Nurturing a community based sustainability model: Support and outreach structures in Scratchpads

Free-to-use information services and e-Infrastructures aim to provide a stable, accessible and reliable environment for their communities. As the majority of European e-infrastructures are initially designed, developed and implemented under externally funded projects over a defined time period, post-project sustainability is often a concern.

The final transformation from a project to a sustainable service requires careful planning and should be considered throughout initial project development. During this presentation we will demonstrate, using the Scratchpads ( example, how a community based support model can efficiently compliment or even replace the existence of a systematic mechanism of grant renewal. Inspired and committed communities can efficiently contribute in maintaining a de-centralised support and developing mechanism. Scratchpads case study shows how a globally distributed network of people, with diverse backgrounds, can undertake the effort of sustaining a vivid and responsive community. We will discuss how the development of a network of Ambassadors, the investment in structuring the necessary support mechanisms and the systematic assessment of the targeted audience needs, along with the adoption of an open and scalable model, are arguably major factors leading to the successful migration from a research project to a production quality system.