What should an open scholarly infrastructure look like?
An answer to this tough question can be found in the original February 2015 blog post by Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin and Cameron Neylon
and in the summary of the principles to be found as:
Bilder G, Lin J, Neylon C (2020), The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure, https://doi.org/10.24343/C34W2H :
“Infrastructure at its best is invisible. We tend to only notice it when it fails. If successful, it is stable and sustainable. Above all, it is trusted and relied on by the broad community it serves. Trust must run strongly across each of the following areas: running the infrastructure (governance), funding it (sustainability), and preserving community ownership of it (insurance)”.
These areas are fully define the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI), which provide a set of guidelines by which open scholarly infrastructure organizations and initiatives that support the research community can be run and sustained.
As far as we are aware, Crossref was the first infrastructure to publish its compliance with POSI, detailed in Geoffrey Bilder’s December 2020 blog post
OpenCitations too espouses POSI and, in January 2021, we monitored the extent of our own compliance with POSI, the results of which are shown in the following diagram.
|●||Coverage across the research enterprise||We gather citations from global scholarship|
|●||Stakeholder governed||Advisory board |
executive power and is not elected
|●||Non-discriminatory membership||Membership open to all those espousing |
|●||Transparent operations||Everything is open|
|●||Cannot lobby||OpenCitations lobbies to achieve open |
it does not engage in political or financial
|●||Living will||Since all our data open, others can |
recreate our service
|●||Formal incentives to fulfill mission & wind-down||No formal plan for wind-down |
has yet been drawn up
|●||Time-limited funds used only for time-limited activities||Grant income should |
be used solely for grantprojects
|●||Goal to generate surplus||Goal not yet realized – |
income so far too limited
|●||Goal to create contingency fund to support operations for 12 months||Goal not yet realized – |
income so far too limited
|●||Mission-consistent revenue generation||Membership fees and |
|●||Revenue based on services, not data||All data and services freely given to community, and thus do not |
|●||Open source||All software under open source licenses|
|●||Open data||All data available |
under CC0 waiver
|●||Available data||All data available via REST APIs, SPARQL endpoints, query interfaces and data dumps|
|●||Patent non-assertion||We will not |
is free to replicate
We at OpenCitations are proud of the results reached in the Insurance area, but realise that we still have some was to go in the other areas. Although the general situation is already satisfying, we are working to strengthen our weak points.