Supporting Shared Infrastructure for Scholarly Communication – Ithaka S+R, March 1, 2023

“Developing, maintaining, and sustaining fit-for-purpose community infrastructure is a challenge in the higher education and research sectors, particularly when the technology and policy environments are in flux. Ithaka S+R has conducted a variety of projects and studies touching on these issues over several years. Today, I’m pleased to share that we are launching a new study focusing on shared infrastructure in support of scholarly communication, with support from STM Solutions. The Project For some time, shared infrastructure has been a key enabler for delivering the services that authors and readers need from scholarly communication. Services like reference linking, repositories, identifiers, single sign-on, and digital preservation have supported the digital transformation of scholarly publishing, enabling new and improved services and achieving real efficiencies for all stakeholder communities. Looking ahead, it is necessary to sustain and in some cases improve existing shared infrastructure, even as next generation shared infrastructure must be developed to support the research community…. As part of this project, we will be conducting interviews this spring with individuals from major stakeholder groups, including infrastructure providers, researchers, open science community members, publishers, and librarians, among others. This spring, we will publish a landscape overview of shared infrastructure for scholarly communication. Over the summer, we will issue a draft report of our findings to allow for broad input. We expect to publish the final report in the fall….

And, with respect to shared infrastructure, we have just launched a project with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and other partners to design and prototype a shared community infrastructure that will support collections and collecting, with our work focused on governance and sustainability issues for this collaboration….”

Tren Publikasi Jurnal Open Access di Indonesia

Abstract:  The purpose of this research is to determine the publication trend of open access journals in Indonesia. A systematic review was used as the research method in this study. The focus of this study is to identify the themes that are most frequently discussed and discovered in studies on open access journals in Indonesia. According to the findings of this study, the most frequently discussed research themes were those concerning journal governance, marketing strategies, user perspectives, and matrices. Although several themes were discovered, the most frequently discussed theme was journal governance, specifically the challenges and problems faced by journal managers. Financing issues, journal quality, and piracy are among the challenges and issues discussed. This is due to the state of open access journals, which are still evolving in response to technological advancements.


A Federated Commons | Building the Commons

by Mike Thicke

Twitter’s recent troubles have catalyzed unprecedented attention on Mastodon as an alternative. In turn, this has introduced many to the Fediverse—a loose collection of services that, like Mastdodon, use the ActivityPub protocol to communicate with each other.

At Humanities Commons, we have long considered ActivityPub to be the most promising way to expand from our current, single-site, structure to a network of associated Commonses. We have taken Mastodon as an inspiration and model for a new, federated Commons network.

I hope to use this blog both to keep users at Humanities Commons informed of our plans and progress toward this goal of a renewed Commons and Commons network, but to also have conversations with all of you about our direction, about how we can best serve your needs, and about how you can contribute to our journey.

In this post, I want to describe in general terms how the Commons functions as a pseudo-network now, some of the challenges we’ve experienced with that structure, and how a federated or decentralized Commons might address those problems. In future posts I will go into more detail about how different components of the site—such as profiles, groups, sites, and the repository—might function in a federated Commons, as well as discussions of how we plan to implement all of this.



Response to the proposed themes for a 5th U.S. National Action Plan on Open Government – Governing Digital

“Last week, the U.S. government posted a summary of the feedback they have heard on making government more inclusive and responsive and invited the American public to read and share these summaries, and let the White House know what we thought of them by December 9, 2022 by emailing The following is the response we sent today….

A new Open Government Directive issued by President Biden that explicitly requires all federal employees to embrace the spirit and principles of open government, from the administration of the Freedom of Information Act to the proactive disclosure of public information to the public in the open, accessible formats required by the Open Government Act to the responsive, collaborative approach to civic engagement and public information that Americans should expect from our public officials and civil servants. Make in press freedom and Internet freedom the planks of a bridge to the next century of access to information. Enshrine public access to public information as a defining priority of this administration, building on the foundations laid by generations past to erect an enduring architecture of open governance for our democracy….”

