Last week, we held two public information sessions via Zoom to introduce the newly launched Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs). Richard Dunks (Director, Research & Strategy) and Kaitlin Thaney (Executive Director) presented details on the catalog's ideation, research process, design, prototyping, and plans for future expansion.
Recordings of the two sessions are now available (Session #1; Session #2), and can be accessed via our YouTube channel. You can also check out the slides and shared notes document that accompanied the sessions, which feature questions and suggestions from the community.
Session attendees showed keen interest in selection criteria, definitions of "service," worldwide coverage, and rankings. Others offered suggestions for design features and additional sources of financial information. Above all, attendees gave positive feedback and helpful suggestions on the future of COIs.
We’ve highlighted a few of those questions below.
Questions from the community
- On plans to expand the Catalog: "What's the timescale for expanding the Catalog to include other resources?"
We’re working to streamline our process for this work - how we collect the information, how we manage it, how we serve that up. This all factors into our planning for the next phase of this work, so we can ensure this is scaled in a sustainable way (for us, and for the projects!), and aligned with key stakeholders' needs. We'll share more about that roadmap soon.
- On project selection: “I was wondering why you have DSpace and don't have e.g. Dataverse, EPrints, Fedora, Haplo, Islandora, Samvera, etc.? And you have Zenodo and don't have Invenio that Zenodo is based on?"
We selected based on some initial learning questions, and had to make some initial choices for the prototype. We weren’t aiming for completeness at launch.
As we outlined in our October 2021 blog post, we have been developing a holistic and comprehensive framework for understanding open infrastructure based on the work of others in the space. In early November, we announced the 10 services we felt were in general alignment with the criteria we put forth as we understood them at the time, knowing we didn’t have the ability to select every service given our limited resources and aggressive timeline for release. Our intention was to attempt meaningful representation of the broad range of open infrastructure services in a viable prototype. Consistent with our commitment to fostering a healthier, more equitable and inclusive research ecosystem, we made an intentional effort to include services provided by organizations located outside the North American and European areas where possible.
At no point did we plan for this initial release to be comprehensive or exhaustive of all services in the open science space. Consistent with our iterative approach, our work in this prototype has been focused on validating our approach and methods of collecting, analyzing, and displaying the available information. We look forward to adding additional services in the future and improving on the information presented based on feedback from the community of funders, providers, service users, and other stakeholders. If you have feedback to share, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On maintainence: "Is there a maintenance strategy for COIs? For example, using a pull request workflow with version control?"
We're in the process of documenting this (it's an important question!). Currently we are committed to updating fields and resources upon request, and will review these pages annually. Data sources that have set schedules for updating / data releases will be factored in accordingly (e.g., IRS 990 data).
- On including ongoing work, to show progress towards further adherence and alignment: “Are you considering adding the ability to include “ongoing” work from the provider? (e.g., we don’t have x property now but are working toward that in the following ways: a, b, c)."
That’s a great question. For this initial iteration, our focus was on ensuring that the information presented had evidence that could be accessed and verified by the public (versus only available to those with privileged information and/or access). (We expand on what we mean by “evidence” for some of the section presented in our Frequently Asked Questions section here.) This process – and the engagement with the project teams – have already garnered robust conversations about areas to build out, be it in making governance meeting minutes publicly accessible, increased investment in community engagement, and other forms of documentation and disclosure. At this time, we are committed to updating the Catalog as projects surface new evidence to us – and will explore ways we can surface ongoing work and appropriate checks on progress in the future.
- On updating the project pages: “Can we add a date stamp on each record?"
Yes! That’s on our roadmap for the next phase of development. We want to make sure it’s clear when pages were last updated and reviewed.
- On future plans and anticipated uses for this resource: "How would you like to see the role of this list develop over the course of let’s say 5 years?"
Hopefully we have a system that’s authoritative, reliable, consistent, and a useful resource to help others make informed decisions .
We’ll continue to share our learnings as this work evolves, as well as releasing updates to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and additional documentation. Stay tuned for more in the coming months regarding next steps for this resource. Have a question or idea you'd like to share? Email us at email@example.com. We'd love to hear from you!