May 27, 2022

New Resource: ARL Releases OSF Toolkit for Digital Scholarship Support

From the Association of Research Libraries:

Developed by Megan Potterbusch, the toolkit is the outcome of Potterbusch’s yearlong National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) hosted by ARL and administered by the Library of Congress.

The toolkit—which includes presentations to faculty and librarians, resources for working with researchers, and project structure/workspace examples in the Open Science Framework (OSF)—is the result of Potterbusch’s extensive outreach and consultation work with multiple research groups at The George Washington University (GW) this past academic year.

Built within the OSF, an open platform developed by the Center for Open Science (COS) that connects other, highly used, scholarly productivity and storage services, the toolkit is open for collaboration.

Potterbusch hopes that the toolkit will be a starting place for additional contributions by librarians and other information professionals working on digital stewardship in close partnership with researchers. Digital stewardship is a broad concept—incorporating collection development, preservation, and scholarly communications activities.


During her residency, Potterbusch worked with digital humanists, bioinformaticists, and groups looking at the “science of team science” itself. As the toolkit reflects, she partnered with these research communities on open science, workflow optimization, research reproducibility, and information and data management. She also provided extensive training on using the OSF to both researchers and librarians.

Potterbusch’s residency was designed as a joint experience among ARL, the Center for Open Science, and the GW Libraries. The NDSR project team hypothesized that the OSF could serve as a low-barrier, collaborative space for a librarian to provide valuable information-management advice and support within a researcher’s existing workflow.

Jeffrey Spies, co-founder of COS and the original architect of the OSF, said, “COS appreciates Megan’s feedback from her perspective as a librarian using the OSF in partnership with researchers. We want the OSF to be a collaborative space for those two communities to work together.”

As Potterbusch recognized early in her initial outreach and engagement activity, researchers do not consider many digital stewardship practices to be part of the research life cycle. She wrote in an August 2017 blog post that, as a flexible, open platform, the “OSF facilitates improved digital stewardship behind the scenes while helping researchers accomplish aspects of research they do care about, such as dissemination, reproducibility, open science, and general project management.”

GW dean of libraries and academic innovation Geneva Henry said her expectations for the NDSR project were exceeded many times over. Henry added, “Megan was able to demonstrate through her persistent and targeted outreach to our faculty that perceived barriers to collaboration were surmountable. The library is now at the table in new conversations and relationships on campus.”

Prue Adler, ARL associate executive director for federal relations and information policy and one of Megan’s mentors, said, “Other ARL libraries that are seeking to increase their engagement in digital scholarship support will find inspiration in this toolkit. Through Megan’s documentation of her NDSR experience, the toolkit can serve as a model for interested libraries.”

Direct to Toolkit

See Also: Posts About the Toolkit’s Development by Megan Potterbusch

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.