SPARC Europe has published their latest report: Scoping the Open Science Infrastructure Landscape in Europe, 2020.
Overall, the results make clear that OSIs do not operate as single entities, but rely on (or are relied on by) other infrastructures in an interconnected web of services that provide researchers with support for their research activities.
Throughout the report, OpenAIRE is one of the most commonly cited external services – and thus essential infrastructure - OSIs integrate with, together with ORCID, Crossref, DOAJ, BASE, Altmetric, and Datacite.
A network visualisation of all tools and services that the OSIs in the survey report to interoperate with shows the centrality of external services such as OpenAIRE, and also shows more distinct clusters of services that are used by specific OSIs or smaller groups of OSIs (for example, services built on Wikimedia, GÉANT and/or Zenodo). Also visible is the cluster consisting of institutional and national repository services that is specifically connected to DataCite and OpenAIRE in Croatia.
"We [SPARC Europe] see a diverse, interconnected, open, professional and viable OSI ecosystem developing in Europe on solid ground – one that is worth investing in. It is a system that is made up of valuable service providers, both large and small, serving the global research community.
Nonetheless, OSIs still have a range of issues to contend with in their organisations and strategies, particularly as they move towards more openness and a sustainable future. Additionally, despite a strong commitment to open source and open standards by many, challenges remain for some in good governance, sharing open content and applying open standards. This ecosystem will thrive if OSIs follow good governance practices, ensuring the community it will be steered by their needs, and will stay true to the values of research.
To sustain themselves, OSIs will need to continue to diversify their fund- raising efforts and upskill to embrace a range of business or revenue models in the future to spread the risk to their financial stability. Funding agencies, governments, institutions, charities and other funders need to consider strategies on how to effectively fund this rich and important landscape more structurally. We also call on governments to maintain and increase support for both development activities and for sustaining operations. Making smart choices on what to invest in will be essential."
The full study is available for download on Zenodo.