The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS)
Facilitating funding to ensure the long-term sustainability of Europe’s Open Science infrastructure
Support for open access to published research and data continues to grow. Also growing are high-level efforts — from the likes of the EU and funding bodies like the Wellcome Trust — to make the open sharing of research findings conditional to funding.
While such policy directives are essential to advancing open access, so too is an infrastructure that can support a publishing landscape steadily migrating to a state where “Open” is the default.
Many key services that now comprise the existing infrastructure, which has evolved over time, are non-commercial and far from financially secure. Some could even be described as “at risk”.
Being that many of these services are now fundamental to implementing Open Access and Open Science policies and supporting these workflows, securing them has become a growing concern of the broader OA and OS community.
The formation of the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) represents a community-led effort to help maintain, and ultimately secure, vital infrastructure.
This recognition of the cruciality of such infrastructure, and of securing it, is what led to the formation of the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).
Groundwork for the coalition was laid by the Knowledge Exchange, which presented many of the foundational ideas for it in its 2016 report Putting Down Roots, Securing the Future of Open Access Policies.
The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) is a network of influential organisations committed to helping secure OA and OS infrastructure well into the future. Officially formed in early 2017, SCOSS’ purpose is to provide a new co-ordinated cost-sharing framework that will ultimately enable the broader OA and OS community to support the non-commercial services on which it depends.
SCOSS will function primarily to help identify and track, via a registry, non-commercial services essential to Open Science, and to make qualified recommendations on which of these services should be considered for funding support.
At present, the coalition is comprised of the following members: the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), the Council of the Australian University Librarians (CAUL), LIBER, EIFL and SPARC Europe. Membership is open to organisations that can represent research funding and/or performing organisations, including libraries and researchers.
Also involved in the initial planning for the coalition were The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), The European Research Council (ERC), The European University Association (EUA), The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and Science Europe. Initial input was also provided by SPARC.
Each year, the coalition will invite non-commercial OA/OS services to apply for SCOSS co-ordinated funding. The SCOSS board will evaluate applicants rigorously based on criteria including the service’s value to communities such as funders, universities, libraries, authors, research managers and repositories; and on details pertaining to their governance structure, costs, sustainability measures, and future plans.
Those services determined to be eligible will be proposed by the coalition to the wider OA/OS community, in a fashion similar to crowdsourcing. Employing a funding structure devised and managed by SCOSS, research affiliated organisations and institutions of all sizes and funders throughout the world, will be invited to contribute financially to the service for a defined three-year period. This temporary funding is intended to support OA/OS service providers so that they may obtain a more secure financial footing.
Up to two services may be selected for funding during each funding cycle.
At present, the coalition is in the midst of evaluating its first applicants in this initial pilot project, during which the SCOSS concept too is being assessed. Under consideration are the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and SHERPA/RoMEO. A decision regarding whether or not SCOSS will propose either or both of these organisations for funding will be made in the autumn of 2017.
SCOSS will issue a tender for the next round of applications in late 2017.
If you are a non-commercial provider of services that has as their primary objective to support open access/open science infrastructure, and you are in need of financial support, please consider applying.
Or, if you are an Open Science and/or Open Access advocate and user, funder, research institution, library or member of a research community, and you would like to recommend a certain service for funding, please reach out to us.
For a thorough understanding of what is required to apply, see our evaluation procedure and SCOSS application.
Applications are considered twice a year.
Early 2018 — Call for applications
Early 2018 — Deadline for applications
Late spring 2018 — Applicant evaluations complete; Proposals made to community
If you are interested in applying for funding for one of the calls, you can download the application form here.