Open Scholarship Commons Space Plan


What is the Open Scholarship Commons (OSC)?

The Open Scholarship Commons was initially envisioned as an interdisciplinary and technology-rich space that provides centralized access, support and services to UW researchers, instructors, and students engaged in the creation and dissemination of open and digital forms of scholarship -- facilitated by experts within and outside the UW Libraries.

Due to the pandemic, plans to create the physical spaces to support the OSC in the Library were put on hold while the OSC team and its partners worked to launch the program virtually in late 2020, offering a wide range of online workshops, events and consultation services to enhance open scholarship skills and to support open, collaborative work across all UW campuses.


The New Space

In 2023, the OSC will enter a new phase to see its full vision come to life with the creation of a physical space inside Suzzallo Library. The space will offer in-person services and collaboration spaces dedicated to open scholarship. The OSC space will transform a highly visible part of Suzzallo Library from traditional study and stack space to an active, innovative, community-engaged, and interdisciplinary space supporting the full research life cycle.

Existing Space Pre-OSC
Existing Space
Proposed (not final)


The OSC is iteratively designed based on student and faculty feedback, reflecting the project’s stated values of equity, experimentation, flexibility and openness. While the final design is still being finalized, the following are some of the key elements considered:

  • Tech-enabled, collaborative workspaces and classrooms
  • Individual study/workspace
  • Expanded workshop capabilities for in-person and hybrid learning
  • Robust projection and audio systems
  • Student showcase / inspiration area
  • Access to specialized software and technology geared towards digital scholarship
  • Walk-in help with resident experts
  • Mobile whiteboards
  • Mobile laptop cart


Why Now?

The OSC fills a vital need on-campus for more interdisciplinary gathering spaces  and technology-rich teaching spaces.  The 2019 report by the Graduate School on “Creating New Intellectual Spaces” notes a shift to interdisciplinary approaches to research and education within the academy in response to local and global challenges that require multi-faceted solutions. The 2020 designation of UW as Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classified institution and 2022 UW Faculty Senate Class C Resolution on Community-engaged scholarship continues to signal a growing commitment to interdisciplinary research and education, in partnership with the community.


As a space that traditionally serves as a bridge welcoming both the campus community and the community at-large, the Open Scholarship Commons is uniquely positioned to support the University’s goals for community-engaged scholarship. The space makes visible and enables the Libraries’ ability to play an expanded role in supporting open scholarship, helping students and researchers to not just find research materials,  but analyze their results, share their research widely and determine the impact of their work.