Researchers, institutions, funders, and publishers have relied on Dryad for over 10 years to support open data publishing. Throughout, we have taken our responsibility as open infrastructure seriously. As a small nonprofit working in a crowded and complicated scholarly communications landscape, it has been our honor to serve as an exemplar for what is possible when you remain committed to the mission and to building coalitions with like minded organizations in order to achieve success.
Since our founding, members of our board and our team have been involved in constructing best practices for open infrastructure organizations like ours. One foundational set was published as the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. Since these principles were first published as a blog post in 2015, our team has worked closely with the original authors and additional collaborators to ensure Dryad aligns internal processes and external commitments to reflect these principles.
Our work continues to evolve and these principles remain influential in how Dryad evaluates our success and assesses our impact. We understand that transparency is key to maintaining the trust we have built with our broad community. The burden is on us to continuously show how our organization is durable, our long-term business model is sustainable, and that our governance is truly open and transparent.
Running open scholarly infrastructure is a journey that takes time and care. In order to formalize our commitment to these goals, the Dryad Board of Directors earlier this month unanimously voted to affirm that Dryad is committed to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. We hope that, by committing to these principles, we can preemptively address fundamental questions about accountability and sustainability that are inevitably raised regarding our services.
So how does Dryad currently meet POSI?
The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) proposes three areas that an Open Infrastructure organization can address in order to garner the trust of the broader scholarly community: accountability (governance), funding (sustainability) and protection of community interests (insurance).
As we look at how Dryad currently maps to the principles, please keep in mind three things:
- Items marked something as green, that doesn’t mean we think we do this perfectly. It simply means that we have internal processes that focus on this commitment and we have evidence that these processes have thus-far been working.
- The fact that something is green does not mean that we will rest easy. We could regress. Our processes need to be able to detect and address regressions.
- Our commitments need to be balanced. So we don’t want to do something to turn something green if it has an irreversible impact on another commitment.
- The implication of #3 above, is that it may take us some time to meet all of the commitments. But again, this is a journey.