The workshop will help identify the main challenges of collective funding models for Open Science Infrastructure, as well as explore the path forward to make them more efficient. Participants will gain insights into case studies and will have a chance to interact with practitioners, asking questions and learning from one another.
Open Science Infrastructure (OSI) is struggling with the challenge of being invisible. Although OSIs constitute a crucial part of the scholarly communications landscape, facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting libraries in achieving their OS targets, and complying with OS policies, their existence is not always reflected in library budget considerations. The scholarly community relies on OSIs, yet very often without realizing that there are operational and development costs related to their open existence. These key infrastructures are typically managed by highly competent but under-resourced teams who over-deliver, and it is sadly ironic that their hard work renders their need for additional resources invisible. At worst, these teams risk burnout and overreach, and need to manage a constant need to find new bridge funding.
Many libraries have started to collectively help raise funds across the world for OSIs through SCOSS campaigns, raising more than 3m euros as of August 2021 for DOAJ, Sherpa Romeo, PKP, OpenCitations and DOAB and OAPEN. As SCOSS is now launching its third pledging round with three new services to be announced in the summer, we seek to look deeper into mechanisms of collective funding for OSIs. In the spring, as part of a SCOSS strategy exercise, we launched a global survey asking the wider research community about sustaining Open Science Infrastructure, and the mechanisms through which it should be supported. The proposed workshop will present preliminary results of the SCOSS survey and hear from various stakeholders: from the OSIs supported by the SCOSS program and from institutions who have contributed to a collective effort of funding them. Lessons learnt from this experience will hopefully trigger a wider discussion on the importance of funding the invisible and the potential that collective funding models bring.