Who’s afraid of open infrastructures? | Research Information

“Joanna Ball, Yvonne Campfens and Tasha Mellins-Cohen underline the importance of non-profit infrastructure and standards bodies…

both COUNTER and DOAJ are essential components of the knowledge ecosystem – but new challenges arise and new organisations are needed to help meet them. In 2018 the idea for the OA Switchboard (https://www.oaswitchboard.org/) was conceived to allow publishers, libraries and research funders to easily share information about OA publications throughout the publication journey, synchronising data from a multitude of systems and processes that would otherwise have to be manually connected within each separate organisation.

What do these organisations have in common? We are all owned and led by our community, and we’re not for sale or for profit. We are foundational open infrastructure and standards bodies, operating behind the scenes with low budgets and limited staffing – none of us have salespeople, marketing teams, exhibition budgets or in-house technology support. We collaborate with one another and with bigger bodies like Crossref, ORCID and NISO to create the foundations on which much scholarly infrastructure relies.


And foundations is absolutely the right word: scholarly communications is an exciting and innovative space with new commercial and non-commercial services springing up almost daily. We deliver value through open infrastructure, data and standards, and naturally services and tools have been built by commercial and not-for-profit groups that capitalise on our open, interoperable data and services – many of which you are likely to recognise and may use on a regular basis….”

How to support Rogue Scholar?

“Rogue Scholar helps blogs that publish their content under an open license. Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) is the appropriate license for scholarly publications, as explained by the Open Access Publishers Association (OASPA). Therefore content is always free to read, share and adapt for users of Rogue Scholar, and I hope to see interesting services and other implementations evolve over time.

Consistent with the POSI principle revenue based on services, not data, I could see newsletters as a possible revenue source in the future, as long as content always remains accessible free of charge via webpage or RSS feed….

To align the Rogue Scholar with the mission-consistent revenue generation discussed in the previous paragraph, Rogue Scholar is launching two payment options today:

Donations (one-time or monthly) of $3 or more if you want to support the Rogue Scholar as a reader. Follow the new buy me a coffee link in the navigation bar on top of all Rogue Scholar pages.
Follow the pay for more blog posts link in the Rogue Scholar pricing section to pay for archiving additional blog posts. Pay a one-time fee of $25 to archive 25 blog posts (including full-text search and DOI registration). This can be for your own blog or any other blog included in the Rogue Scholar, and can of course be multiples of 25 to archive more blog posts….”

Rules vs. Principles in POSI | Martin Paul Eve

In recent days, several signatories to the Principles on Open Scholarly Infrastructure have taken to performing self-audits of their compliance with the principles. Of course, holding oneself to account in this way is a welcome development. Without some form of self-appraisal it is not possible to know how close one is to fulfilling the goals of POSI.

However, I wanted to gesture, in this post, towards a distinction between “rules” and “principles” that I believe are fundamental to the systems that POSI wishes to implement. People have begun treating the example specifications in POSI as though they were hard-and-fast rules. For example, the wind-down contingency clause specifies “12 months” – and people can become very anxious about strictly fulfilling this criterion.

But the truth is, taking this example, that some infrastructures will need a year to wind down, while others will only require 6 months. The principles actually go on to state: “12 months in most cases”. But some might even take longer than a year. This wind-down period is not just about closing down the organisation, but is also concerned with giving the community that uses the infrastructure enough time to migrate. The point is that the principle here is: you build and set aside sufficient contingency funding to ensure an orderly wind-down. However, some people are treating this as though it were a rule with a hard and fast metric of “1 year”.



What’s the point of having open scholarly infrastructures and how do we test their resilience? | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“For me, the fundamental meta-principle, or ideal, that underpins POSI (the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure) is forkability and persistence. Taken on aggregate and implemented, an organization that signs up for POSI should be duplicable. That is: I should be able, as a reasonably technically competent individual, to acquire all the components of a POSI-posse signatory, and rebuild/resurrect their technical architecture….

But why do we want this “forkability”? The simple answer, as with many things at Crossref, where I work, is: persistence. The scholarly infrastructures on which we depend for (say) linking and metadata resolution must continue to exist and there must be mechanisms for their ongoing operation. POSI is designed to allow an arbitrary third-party entity to continue the operation of an infrastructure in the event of the original organization’s demise – or in cases where the original organization might be acting against the wishes of the community….

A point that disturbs me, though, is that we have never tested this forkability on any of the key scholarly infrastructures. Wargaming simulated disasters is common practice in organizations. At the Open Library of Humanities, we simulated a total systems failure and resurrected everything from backup. Crossref has, in the past, found that even massively redundant systems can go wrong if not tested….”

A guarantee of OAPEN’s independence: we cannot be sold or acquired  | OAPEN – supporting the transition to open access for academic books

by Niels Stern & Laura J. Wilkinson

We’ve just published the 2022 stakeholder report for OAPEN (which is a Dutch stichting, or foundation). The financial section of this report is based on the annual accounts for 2022 which have been audited by a registered accountant specialised in Dutch law.

