The CS&S Digital Infrastructure Incubator supports emergent leaders with the time and material support to think strategically about the organizational infrastructure needed to effectively build next generation digital public infrastructure.
In 2021-2022, the Incubator hosts 6 projects, grouped in 3 thematic pairs.
In this focus area, open source projects dependent on volunteer labor are working to build transparent decision-making models that scale with growth.
The Council Data Project's mission is to improve public access to municipal legislation. To achieve this, CDP has created a number of open-source tools to collect, index, and enable the discovery of municipal government data – including the transformation of audio-recorded public meetings into high-quality text transcripts.
As an open-source civic tech project CDP attracts interest from a wide range of people - from open-source developers to politicians, journalists, and citizen activists. During the incubator, project leads Jackson Brown and Nicholas Weber plan to design a governance structure that will allow CDP to sustainably grow the number of contributing members while still focusing on service to politicians, journalists, and citizen activists.
Jackson Maxfield Brown
The Citation File Format (CFF) lets you provide citation metadata for software (or datasets) in plaintext files that are easy to read by both humans and machines. The project develops the open format itself, its definition and schema, as well as documentation and open source tools to work with the format. Recently, several platforms such as GitHub, Zenodo, Zotero, JabRef and others, have implemented support for the Citation File Format.
The Citation File Format project has recently seen uptake by major platforms and the project's needs in terms of governance and actionable community documentation are growing. Project leader Stephan Druskat seeks to build a governance structure that would identify the foundational aims of the project and adapt them where necessary to grow and sustain the project community.
In this focus area, teams are thinking about how to build in the open; how to engage and retain developers, volunteers, and an interested public; and how to build those audiences into the documentation and governance of their projects.
EOSI’s mission is to lower the barrier of entry to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for researchers dealing with neglected infectious diseases in low and middle income countries. Our vision is that of a world with open science and egalitarian access to healthcare.
In the Incubator, project leaders Gemma Turon and Miquel Duran Frigola will be working to devise a strategic plan to engage data scientists and developers and improve participation in project governance. They have been considering different frameworks of “collaborative leadership”, and will be defining the limits of responsibility and level of decision-making, among others.
Miquel Duran Frigola
Solar Protocol is a growing community of server stewards that host servers around the world. Currently, servers are located in Canada, the USA, Dominica, Chile, and Australia, with additional servers presently being installed in Kenya, India, and China. The project is part poetic exploration of internet infrastructure and part research platform for energy-efficient web design.
In the Incubator, project leaders Tega Brain, Alex Nathanson, and Benedetta Piantella will be working on developing more documentation and educational resources and developing community guidelines and decision-making protocols. They are exploring questions like: how can we better support the project stewards and evolve this project to a point where it doesn’t rest solely on the project founders' voluntary labor to maintain it?
In this focus area, teams are considering how to build the cultural infrastructure needed to further open science and open software where the exposure to working in the open is minimal or doesn’t exist at all.
Building Community around the R Development Guide
The primary challenge the R project faces is onboarding new contributors, particularly from underrepresented groups. The R Development Guide is a beginner-friendly guide to help new contributors in the R project. A first draft of this guide exists and the next step of this project is working on outreach and building a sustainable community around it.
Project leaders Saranjeet Kaur Bhogal and Heather Turner are working to engage people in using and refining the R Development Guide, to fulfill its purpose of onboarding people from underrepresented communities. They aim to further the development of this project by working on its outreach, focus on improving community health and diversity by getting people more engaged and the work of connecting people to the guide, both as learners and mentors.
Saranjeet Kaur Bhogal
Open Science Community Saudi Arabia (OSCSA) was established in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which focuses on installing values, enhancing knowledge, and improving equal access to education. OSCSA aims to provide a place where newcomers and experienced peers can interact, inspire each other to embed open science practices and values in their workflows, and provide feedback on policies, infrastructures, and support services.
In the Incubator, project leader Batool Almarzouq will explore the limitation of the current digital infrastructure to adopt FAIR data practice in Arabic-speaking countries. FAIR principles are one of the most important practices in Open Science, but they have been rarely researched in the Middle East, where open science advocates face unique technical, legal, and cultural challenges. She will identify the needs of the local community towards recommendations that can drive new policy that fosters a FAIR data culture while maximizing the accessibility and functionality of local data and scientific outputs.