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OSF for Institutions: Solving the Challenges of Institutional Collaboration and Research Data Management

This article will explain the benefits of using the Open Science Framework (OSF) and how OSF for Institutions can help enhance transparency, foster collaboration across institutions, and increase the visibility of your work.

What is the Open Science Framework?

The OSF is a free web app that supports project management and collaboration, connects services across the research lifecycle, and archives data, materials, and other research objects for private use or public sharing. The Center for Open Science launched new features for the OSF to provide a more efficient user experience within the institutional environment. Through collaboration with institutions, COS is offering a branded, dedicated landing page to display all projects and users affiliated with your institution.

How can OSF for Institutions benefit you?

Connect, organize, and document research. The OSF integrates data repositories, study registries, computational services, and other services researchers use into a single workflow to increase accessibility and usability. It eliminates the need for time spent tracking data sources and collecting them to share or publish.

Manage projects. Researchers create projects, add content, and document the activities of labs, teams, or larger consortia of researchers around the world. Built-in version control, granular privacy controls, integrations with other services, and citable persistent identifiers streamline researcher workflows and incentivize sharing.  

Share work. The OSF makes transparency and collaborating easy and can be tailored to individual needs. Share work publicly, only with collaborators, or select groups. Customizable permissions allow you to share what you want, when you want, with whom you want, and ensure that private content stays private.

Preserve for the future. OSF provides highly secure, redundant archiving services for confident preservation of research materials and data.

What we provide:

What we provide:
  • Mapping to a unique URL, such as osf.abc.edu
  • Authentication into the OSF via the institution’s Identity Provider (CAS/Active Directory, etc)
  • An institutional affiliation option for projects available to authenticated project administrators
  • An institutional landing page at the unique url on the OSF that is available by means of:

    • External Internet search engine
    • Direct link
    • OSF search for the institution by name
    • Clicking on the institutional identifier in an affiliated project

  • The Institutional landing page will allow OSF users to see all public projects affiliated with the institution and use standard OSF filters to view standard data about those projects
  • Support for users via email for OSF specific issues
  • Web-based Train-the-trainer sessions 2X/year for selected OSF Ambassadors who can then hold workshops and provide wider training to institutional users

What you are responsible for:

  • Selecting and securing a url structure for the institutional OSF landing page redirect on the institution’s domain
  • Updating relevant authentication systems to allow requests/redirects be handed off to the Center for Open Science (COS) CAS server; including users’ institutionally unique identifier and email address. Additional fields can be released and used in populating a new user’s profile such as givenName, familyName, title, etc.
  • Providing logos and color palette to be used on the institutional landing page
  • Placing a link to the unique url on appropriate institutional and departmental websites
  • Announcements and internal marketing for the OSF service
  • Selecting representatives to serve as OSF ambassadors and receive train-the-trainer training on the OSF to provide on-campus guidance for best-practices, introductory training, etc.

  • Reviewing and approving any press releases issued by COS about your institution's adoption of the OSF for Institutions service

Additional Collaboration

Additional Collaboration

Additional areas of potential collaboration can enhance the engagement of OSF users at your organization and create a more seamless experience. These options include:

  • Connecting your organization’s institutional repository to SHARE, an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) project supported by COS to generate a feed of research release events from a variety of sources.
  • Using OSF for Meetings to share conference presentations taking place at your institution. This free tool provides a central space to broaden the impact of your research, share presentation and supporting materials, and explore research across conferences.
  • Hosting Workshops to engage the research community at your institution on improving openness and reproducibility of research.

Want more info?

Visit https://osf.io/ba3dy/ for more information or send us an email at contact [AT] cos [DOT] io