Co-creating Open Infrastructure to Support Diversity and Equity

“To reframe our priorities in this way requires collective will and coordination across regions and institutions to build new kinds of support for resource reallocation. It further requires institutional courage and political will to declare that open, autonomous, and equitable systems are preferred over “prestigious” Euro-centric research systems that continue to undermine other epistemic communities from around the world. It requires that disciplines and societies prioritize who they have been centering in their research, whose voices they’ve been amplifying, and whose they have been silencing. Supporting the status quo while leaving initiatives that reflect epistemic diversity and knowledge equity as second-tier priorities will result in continued entrenchment of status quo inequities and the marginalization of truly innovative, equitable systems….”

IOI Position Description Director | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is a coalition of organizations working to organize and deliver funding for open scholarly infrastructure at scale from the most obvious beneficiaries: the global institutions and agencies that form the bulk of academic support and funding today. This role will be responsible for coordinating the day-to-day activities of IOI, working with the Steering Committee to define and execute a plan to unlock substantial and durable funding for open scholarly infrastructure. This involves managing the program work, staff, and fundraising as needed for programmatic activities, developing and engaging with the IOI Steering Committee and the partner organizations.

We are looking for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to work with the IOI Steering Committee to develop and launch new initiatives aimed at expanding support for open scholarly infrastructure. This role will engage in everything from strategic planning and communications, cross-org collaboration, day-to-day tasks, hiring processes, fundraising, and overall program design and management.

This role is responsible for managing the IOI project, a fiscally sponsored project of Code for Science & Society (CS&S). The role reports to the IOI Advisory Committee, part of the larger IOI Steering Committee.”

Beyond Innovation: Emerging Meta-Frameworks for Maintaining an Open Scholarly Infrastructure | Ithaka S+R

“There are numerous free and community-based academic and cultural resources that are designed and built on open source or open access principles. Undertaken by not-for-profit mission-driven organizations, such services and technologies aim to introduce innovation to various stages of scholarly communication from designing research projects to publishing results.  Today, amid growing concerns about their long-term durability and agility, there is renewed interest in sustainability, business models, revenue, and maintenance. In our previous post, we looked back at some of the recommendations that resulted from research on sustainability that Ithaka S+R conducted more than a decade ago and highlighted some recent studies that assess the condition and prospects of academy-driven initiatives offered in the digital scholarship space. In today’s blog, we’ll look into the nascent organizations that are forming to provide a meta-framework to a range of independent but like-minded initiatives by fostering networking, raising awareness, and advocating best practices for an enduring and effective service infrastructure.

Such meta-frameworks aim to foster networking, promote interoperability, advance best practices, and raise awareness about business models among different stakeholders to ensure an enduring and effective service infrastructure. Based on what’s available on their websites, the table below provides examples of such meta-frameworks that were formed to coordinate, align, and promote open services, technologies, and standards….”

Ten Prerequisites to Securely Fund Open Infrastructure

“The scholarly communication community needs to call for an open, sustainable infrastructure that is community-owned — one that speaks to our open and academic values. It must be open; not closed off by vendors creating a situation where the academy becomes dependent on a suite of products that are likewise dependent on essential infrastructure, often built by the academy in the first place. For this to truly work and to offer a viable and sustainable solution, we need to develop an interconnected rich and diverse ecosystem of open infrastructure where many flowers bloom upon which a plethora of for- and not-for-profit services can be built.

Imagine a future ten years from now where Open is the default, enabled by an open scholarly infrastructure that follows principles of Open as published by Cameron Neylon et al in 2015 or by COAR and SPARC in 2019. A world where the community is involved in the good governance of infrastructure, where services and infrastructure follow open standards such as open APIs and open source; where content, metadata and usage stats are made openly available, and where we have transparent pricing and contracts. Open Infrastructure is motivated by a drive for research excellence and open values rather than profit-making. This happens when communities of stakeholders fund and sustain this infrastructure, including the academy as a whole and its libraries, government, funders, learned societies, publishers, service providers and individuals. When institutions provide operational funding, this support extends beyond financing innovation, acknowledging successful projects that have continued to provide value to their communities over the years and rewarding them with funding for operational costs. Valued, tried and tested infrastructures that need a financial boost to bring them onto a more healthy footing have also been enabled through initiatives like SCOSS. This involves a new strategic vision of what needs to be funded and how it will be enabled by initiatives like Invest in Open Infrastructure, with new kinds of business models for the mid- to longer term. This will form the basis for a new, transparent, trustworthy and equitable scholarly communication society….”

Schmidt Futures Supports Invest in Open Infrastructure | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“We are thrilled to announce that Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has been generously supported with an award of 150k USD from Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt. IOI is an effort to enable durable, scalable, and long lasting open scientific and scholarly infrastructure to emerge, thrive, and deliver its benefits on a global scale. We are a global coalition of projects, organizations, and initiatives actively working to build a sustainable future for open scholarly infrastructure….

