Alongside SPARC Europe and colleagues at Research Consulting, I worked on a report investigating infrastructure or services that are part of the European Open Science infrastructure (OSI) landscape.
The report’s conclusions note the following:
“We see a diverse, interconnected, open, professional and viable OSI ecosystem developing in Europe on solid ground – one that is worth investing in. It is a system that is made up of valuable service providers, both large and small, serving the global research community. Nonetheless, OSIs still have a range of issues to contend with in their organisations and strategies, particularly as they move towards more openness and a sustainable future.
Sharing lessons learnt, developing communities of practice, developing guidance, pooling resources and working with initiatives such as Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) and JROST will help them grow even further.
Additionally, despite a strong commitment to open source and open standards by many, challenges remain for some in good governance, sharing open content and applying open standards. This ecosystem will thrive if OSIs follow good governance practices, ensuring the community it will be steered by their needs, and will stay true to the values of research.
To sustain themselves, OSIs will need to continue to diversify their fundraising efforts and upskill to embrace a range of business or revenue models in the future to spread the risk to their financial stability. Funding agencies, governments, institutions, charities and other funders need to consider strategies on how to effectively fund this rich and important landscape more structurally. We also call on governments to maintain and increase support for both development activities and for sustaining operations. Making smart choices on what to invest in will be essential.”