There are two key elements to extract from the annual accounts. Firstly, OAPEN made a surplus of €103,000 and secondly, the OAPEN Board decided to allocate €100,000 of the surplus to a contingency fund. Both elements are in line with the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI). One principle says: “It is not enough to merely survive, it [the infrastructure] has to be able to adapt and change.” For 2022 the OAPEN Board then decided to follow the principle stating that: “a high priority should be generating a contingency fund that can support a complete, orderly wind down” by adding to its contingency fund most of the surplus, namely €100,000.  Learn more about our POSI self-audit for OAPEN and DOAB.



OAPEN & DOAB POSI self-audit | OAPEN – supporting the transition to open access for academic books

by Laura J. Wilkinson

It is with great pleasure and sense of achievement that we share with you today our POSI self-audit for OAPEN & DOAB (download OAPEN & DOAB POSI self-audit PDF).

As you may know, OAPEN and DOAB are separate but interconnected infrastructures for open access books, governed by the OAPEN Foundation and DOAB Foundation respectively. In practice, our small team of nine people works with both systems on a daily basis. But since the two organisations have different governance, we’ve carried out a self-audit for each. We hope you agree that seeing the two self-audits side-by-side helps to compare and contrast the ways they operate.



OpenAIRE Graph: steadily riding the wild wave of Open Science

“Having the vision to create and deliver an open, up-to-date, and global “map of science” across disciplines and countries, from December 2019 onwards, we started providing the OpenAIRE Graph (until recently called the OpenAIRE Research Graph), one of the largest and most heterogeneous collections of scholarly metadata for research products (e.g., articles, datasets, software), other research entities (e.g., projects, institutions, communities), and the links between them. This initiative culminates over ten years of work by OpenAIRE in the domain of scholarly communication to facilitate and advocate for the free flow and sharing of research products and related metadata across researchers, communities, institutions, companies, and policymakers. As a result of this community-driven and technological effort, today, our Graph aggregates and interlinks hundreds of millions of metadata records from tens of thousands of data sources trusted by scientists.

The Graph is being updated bi-weekly and its contents are available for download and re-use as CC-BY via an API, while an open snapshot is released every six months on Zenodo.org. In addition, the principles, data, and vision of the Graph are community-governed: OpenAIRE AMKE that implements and delivers the Graph, is a non-profit legal entity connecting 49 members that represent research and academic organisations who are committed to Open Science and steer activities in their countries (read our Strategy 2023-2025). OpenAIRE AMKE’s participatory governance structure ensures the Graph’s endorsement, adoption, operation, and sustainability among its members, countries, and research communities. Finally, the underlying infrastructure has recently adhered to the POSI principles.  

The Graph APIs count today 500Mi+ accesses per year via OpenAIRE portals and as third-party services requests. Elsevier’s Scopus and SciVal rely on the APIs, as well as European and worldwide institutional repositories, European Commission (EC’s Participants Portal SYGMA), ORCID, other funders around the globe, researchers, companies, and scholarly services. Furthermore, the Graph will be a key EOSC resource by providing the EOSC with: (i) a catalogue of all research products, core in fostering Open Science and establishing its practices in the daily research activities, and (ii) Open Science monitoring tools, to measure trends and impact of Open Science and funding across communities and Nations. Conceived as a public and transparent good, populated out of data sources trusted by scientists, the Graph aims at bringing discovery, monitoring, and assessment of science back into the hands of the scientific community….”

Scholarly Infrastructure: a Latin American perspective

“With the digitization of scholarship and the rise of the open research movement, new models and outputs of science communication have emerged  beyond the journal article. Scholarly communications is shifting towards the “record of versions”, rather than just a One True “version of record”, where persistent identifiers and their metadata enable recognition, linking and discoverability of a wide range of outputs regardless of where those are housed. It is worth noting the importance of infrastructure in connecting all outputs and resources throughout the research lifecycle (such as research data, software, samples, etc.) to better understand and evaluate the contributions to research, and support their recognition. Many of the organizations providing this kind of foundational infrastructure have been established as non profit community governed and sustained initiatives (Crossref, DataCite, ROR), and are committed to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. …

Opposite to what happens in the Global North, in Latin America open access is not an “alternative” model but has long been mainstream. We have a long-term history of Open Access without APCs and are publicly funded. There are few reasons for this, one of which being the high cost of journal subscriptions in the 90s, which worked as a big motivator for the creation of free to access/publish electronic journals.

Despite this Latin American open access tradition, in countries like Colombia, APC payments are increasing. Many voices in the community argue that transformative agreements might threaten the current local ecosystem as the more funds that are allocated for APCs diminish the investment in shared infrastructure and tools.

When it comes to infrastructure, just being open might not be enough; operating infrastructure is not simple and requires investment, capacity building, maintenance, and dedicated staff committed that can ensure accessible, inclusive, and responsive tools. Resilience and sustainability are very sizable challenges that need to be addressed via governance….

