At 4Science we support openness. Our solutions are designed to enable open access and open data and are based on open source technologies.

This is not only because we firmly believe in open knowledge, but also because openness enhances innovation and impact, and open-source solutions offer business benefits including enhanced quality, security, shared risk and responsibility, transparency and cost-effectiveness.

Evidence of the benefits of open source can be found in this Report (September 2021).
Open source development depends on and creates collective intelligence, which is essential to solve complex problems and co-create sustainable solutions.

Open source development has long been at the core of our business model; we share our development efforts with other interested parties, aiming to expand and strengthen the communities we collaborate with, in support of open science.

This is what we do. Supporting open source software means contributing to communities, developing code that can be shared and valuable for wide, reciprocal benefit. Specifically, we have been providing our technical contributions to the communities of DSpace, DSpace-CRIS, IIIF, Dataverse, and OJS.

Visit also our page WE WORK WITH to find out more about our contributions to open communities and projects and our commitment to interoperability and persistent identifiers as key enablers of open knowledge.


The DSpace community is the one we’re currently more committed to, with 2 official DSpace Committers who have been providing code to DSpace for almost a decade. Andrea Bollini is currently responsible for the subteam of the DSpace 7 UI Working Group, dedicated to refactoring/enhancing the REST API (using modern REST best practices). Luigi Andrea Pascarelli led the DSpace 5.6 Release and is currently engaged in the REST API subteam. The other developers at 4Science are engaged in both subteams of the DSpace 7 WG.

As stated in the official wiki page of the DSpace 7 project, “the goal of this working group, led by Tim Donohue, is to create a new, single User Interface (UI) for DSpace that implements all functionality currently available in JSPUI and XMLUI.  The UI will interact with DSpace core data through a completely new REST API to insure complete separation of the user layer from the data layer. This working group is split into two subteams: an Angular Subteam, led by Art Lowel (Atmire), which is concentrating on building a modern, responsive, client-side user interface using Angular and a REST API Subteam, led by Andrea Bollini (4Science), which is concentrating on building a new REST API based on state-of-art technologies, standards and best practices.”

4Science has strongly supported the current DSpace 6 release with a particular focus on bugs and security fixing and is contributing to the release of DSpace 6.4.

Among the “historical” contributions, we could mention the contributions of our 2 Committers to the DSpace 4 release: integration between DSpace and Solr so to enable Discovery: Search & Browse by default in both XMLUI and JSPUI; a new Bootstrap-based default look and feel for JSPUI; bibliographic import and lookup in Submission; Sherpa/Romeo integration in the submission upload step.

Going even more back in time, in 2009 members of our team provided to the DSpace 1.6 version, among many improvements and fixes (, the ability to delegate/decentralise the administration of DSpace’ communities and collections (see Another important contribution to that version of DSpace was the development of the authority framework included by default in DSpace, which was then used to allow a smooth integration between the DSpace-CRIS data model and DSpace.


DSpace-CRIS is the first free open-source platform for the Research Data and Information Management ever developed. Our Team is the one that in 2009, together with the University of Hong Kong, developed the first pilot and since then have been continuosly working on enhancing the platform.

Differently from other (commercial) CRIS/RIMS, DSpace-CRIS has the institutional repository as its core component, providing high visibility on the web to all the collected information and objects, from publications and patents to projects and awards, from researchers’ profiles and CVs to organizations and funders.

DSpace-CRIS is an extension of DSpace: it broadens its functionalities and expands its data model to collect and manage research data and information, while relying on its large Community. DSpace-CRIS is compliant with many international standards (such as CERIF, ORCID, OpenAIRE Guidelines) to facilitate interoperability and data transfer.

DuraSpace, a division of Lyrasis, provides a wiki space to DSpace-CRIS with the purpose of exposing the documentation in a useful, collaborative way to stimulate discussion among DSpace and DSpace-CRIS users. All the contributions to the code, the new features of the platform, the technical documentation and the roadmap can be found here:


IIIF is a new community for us, but we already are very active. We developed a specific add-on for DSpace that is distributed under a crowd-funding business model, but our goal is to release it soon (with your contributions).

We have joined the Universal Viewer conversation on GitHub proposing a new panel that raised great interest to visualize text side-by-side with the image (OCR Panel: PR#424)

We are also contributing back our findings (better support for 2.1) that came from using the DBMDZ IIIF Presentation JAVA API library.

4Science became the 1st Italian company among the participating institutions, pioneering many technological improvements since 2017, and today is a proud Associate Member of the Consortium
IIIF is a set of open standards that help archives, libraries and museums make the most of their digitized collections with features for visualization, deep zoom, annotation and more.


IIIF standards are a set of shared API (Application Programming Interface) specifications for interoperable functionality in digital resource repositories. IIIF simplifies the analysis and sharing of digitized materials, migration between technology systems, and access to images for scholars and researchers.


At 4Science we have experts of another important open source project: OJS.

Lately we have been committed to work on an extension of the OpenAIRE compliance plugin for OJS to allow authors and editorial members of a Journal to include information about funded projects in the article metadata. Besides the grants already managed by the original OJS plugin, this extension allows to collect the project title and the funder name and tender using the OpenAIRE Project API.

We released the plugin our GitHub repository to make it available for the whole community:

Another important contribution to the OJS project is related to its integration with ORCID. We developed an “ORCID Profile Puller” that:

  • Hooks into the User Profile, Registration, and Submission (step 3) forms
  • Searches for co-authors’ ORCIDs
  • Requests ORCIDs of co-authors via email

Also this new important contribution is available on our GitHub:

The contributions mentioned above are only the latest that our team gave to the OJS community. Indeed our collaboration goes back in time to 2004 when we provided the Italian translation for OJS 1, the development of the section browsing functionality and several other improvements.

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