Kick off for newly funded project: OPERAS-PLUS | DARIAH

The project OPERAS-PLUS has received 2,7 million EUR through Horizon Europe to support the further development of OPERAS in its preparatory phase and on its way towards implementation. OPERAS is the Research Infrastructure dedicated to support open scholarly communication for Social Sciences and Humanities in the European Research Area. The project officially kicked-off on September 1, 2022 and it will run for 36 months.

OPERAS was selected in 2021 as new infrastructure on the ESFRI Roadmap for the excellence of its scientific case and for its strategic importance for the European Research Area and the structuring of the European research infrastructure ecosystem.

The OPERAS-PLUS project will work towards 4 main objectives:

develop and strengthen OPERAS governance structure, especially financial, legal, and human resource management aspects of the infrastructure central hub
support the establishment and development of OPERAS national node
develop OPERAS portfolio of service
maximise OPERAS’ impact in the ERA and at international level by extending it beyond its current scope and onboarding new members and countries in the infrastructure.

DARIAH is one of the 13 consortium partners involved in the project, which is led by the Max Weber Foundation, and counts two associated partners from the United Kingdom. DARIAH will mainly contribute to the ongoing work on the evaluation framework for innovative outputs, by addressing their perceived prestige and the current evaluation mechanisms in academia.


Economics and equity in the development of Open Research Europe | Septentrio Conference Series

Abstract:  Open Research Europe (ORE) is the open access peer-reviewed publishing platform offered by the European Commission as an optional service to Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries at no cost to them. The platform enables researchers to publish open access without paying out of their research budgets and while complying with their open access obligations. This paper identifies potential financing and governance model(s) that would operationalize ORE as a collective publishing enterprise, supported by research funders and possibly research organizations, as of 2026. The aim of this study is to develop a sustainable, scalable funding model that is not based on article publication charges (APCs). To this end, the main business and financing models for not-for-profit publishing services were reviewed, based on a series of case studies and interviews with seven leading not-for-profit service providers. The paper outlines possible business model(s) for the financing of the operations of the Open Research Europe platform in the future and sets out actionable recommendations for implementing such a business model, appropriate to the scope and scale of the endeavour. It assesses how to incorporate equity into the design of Open Research Europe; and how to make Open Research Europe sustainable in the long run.


Humanities Commons Launches Mastodon Server Open to Scholars | Platypus, the Humanities Commons blog

Anyone using or observing Twitter will be well aware of the recent purchase of the company, which throws the future of the platform into, at best, uncertainty, and at worst, turmoil.

In response, many scholars have been considering a move to Mastodon, a non-profit, federated alternative social network. Being federated, Mastodon requires access to a server (here’s more on how Mastodon works), which is where we come in.

In response to community requests and our own recognition of the potential in this moment, we are launching, a Mastodon server open to all scholars (which we take to include: researchers, librarians, instructors, students, staff and anyone else with an active interest in research and education.) While we expect this space to lean Humanities-heavy, we leave it up to users whether it feels like the place they want to be. To start, there will be no limit on sign-ups, though we will review that policy over time as we learn more about the costs and overhead of managing the server.

We’ve moved quickly to get this up and running, and are doing so in the spirit of experimentation. We’ve never done this before. Many of the people who use it will probably not have either. So we’re going to have to figure things out together!

To start, we are putting in place:

Server rules that prioritize harm reduction and will be enforced via…
A clear moderation policy,

And if you’re new to Mastodon, a wonderful HC user has created an excellent guide to getting started.



IOI Community Investment Council: Express your interest | November 2022 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is excited to announce that we will be launching a fund to further investment in open infrastructure. The fund will go live in early 2024 and provide targeted support to further our mission to sustain effective digital infrastructure needed for open knowledge to flourish. Read our announcement for more information:

The fund will serve as a means to further the following aims: Catalyze and deepen investment in under-resourced areas, addressing gaps that current funding mechanisms fail to support, enhancing access to funding to services outside of the Global North, and drive investment to enhance a more representative and accessible ecosystem. Increase and expand the pool of funders of open infrastructure, including calling for those who extract significant value from the open ecosystem to reinvest in the open systems from which they profit. Activate a mechanism for bold, higher risk investments, including exploring community investment in current infrastructure, to counter the increased corporate control of tools and technologies.

