for future expansion….”