With this initial support, we will be opening the search for a Director in the next few weeks. This will be a full time, remote-friendly position offered in partnership with IOI’s fiscal sponsor Code for Science & Society. Stay tuned for more details on this opportunity, and visit to show your support and get the latest news….”


ACRL/SPARC Forum: Collective Reinvestment in Open Infrastructure (ACRL)

Libraries are increasingly considering scaling back their subscriptions or cancelling big deals altogether. Yet, the question of how and where to reinvest the resources that become available is both far from settled and increasingly pressing. As we start to move away from the subscription model, we should be intentional about crafting the vision for open research communication we strive to build and how we intend to build it. 

This forum, “If I Had A Million Dollars: Collective Reinvestment in Open Infrastructure,” will invite active participation throughout the session in a facilitated discussion with experts representing both libraries and research funders. …”

Invest in Open Infrastructure: An Interview with Dan Whaley – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Dan Whaley from the Invest in Open initiative answers questions about what IOI is doing, and sets a broad context for the global effort….

Open infrastructure is the solution to all this.  For me, open infrastructure is simply shorthand for technology in which the incentives to collaborate and work together are built in by design. That includes elements like open source software, open APIs, open data and open standards, but more fundamentally it’s a mindset in which your reward — either personal or organizational — comes from working together as a community for the benefit of all.  

As someone who is product focused, a question I always try to ask is what is the best user experience, regardless of who owns which piece? Does what we’re implementing actually make it easier for people to accomplish their goals? Closed systems often make decisions simply for the sake of preventing or restricting access that create terrible experiences and result in lower utility. Open systems do this too sometimes, but at least the inherent motivations are more likely to be aligned….”

Journals only half the story, says new open access alliance | Times Higher Education (THE)

Open access advocates are calling for a globally coordinated approach to “scholarly infrastructure”, saying knowledge is trapped behind paywalls and Europe’s Plan S initiative solves only part of the problem.

Lobby groups around the world have teamed up to run a stocktake of existing infrastructure and to direct spending on future needs, under the guise of a new alliance called Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI).

Co-founder Ginny Barbour said IOI was a “separate but necessary” initiative to Plan S, which is focused on making journal articles openly accessible. “Journals are largely owned by a relatively small number of for-profit publishers, and the same is happening for infrastructure,” said Dr Barbour, director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group….”

Standardisation and difference: the challenges of infrastructures for open access – Samuel Moore

“In the last few years, there has been a marked shift in the debate on open access publishing from a focus on (mere) outputs to one on infrastructures. With terms such as ‘community-led’, ‘the commons’ and ‘governance’ regularly bandied about, advocates for OA are increasingly looking away from commercial publishers and towards infrastructures designed by and for a more accountable set of stakeholders. One exciting new initiative that launched this week is Invest in Open Infrastructures(IOI), a coalition of individuals and organisations looking to sustain and promote open-source alternatives to proprietary infrastructures. IOI describes itself as a ‘global initiative to increase the availability and sustainability of open knowledge infrastructure’….

Any infrastructural design has to find the right balance between the need for standardisation and a diversity of interactions.

Infrastructures, particularly those that are broad in their application, have a homogenising tendency that may flatten out difference, erase local contexts and promote standardisation of interactions. This is because they are designed for an ‘average’ user and can only realistically account for a finite number of possibilities. Take journal submission systems, for example, which are only able to handle a certain number of submission types, file sizes, image formats, etc. and can never do everything a user wants it to do. (I spent the first two years of my publishing career explaining this to authors, editors and reviewers.) The broader the remit of the infrastructure, and the more users it is designed to support, the more homogeneous the interactions will be….

Too often, advocates for open publishing infrastructures point towards the need for stakeholders to put aside their differences and collaborate on those issues where there is common ground. This sounds ideal in practice, but in reality, the drive for consensus benefits those with the most power (and financial/cultural capital)….”

Redalyc celebra el surgimiento de Invest in Open Infrastructure

Throughout 16 years of experience, Redalyc has promoted, from permanent technological development and accompaniment to editors, a collaborative, sustainable and non-commercial scientific communication for the benefit of the Latin American scientific communities, mainly of the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

In the pursuit of this goal, Redalyc celebrates the emergence of Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), an initiative that has brought together various institutions (including OPERAS, SPARC, Center for Open Science and recently Redalyc), meeting with the goal of building a Open, scalable and durable scientific infrastructure that seeks to extend its benefits on a global scale.

Redalyc is pleased to be part of this initiative and thus consolidates its objective of building a collaborative, sustainable and non-commercial Open Access ecosystem for Latin America….”