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New COPIM Report on Community Governance of Open Infrastructures

Published onMay 03, 2022
New COPIM Report on Community Governance of Open Infrastructures

We are pleased to announce the release of a new COPIM report exploring better practices for the community governance of open infrastructures. This report is one of the major deliverables of our Community Governance Work Package (WP4).

Towards Better Practices for the Community Governance of Open Infrastructures, has been authored by Patrick Hart, Janneke Adema, and the COPIM project, and incorporates specialist feedback from COPIM’s WP4 (on Community Governance), and COPIM’s Humanities Commons Governance Working Group. This research report serves as a resource for both those interested in setting up forms of community governance for their open infrastructure projects, and for COPIM and its future governance community, documenting the process by which the project itself has developed its community governance structures, mostly in relationship to the project as a whole, and to the Open Book Collective (OBC) platform and collective. The report considers various theoretical debates around the politics of infrastructure; the idea of community-led; representation, diversity, and equity; values and principles; voting and consensus; and maintenance and assessment, while also providing links to existing literature, tools, and resources that will help projects develop their own governance.

As the introduction outlines, rather than simply showcasing ‘best practices’, this report has wanted to plot paths towards better practices for community governance. Throughout the report therefore recognises the essentially political character of the drives towards both open infrastructure and community-led governance and emphasises that both open infrastructure organisations and their governance are embedded in particular histories and in a frequently inhospitable political, social, and economic environment. It goes on to explore some of the most significant governance implications of this for attempts to establish open (scholarly) infrastructures.

The report has been published as a living document here on PubPub, and will also be made availabe as a time-stamped PDF version on Zenodo in due course.

This report outlines our processes until early 2022. In the next phase of COPIM Work Package 4, current and future developments will be shared and reflected upon as part of a community governance working paper, to be released later in 2022, which includes the rationale behind the OBC’s chosen governance structures and policies, and an overview of its governance model and procedures, based also on the research conducted for and gathered in this report. As part of this process of documenting the OBC’s governance-in-development we will also be sharing its Articles of Association and other governance documents openly online once we have formally launched the OBC.

Header image / illustrations: COPIM remix, photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash.


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