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FORCE2018 at McGill University on October 11-12, 2018 – with pre-conference workshops on Oct 10 hosted at Concordia University
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Thursday, October 11 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Supporting Research Communications: success stories in open source

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Open Source Software (OSS): buzzword or badge? Or does it have material benefits to scholarly communications? In other words, can it live up to the hype as a catalyst for innovation? With OSS, anybody can view, use, modify, and distribute a project for any purpose. It supports collaboration - projects can accept code contributions from anybody in the world. It provides transparency - anyone can inspect an open source project for errors or inconsistencies. It also encourages adoption and remixing - code is extended or built off of in any manner of ways. It is a framework for instilling trust amongst the community who use and rely on it.

In scholarly communications, there are plenty of open source projects that died on the vine, just as in the larger world. There are no guarantees that applying an Open Source Software model will lead to a successful project. However, counter-examples are difficult to identify and as important to our ongoing conversations about how to create a robust and healthy scholarly ecosystem. We present three successful examples of OSS projects that spawned successful derivative projects — high-impact efforts with far larger communities served:

PLOS built Lagotto to track events around scholarly content collect and generate article-level metrics. It achieved scale once Crossref and DataCite built off of the source code to create the Event Data system, now tracking all publications - literature and data - with a DOI.

California Digital Library (CDL) built DMPTool to help researchers create data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. Separately, Data Curation Centre developed its own, DMPonline. The two found common ground and built a single codebase, Roadmap, which is now managed by both organizations, and is supported by developers worldwide.

Dryad Digital Repository’s underlying technology for their data repository was DSpaced-based (DryadRepo). To scale up and serve a larger population of researchers as well as support more modern and efficient data deposition and data curation, they are partnering with CDL, building from CDL’s OSS project, Dash, to power their service. The combined forces have resulted in a new OSS project, DataDryad.

Each example will be presented by a representative working on each of the original OSS projects so that they can elaborate on their real experiences (based on order above): Jennifer Lin, Carly Strasser, and John Chodacki. COI - John Chodacki is chairing the conference and Jennifer Lin is on the program committee.

avatar for John Chodacki

John Chodacki

University of California Curation Center (UC3) Director, California Digital Library
John Chodacki is Director of the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at California Digital Library (CDL)
avatar for Jennifer Lin

Jennifer Lin

Director of Product Management, Crossref
avatar for Carly Strasser

Carly Strasser

Program Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative