University of Vermont VERSO

Case Study by Kendall Fortney and Ciara Flanagan

In 2022, the University of Vermont (UVM) was awarded funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to launch the VErmont ReSearch OSPO (VERSO). The funding for this two year pilot project resources two central staff positions and a central digital repository. 

Two departments have joint responsibility for VERSO - UVM’s Howe Library and the College for Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

VERSO’s primary aim is to create, promote and enable open work

Its objectives are to:

  • Build an effortless open source ecosystem.
  • Grow an open source community on and off campus and document the development of the VERSO community as it emerges.
  • Work alongside the UVM OCEAN research team to investigate research questions related to open source ecosystems.
  • Build organizational infrastructure and systems at UVM allowing VERSO to store, share, and facilitate the creation of open source software and research.

VERSO is focused on supporting faculty through Open Science initiatives and building the capacity and skills of students through education programs. It is also developing an external academic network throughout Vermont to promote future inter-college collaboration and community partnerships.

Activities undertaken to date include:

  • Promotion of open source and VERSO through attendance at conferences; guest lectures within UVM; and networking with community organizations.
  • The creation of UVM’s ESRI ArcGIS framework. At present, a team is curating the dataset to ensure the portal is relevant and adds value.
  • Scoping and piloting of a UVM instance of the dataverse
  • Design of an open source course targeting undergraduates and graduates in the next academic year. The approval process is underway.

All activities are informed by the need to develop a ‘talent pipeline’ of future scientists, researchers and developers who have the capability to collaborate on open source and to produce industry standard open source projects and products.

In the medium to long-term, the office anticipates working with the university on incentivization strategies for Open Access and Open Research.

The VERSO OSPO Playbook contains resources and shares learning about the evolution of the program. The playbook will continue to be updated to support the development of OSPOs across academia.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)