Six months past an initial funding appeal, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) has surpassed a key half-million Euro milestone having received pledges for funding totaling 680,700 Euros. The initiative, which intends to provide a framework for libraries, policymakers and other stakeholders to collectively fund and stabilize a vital infrastructure of freely available open science services, selected the Directory of Open Access Journals and SHERPA/RoMEO as beneficiaries of this pilot call for community funding.
“This being a new concept, we are very encouraged by the response of the community at this point,” said Vanessa Proudman, Director, SPARC Europe. “We’re taking this as an early indication that we will, in time, reach our full three-year funding goals for both the DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO, two truly vital services. But for this to happen, we will need to continue to see growth in support; far more institutions committing to funding.”
SCOSS came about due to a growing recognition of the need to strengthen and secure critical services that enable Open Access and Open Science.
Thus far, SCOSS has attracted the support of dozens of forward-thinking institutions in Europe, Australia and North America. Among these institutions leading the charge are national libraries, individual university libraries, national library consortia, as well as funding organisations. In Australia and New Zealand, 60 percent of all universities have pledged funding via the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL consortium). This is the kind of commitment the coalition hopes to see develop internationally.
“While we are off to a strong start, those who have committed represent but a small fraction of the institutions benefiting from the services that we are seeking to secure; and which Open Science literally depends upon,” said Proudman. At this point, the coalition is over one-quarter of the way to reaching the ultimate goal of secured funding for three years for both services. “As a coalition, we are calling on our colleagues globally to contribute to this community-wide effort; to go beyond verbal support of the cause to an actual concrete, financial commitment to help secure these services.”
Awareness of SCOSS, and likewise interest in becoming a part of the funding network, is growing. In Europe in particular, which continues to be at the forefront of Open Science policy development, multiple consortia level deliberations are currently underway. “But these conversations must ultimately give way to concrete support if the envisioned freely available network of secure Open Science services is to become a reality,” Proudman said.
Lars Bjørnshauge, managing director of DOAJ, says that SCOSS as a collaboration is the critical step between recognizing the importance of these services — and actually acting to help sustain them. “Being recommended for funding by SCOSS already means that DOAJ is on track to become more sustainable as a service, and more likely to continue to exist and evolve to respond to the ever-changing expectations of the community.”
For more information about SCOSS — to contribute funding to DOAJ and/or SHERPA/RoMEO — see www.scoss.org.