May 25, 2022

New Preprint: “The Scholarly Commons – Principles And Practices to Guide Research Communication”

The following preprint was posted today to the OSF Preprints.


The Scholarly Commons – Principles And Practices to Guide Research Communication


Jeroen Bosman
Utrecht University

Ian Bruno
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

Chris Chapman
Pentandra Research Solutions (Logan UT)

Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Nate Jacobs
University of California, Irvine

Bianca Kramer
Utrecht University

Maryann Martone
University of California San Diego

Fiona Murphy
University of Reading

Daniel Paul O’Donnell
University of Lethbridge

Michael Bar-Sinai
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Stephanie Hagstrom
University of California San Diego

Josh Utley
Intrepid Network (San Diego CA)

Lusia Veksler
University of California San Diego


via OSF Preprints
September 15, 2017

doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/6C2XT/


Despite all available technology and despite major disruptions that the internet brought about in many sectors of modern life, scholarly communication has only seen change at glacial pace. Many useful, laudable tools and services are being developed to solve specific issues for particular domain groups. However, the question of how these efforts fit together remains largely unaddressed. If we have alternative models for all parts of the system, will that result in a coherent system? Will it be interoperable? Will it appeal to people as viable alternative? Will it be open and participatory for all?

The solution we propose is that of a scholarly commons: a set of principles and rules for the community of researchers and other stakeholders to ascribe to, the practices based on those principles, and the common pool of resources around which the principles and practices revolve. The tenets of the scholarly commons are that research and knowledge should be freely available to all who wish to use or reuse it (open, FAIR and citable), participation in the production and use of knowledge should be open to all who wish to participate, and there should be no systemic barriers and disincentives to prevent either such free use or open participation.

In this paper, we outline the backgrounds of the idea of the scholarly commons and the various considerations that play a role in defining it. We share the principles of the scholarly commons and the degrees of freedom interpreting those principles, and consider the broader landscape of ideas and charters that the scholarly commons fits into. Finally, we present a call for action to involve like-minded people in the discussion on how to bring such a commons to fruition, and what this would mean for different communities within science and scholarship.

Direct to Full Text
26 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.