A local solution in Latin America for this has been to have independent and self-sustainable organizations that not only publish research results but also fill a role in offering infrastructure and innovation options, training to improve research publishing and dissemination practices, allowing local communities to operate according to the state of the art in scholarly communications, such as SciELO (established in 1998 and celebrating its 25th anniversary with an international conference this year), Redalyc (2002), La Referencia (2010)….


In the end, open goes beyond access and  it’s indispensable for our community to question and rethink the ownership and diversity of research infrastructure. There is an urgent need to reclaim scholarly infrastructure if we want to pursue the benefit of the majority instead of the profit of few. There are many ways to play a more proactive role in steering research infrastructure: (choosing and) using open community-led infrastructure and services, through institutional membership, sharing use cases and feedback for improvement, participating in governance and working groups and more.”

POSI business plan by ChatGPT | 2022-01-04

“Prompt: Write a new business plan for Elsevier that incorporates the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).

ChatGPT response: Executive Summary: Elsevier is a global publisher of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) research, with a long history of publishing high-quality research and a strong reputation in the scholarly community. However, in recent years, there has been growing demand for open access to research and a shift towards more open and collaborative approaches to scholarly communication. In response to this shift, Elsevier is introducing a new business plan that incorporates the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).

Key Elements of the New Business Plan: Increased support for open access: Elsevier will increase its support for open access publishing, including the establishment of a new open access journal platform and the expansion of its open access book program…….”

DOAJ commits to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) | DOAJ News Service

This is a post by our Managing Director, Joanna Ball.

DOAJ is proud to be a community-driven infrastructure. It is one of the most well-established open infrastructures, having grown and developed considerably since its founding by Lars Bjørnshauge in 2003. Its criteria have been adopted as an unofficial gold standard in Open Access journal publishing across the community. 

I am pleased to share the news that we are committing to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI). The principles align with our core values, mission and identity as an open, global and trusted infrastructure.



Better Together: Open new possibilities with Open Infrastructure

“Crossref, DataCite and ORCID work together to provide foundational open infrastructure that is integral to the global research ecosystem. We offer unique, persistent identifiers (PIDs) — Crossref and DataCite DOIs for research outputs and ORCID iDs for people — alongside collecting comprehensive, open metadata that is non-proprietary, accessible, interoperable, and available across borders, disciplines, and time.

As sustainable community-driven scholarly infrastructure providers ORCID, Crossref and Datacite, guarantee data provenance and machine-readability. Persistent identifiers combined with open, standardized, and machine readable metadata enable reliable and robust connections to be made between research outputs, organizations, individuals and much more, as well as being beneficial to others who build services and tools on top of the open infrastructure we provide making content more discoverable.

Join us for a webinar on the 27th June at 7am UTC/ 9am CEST / 5pm AEST where we will discuss:
– Who we are
– What we mean by Open Scholarly Infrastructure
– How our organizations work together for the benefit of the scholarly community
– How the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) help to build trust and accountability as well as ensuring we are around for the long term….”

CORE: Our commitment to The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure – CORE

The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) offer a set of guidelines by which open scholarly infrastructure organisations and initiatives that support the research community can be operated and sustained. In this post, we demonstrate CORE’s commitment to adhere to these principles and show our current progress in achieving these aims. The principles are divided into three main categories; Governance, Sustainability and Insurance:

POSI fan tutte | Crossref

by Geoffrey Bilder

Just over a year ago, Crossref announced that our board had adopted the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).

It was a well-timed announcement, as 2021 yet again showed just how dangerous it is for us to assume that the infrastructure systems we depend on for scholarly research will not disappear altogether or adopt a radically different focus. We adopted POSI to ensure that Crossref would not meet the same fate.


Blog – Europe PMC: Europe PMC adopts the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure

“As a long-standing service and infrastructure provider in the open science ecosystem, Europe PMC supports the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI). We welcome the momentum gathering behind this initiative to promote the need to support and sustain the open infrastructure.

Europe PMC has been a part of the public and open infrastructure for over 15 years and is run and managed by EMBL-EBI (which is part of the pan-European organisation of EMBL). It is funded by 34 international funders and is community-driven, open infrastructure, set in the context of key global open data resources such as the European Nucleotide Archive (INSDC), the wwPDB and the European Genome-Phenome Archive. All of these resources exist for the public good, led by scientific need and international collaborations, and have open governance structures and a commitment to long-term sustainability. Together with PMC USA, Europe PMC is a part of the PubMed Central International archive network, which plays an integral part in fulfilling shared goals to enable international open science. Europe PMC has been selected as an ELIXIR Core Data Resource, which means that it is of fundamental importance to the wider life-science community and the long-term preservation of biological data….”

Transparency | OurResearch

“We think that organizations working for Open should be sure that they’re being open themselves–with their code and data, and with the details of their operation. We’re doing our best to live up to that, and this page is part of that effort. If you’ve got feedback, drop us a line!

All monetary figures are in US dollars.”