Following some great discussion with users and clients in the USA, Figshare recently joined up as a member of the Internet2 community.

“Internet2 is an exceptional community of U.S. and international leaders in research, academia, industry and government who create and collaborate via innovative technologies. Together, we accelerate research discovery, advance national and global education, and improve the delivery of public services. Our community touches nearly every major innovation that defines our modern digital lives—and continues to define ‘what’s next’.”

Due to funder mandates, it is becoming very clear that better management of research outputs is high up there in the list of ‘what’s next’ for academic institutions. Funder guidelines and the need for institutions to take greater control of their private and public data assets is what has driven the development of ‘Figshare for institutions’ in the last 12 months. Figshare have developed next generation repository software that deals with any digital files (and aims to visualize them in the browser) – this can be thousands of digital files such as datasets and software. The new policies, led by the OSTP announcement 2 years ago, have undoubtedly led the way for more efficient scholarship through greater access to human and machine readable digital outputs of research. However, as the table below illustrates, there is a lot of requirements being pushed to the institution.

When the Figshare institutional offering was first requested, it was by institutions where many academics were already using and familiar with the Figshare interface and it’s simplicity. Figshare went out to gather requirements from several universities and they soon realized that a lot of assumptions about best practice would not make sense in different universities with different needs.

figshare’s first realization was that different institutions have different storage landscapes and so Figshare for institutions needed to be storage agnostic. For Figshare a cloud based solution seemed like an obvious platform for scalability, rolling uploads and global accessibility to research, but they needed to ensure that they worked with a storage solution that made sense for each individual institution. figshare’s interactions with institutions have led to a product that is built on top of its API, to ensure interoperability between all software and repositories at a given university. Figshare is keen to fit in amongst the suite of existing tools and to ensure data can be handled at the academic level, without having to change workflows.

As Figshare continues to engage with the North American institutional space, they want to ensure that what they are building is what is required by US institutions. Internet2 can help Figshare in this endeavour as can be seen in just a couple of their partnership goals.

  • Work hand in hand with the community ecosystem to customize their products and solutions for a defined end user audience and potentially deploy those services on a national scale
  • Simplify the negotiation and contracting process and eliminate friction by working through Internet2.

If you would like to hear more about how Figshare are working with Internet2, or to see how ‘Figshare for institutions’ could be a good fit at your University or College, please get in touch with the Figshare team via info@figshare.com or via twitter, facebook or google+.