Over the course of 2023, IOI will be sharing more about our plans for the fund, and we will also be launching a Community Investment Council. The Council will bring transparency and accountability to fund stewardship, to further build on our efforts to design values-aligned ways to debias funding decisions. You can register your interest to join those conversations via this short survey….”

IOI launches fund to deepen investment in Open Infrastructure | 1 November 2022

“Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is excited to announce that it will be launching a fund to further investment in open infrastructure globally. The fund will go live in early 2024 and provide targeted support to further our mission to sustain effective digital infrastructure needed for open knowledge to flourish. … The fund was announced as part of IOI’s Funders Summit, a gathering of key stakeholders involved in financing and resourcing open infrastructure. It will serve as a means to further the following aims:

Catalyze and deepen investment in under-resourced areas, addressing gaps that current funding mechanisms fail to support, enhancing access to funding to communities outside of the Global North, and driving investment to enhance a more representative and accessible ecosystem.
Increase and expand the pool of funders of open infrastructure, including calling for those who extract significant value from the open ecosystem to reinvest in the open systems from which they profit.
Activate a mechanism for bold, higher-risk investments, including exploring community investment in current infrastructure, to counter the increased corporate control of tools and technologies….

IOI’s fund builds on existing momentum to increase investment for critical, digital, open infrastructure, as seen with the recent commitment by leaders to advance and invest in the use of digital public goods such as open source software, Germany’s launch of the Sovereign Tech Fund to support vital and stable open source technologies, and continued efforts from organizations such as the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).

Over the course of next year, IOI will be sharing more about its plans for the fund via a series of invited discussions. They will also be launching a Community Investment Council to bring transparency and accountability to fund stewardship, to further build on their efforts to design values-aligned ways to de-bias funding decisions. You can register your interest to join those conversations via this short survey.”

Climate data need shared and open governance

“We agree that climate-data accounting systems should be interconnected globally, but caution against putting such greenhouse-gas ledgers into corporate hands (see A. Luers et al. Nature 607, 653–656; 2022). Corporately owned platforms would put climate data at risk of centralization and commercialization, creating another data monopoly for big tech.

Collaborative efforts are under way by several groups, including our own Climate Action Data 2.0. An open community of tech entrepreneurs, climate-data providers, researchers and non-profit organizations aims to create open and decentralized solutions for interoperable, digitally supported climate data. Existing and future climate data sets will be integrated as a ‘digital commons’. This shared digital infrastructure and ownership will allow nations and other climate stakeholders to safeguard their data and data sovereignty….”

Why is managing open access so painful?

“Over the last decade or so, there has been a steady transition in scholarly publishing away from a traditional subscription based revenue model for publishers towards open access models where published articles are freely available to readers1 . During the early part of the transition, author-pays models, where a researcher finds money to pay article processing charges (APCs), were shown to be sustainable under certain conditions by publishers like BioMed Central and PLOS and grew in popularity among commercial publishers2 . In more recent years, concerns about rising APCs and lack of access to publication funds in many disciplines, coupled with funder mandates3 aimed at accelerating transitions to openness, have led to a number of new business models, from so-called ‘diamond’ open access4 where publication costs are covered by a third-party fund, to transformative agreements, such as ‘read and publish’ aimed at enabling journals to move from subscription to open access models with institutional support5 . Alongside all of these sits ‘green OA’, in which authors self-archive a version of their article in a suitable disciplinary or institutional repository while the published version appears in a subscription-based journal. This increasingly complex landscape poses a problem for universities as they find themselves administering a diverse range of open access agreements. At the same time, very little research has been done into how universities deal with open access. Anecdotally, approaches to OA funding are varied and sometimes ad hoc. In general, it appears that university libraries often distribute information to researchers and scholars about sources of open access funding, but no clear picture exists of how funds are allocated or monitored. With this in mind, in late 2021, we launched a community survey, supported by MoreBrains Cooperative6 , about the current state of the open access landscape7 . With 64 responses from 22 countries, although this is a relatively small sample, several themes emerge strongly, some of which we had already intuited, and some that were more surprising….

