We are proud to announce the following awards to support members of the JROST community, working to advance openness in research and scholarship.

The JROST Rapid Response Fund was launched to create a means to give back to the open infrastructure and technology community. Awards range from $5,000 to $10,000 USD, and are intended for activities that are necessary and that would not be possible, or would be in jeopardy, without them.

This year’s inaugural Fund was made possible by the generosity of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Crossref, ITHAKA, Hypothesis, and Invest in Open Infrastructure. Our thanks also to all of our sponsors, as well as the JROST Awards committee and program committee for their support.

We asked this year’s awardees to share a bit more about their work -- and how these funds will help them into 2021.

We are proud to announce support for the following projects:

La Referencia:

La Referencia - Latin American network of open access repositories - has been advancing the adoption of common usage statistics in Latin America. In 2020, a pilot “usage statistics'' service was developed in collaboration with OpenAIRE. Now, thanks to JROST Rapid Response Fund Award, we will be able to better support 2021 development efforts aiming to consolidate a production service for repositories, national and regional funders, and other stakeholders in Latin America - this will allow the research community to better understand the impact of Open Science. Thank you JROST!


Openscapes helps principal investigators and their research groups reimagine data analysis, develop modern skills that are of immediate value to them, and cultivate collaborative and inclusive research teams. We do this primarily through Openscapes Champions, a remote-by-design, cohort-based mentorship program that guides teams through the open data science landscape, empowers them as leaders, and welcomes them as part of the growing open community of practice. This award from JROST will help support Openscapes to plan and coordinate a Champions mini-series with environmental science researchers that we will lead in spring 2021.


PREreview's mission is to bring more diversity to scholarly peer review by supporting and empowering communities of researchers to review preprints in a process that is rewarding to them. PREreview’s backbone is a platform where these resources, reviews and community can thrive. We are grateful for the recognition of PREreview by Invest in Open Infrastructure as an important open tool. This investment will allow PREreview to continue to serve its community and continue to provide resources, events and a home for preprint reviews in service of continuing to diversify peer review.


sktime provides a unified Python framework for machine learning with time series. Our mission is to make the ecosystem more usable and interoperable by building a connected community of users, developers and domain experts. The JROST rapid-response funding will allow our lead maintainer to continue to support and nurture a diverse and inclusive developer community until more long-term funding has been secured. The funding will allow us to continue our mentorship programme to help new community members and deliver outreach events to build a more connected community of developers and users.


We are excited to be amongst the recipients of the JROST fund. AfricArXiv, the African Open Access and preprint portal, was launched in June 2018 and has since been run and maintained with in kind contributions by dedicated team members, our colleagues and friends. The award will strengthen our community work to support African scholars in making their achievements and results discoverable through Open Access and appropriate licensing. We can now settle some of our expenses, initiate the implementation of our roadmap, and gear up for subsequent fundraising and strategic partnership building in the African SciComm ecosystem.


Our organization runs online interactive computing environments for researchers and educators. These are "community hubs" that provide interactive Jupyter interfaces along with connections to cloud infrastructure. Currently, we are running a pilot project to serve these hubs to a number of educational institutions and work out a sustainability model. During the pilot we wish to keep these hubs free for organizations so that they can utilize them for the Spring semester. While we have funding to pay for labor in maintaining these hubs, we do not have funding to pay for the actual cloud infrastructure they'll use, which is why we are applying for this funding. There are a few organizations we are working with (listed here) as well as several more organizations that are interested - these tend to be smaller organizations like community and state colleges. This funding request will go towards covering the costs of cloud infrastructure so that we can offer these hubs for free during the pilot phase.

Humanities Commons:

Humanities Commons is an open-source, open-access, academy-owned and -governed research network facilitating collaboration and communication for more than 25,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world. This award from the JROST Rapid Response Fund will enable us to obtain some short-term developer support to help with system upgrades and maintenance as we work toward a more scalable, interoperable network architecture.

Knowledge Equity Lab:

Based at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Knowledge Equity Lab (KEL) is a research, learning, and experimental space that investigates issues on how inclusive knowledge infrastructure could be built and sustained by, and for diverse communities with diverse research practices and dissemination needs. This includes (but is not limited to) the open access publishing platform Bioline International which makes visible scientific journals published in the Global South; action research network OCSDNet (OCSDNet), developing principles on equitable collaboration, situated openness, and inclusive infrastructures; research collective KnowledgeGAP, investigating how inequality and exclusion are produced, reproduced and embedded in the global academic publishing system. The JROST Rapid Response Fund will enable KEL to complete its strategic and sustainability plan on its unique programming and interventions, make necessary investments to overall operations, and ultimately support the social infrastructure, particularly the people at the heart of these important research and action initiatives. For more on this important work, check out this recent post on SPARC’s blog.

Congratulations to all our awardees! The response to this call was overwhelming, and we’re thrilled to be able to support these projects and initiatives.

We will also be working into the new year to share out the additional requests for support (with permission). If you’re interested in helping to sponsor a project or chipping in to help, please get in touch.

Our thanks again to all of our sponsors - the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Crossref, ITHAKA, Hypothesis, and Invest in Open Infrastructure, our JROST awards and program committee (listed below), and all who submitted to this year’s call.

On behalf of the JROST2020 Program Committee:

  • Danielle Robinson, Code for Science & Society*
  • Bianca Kramer, Utrecht University*
  • Dan Whaley, Hypothesis
  • Heather Staines, Independent Consultant
  • Kristen Ratan, Stratos
  • Iain Hyrnaszkiewicz, PLOS*
  • Juan Pablo Alperin, Public Knowledge Project*
  • Raym Crow, SPARC
  • Greg Tananbaum, Open Research Funders Group*
  • Joe MacArthur, Open Access Button, Right to Research Coalition
  • Vanessa Rhinesmith, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry*
  • Kaitlin Thaney, Invest in Open Infrastructure*

*Denotes members of the Awards subcommittee

Posted by Kaitlin Thaney