The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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WG4:Enabling technologies and infrastructures


The culture we envision for the Scholarly Commons will not just happen. We need supportive technologies and infrastructures that will enable the culture of the commons to flourish. We need to have discussions about needed technologies in a community fashion so that we can have the unity in approach and the help and support that will be needed to implement the solutions that will actually allow this culture to happen.

This subgroup will work in cooperation with the three existing subgroups of the Scholarly Commons Working Group that have been created primarily for work products related to the initial Helmsley grant: WP1 (Inclusivity), WP2 (Principles), and WP3 (Decision trees), as well as the SSHRC partnership work. It is expected that the discussions and deliverables of these various groups will mutually inform and complement each other, and that the discussion and outputs of this working group will contribute to the reporting of the initial Helmsley grant, though this working group will continue as long as is needed to reach the goals outlined below, or as long as the Scholarly Commons community deems its existence to be useful. While much discussion around this topic is welcome and expected, the focus of this working group is on finding or creating working technical implementations based specifically around the principles of the Scholarly Commons. Self-dogfooding is encouraged. We need working technical implementations in many programming languages and paradigms. Notwithstanding the technical focus of this group, we are calling for the participation of people of various worldviews and backgrounds, so that we can converge upon viable alternatives and solid, sustainable solutions.

We will be covering any topic that is needed to truly understand what questions we should be asking, as well as which technologies and infrastructures will provide answers to those questions and will help enable a culture of commoning, including, but not limited to: robust methods of registration and certification of scholarly contributions, dynamic workflows, new forms of scholarship that invite and encourage participation, effective management of research dependencies (i.e. archiving), and principles and guidance for technical development of open systems of scholarship.


  • Aiming to channel the energy of those that want to build or contribute to the development of technologies and infrastructures that will enable the culture of the Scholarly Commons.

  • Opening a space to discuss and self-dogfood technologies and alternative approaches, with the aim of incubating the culture of the Scholarly Commons.

  • Converging on a cohesive and complementary set of technical standards and approaches that will enable the culture of the Scholarly Commons to thrive.

Avenues for participation

  1. Join the group.

  2. Participate in the challenge.

  3. Join the calls (meeting information and archives).

  4. Add to the list of potential future scenarios of scholarly commoning.

  5. Add to the list of questions for the group to consider.

  6. Add to the list of proposed topics to study (see the Topics Project below).

  7. Join the CommonsPatterns Slack, a shared workspace between this group and the CommonsPatterns group, led by Bruce Caron and David Bollier. See this email for more information about the arrangement.


Topics Project

The Topics Project is a complex, exploratory research project with the goal of coming to a better understanding of scholarly commons and the dynamics of scholarly commoning by peering through the lens of technology. We’re developing a pool of topics to help inform various cultural, social, and technical aspects of a scholarly commons. Some of these topics highlight elements or attributes that are important to bring into a commons, others show things that we want to avoid. Still others spark seemingly unrelated thoughts or ideas that are helping us to understand scholarly commoning better or clarify our goals and processes as a group.

We will invite the leaders or champions of some of these topics to a group telecon for further discussion. All are welcome and invited to follow the work that we will be doing or jump in on specific topics that may be of interest. Broad participation is encouraged. If you would like to propose a topic that is not already listed, please add it to the list of proposed topics. These calls will be recorded, transcribed, and shared publicly.

Schedule of invited topics

Please find telecon instructions on the meetings page or in a regular announcement on the group's discussion forum. These topics will also be listed as events on the FORCE11 calendar.

Period of analysis Topic Scheduled presenter(s) Presentation date Raw group notes
January/February Knowen Ivar Martin January 29, 2018
March Rowan Cockett and Lindsey Heagy March 13, 2018
May/June SciPost Jean-Sébastien Caux May 29, 2018
July Linked Research Sarven Capadisli July 17, 2018
August Claimspace Jeff Magee August 14, 2018


Chris Chapman

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Chris Chapman

Chris Chapman

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