Half (32) of all respondents reported low levels of trust in the management of OA publishing and associated charges compared to 39% (25) who reported that they neither trusted nor distrusted the status quo and just 11% (7) who reported moderate or high levels of trust. There was strong support for open APC data (43), open standards for data exchange (41) and clear institutional ownership of data (42), with about 65% of all respondents claiming that each of those measures would increase trust. Seven of the eight free text responses also mentioned transparency and improved reporting as being desirable. Although no single measure emerged as a clear first priority, these ideas share a common theme of greater coordination and coherence across the many stakeholders involved in OA. In a similar vein, community governance structures for OA data were favoured by over half (34) of all respondents….” 

Study on the Open Data Directive, Data Governance and Data Act and their possible impact on research – Publications Office of the EU

“This study analyses the possible impact of three major legislative instruments in the European Sstrategy for data (the Open Data Directive, the Data Governance Act and the proposed Data Act) for the field of research, especially for research performing organisations and research funding organisations. It does so against the background of the European Open Science policy pursued, in which the development of a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a major undertaking. Although the impact is difficult to assess at this stage, the study identifies and makes recommendations about key legal issues that need to be resolved. These have to do with ambiguities in the scope of application to research data, the interpretation of provisions, and the consistency between the instruments from the perspective of open science research policy.”

Why open science is primarily a labour issue – Samuel Moore

“Underpinning all these approaches to assessment reform is the brutally competitive nature of marketised higher education and the fact that precarious and exploited labour props up so much of what the university does. To this extent, open science is primarily a labour issue, not an epistemological one, although it is rarely approached by policymakers in this way. Knowledge production does not benefit from precarity or poor working conditions, not least due to the way they turn researchers into individuals competing with one another at every turn for scarce resources. If open science is to have any meaning, then, it must be grounded in a politics that is emancipatory from capital and the problems of researchers being oriented around capital at every point….

This, I argue, is what research assessment reform should be based on: building the capacity to explore and imagine different ways of producing knowledge, not simply reworking incentives towards open publishing, etc. In many ways, this means leaving behind assessment and replacing it with capacity building (as we’ve argued for in a different context elsewhere) or something altogether detached from the assessment of individual ‘performance’….”

The French Presidency of the Council of the EU announced the creation of a task force on digital commons.

On 7 February, during the Building Europe’s Digital Sovereignty conference, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian along with the Secretary of State of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Clément Beaune and the Secretary of State in charge of Digital Transition and Electronic Communications Cédric O announced the establishment of a new task force on digital commons, the latter described by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union as “non-rivalrous and non-exclusive digital resources defined by shared production, maintenance and governance”.

As overarching goals of such an initiative, the French Presidency strives to enhance European and international cooperation to ultimately scale up existing national digital commons and open source software projects, as well as to raise awareness and promote open technologies in the EU- and Member States-level public sector and start building a governance framework to support digital commons through human and financial resources.


Development and Governance of FAIR Thresholds for a Data Federation

Abstract:  The FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable) principles and practice recommendations provide high level guidance and recommendations that are not research-domain specific in nature. There remains a gap in practice at the data provider and domain scientist level demonstrating how the FAIR principles can be applied beyond a set of generalist guidelines to meet the needs of a specific domain community.

We present our insights developing FAIR thresholds in a domain specific context for self-governance by a community (agricultural research). ‘Minimum thresholds’ for FAIR data are required to align expectations for data delivered from providers’ distributed data stores through a community-governed federation (the Agricultural Research Federation, AgReFed).

Data providers were supported to make data holdings more FAIR. There was a range of different FAIR starting points, organisational goals, and end user needs, solutions, and capabilities. This informed the distilling of a set of FAIR criteria ranging from ‘Minimum thresholds’ to ‘Stretch targets’. These were operationalised through consensus into a framework for governance and implementation by the agricultural research domain community.

Improving the FAIR maturity of data took resourcing and incentive to do so, highlighting the challenge for data federations to generate value whilst reducing costs of participation. Our experience showed a role for supporting collective advocacy, relationship brokering, tailored support, and low-bar tooling access particularly across the areas of data structure, access and semantics that were challenging to domain researchers. Active democratic participation supported by a governance framework like AgReFed’s will ensure participants have a say in how federations can deliver individual and collective benefits for members.