Just a few weeks ago we reflected on the year 2022 — with those positive results we find the energy to make 2023 another resultful one. In this blog post, we outline how we are planning to move forward this year.
To put things in to perspective before we get started, here’s what our theory of change says we are working towards:
For 2023, we interpret our self-sustaining research commons locally and in two ways: (1) Business and (2) Community. These will be our core themes for 2023, which will be reflected in the activities.
The straightforward reality is that we cannot work on this mission if we do not have the money to buy people’s time to focus on this. Regrettably, that is the system we are embedded in.
The Shuttleworth Foundation made it possible to buy the core team’s time throughout 2019-2022; in 2023 we are already using our own lifetime revenue already. This means that the bucket we are using in 2023 was filled in 2019-2022. We need to pick up the pace: We have 2023 to fill the remainder of the 2023 bucket and start filling our bucket for 2024.
We are on track to make it through the year 2023, but last quarter we still spent more than we earned. We earned 25% of what we spent during the last quarter of 2022. Concretely, we need to earn 100% of what we spend in the final quarter of 2023. This will set us on track to generating a profit in 2024, which we can then jointly decide what to do with (more on that later this year).
Breaking-even in 2023 means we will need to spend a lot of energy on improving how we generate revenue and reducing costs. This is not just important for the business, but also for the reliability of what is becoming critical infrastructure for researchers.
If you would like to work with us or support our efforts, do not hesitate to get in touch.
A self-sustaining research community is a space that people convene in. Lively, engaging, building each other up, and respectful of individual differences/histories while recognizing historical inequities — that’s what we envision. Specifically pertaining to the researchers sharing their process in the ResearchEquals community of practice.
For example, we can use trauma informed design to make our spaces so much more than just another space to survive in. What can we do to not only make this a space that prevents harm, but also promotes joy?
Community building requires active work. In 2022, our CEO took the CSCCE Community Fundamentals course, which inspired us to step up our community efforts. It took us as long as it needed to, to get here. As Cameron Neylon recently said (paraphrased): Many seemingly technological projects in open scholarship are actually working on a social change. ResearchEquals does so too - together we are changing research communication from after-the-fact to communicating the process.
We will be creating a lifecycle within our ResearchEquals community. This way, people will be coming and going and we focus on what we can do to engage no matter whether you were an early-adopter or a newcomer. There will be new ways for people to join the community, to increase their participation, and more.
Activities for 2023
To that end, our 2023 activities are the following, although they may evolve. We specifically say what we are going to do this year, but also what we will not do. These are in no particular order.
- Feature fever - we will not implement any major features that drastically alter what ResearchEquals can do. We will only implement minor features that expand the business capacity and refine the experience on the platform.
- Create and run the pilot ResearchEquals Cohort
- Evaluate pilot and determine whether to run Cohorts on a regular basis
- Have one employee start the two-year CSCCE Certification program
- Evaluate and improve the quantitative feedback mechanisms available for ResearchEquals
- Add collections growth to the real-time statistics page
- Set growth targets
- Upgrade our supporting membership strategy
- Integrate supporting memberships into ResearchEquals
- Onboard ten new supporting members (individual or institutional)
- Rethink our General Assembly strategy
- Build trust with our ResearchEquals Community
- Create and implement an open startup strategy
- Create and implement an archival strategy
- Support use of ResearchEquals for creative purposes
- Work with funders to promote the publication of grant proposals
- Enlist community champions to teach and facilitate step-by-step research publishing
- Publish six use cases of ResearchEquals
- 2023 evaluation against POSI (see our 2022 evaluation as well)
- 2022 GHG emission assessment + a continuous emission assessment strategy
- Liberate Science Labs
- Open Update season 3 with a co-host
- Champion the creation of an open source CrossRef library
- Organize Open Publishing Festival
- Run a set of 3 webinars on the fediverse
As mentioned before, this list will keep on evolving and this only the start of our 2023 journey! We look forward to reflecting on this list at the end of the year, at the latest. If you are interested to know how things go, sign up for newsletter updates - we will keep posting our progress throughout the year 😊