Open Commons of Phenomenology


The Open Commons of Phenomenology (OCOPh) is a not-for-profit, community-led initiative aiming to provide free access to the full corpus of phenomenological texts available in the public domain or otherwise openly licensed.

In addition to free access to full texts in formats such as PDF, EPUB, HTML and XML-TEI, the Open Commons of Phenomenology also aims to provide an exhaustive bibliographical index of phenomenological literature, both primary and secondary. Further, it will develop and implement a full set of digital research tools such as advanced search, bibliometric analysis (citations, views, etc.), glossaries, thematic indexes, structured annotations, social sharing and data visualisations. Users will have a private page to save and manage bibliographies, annotations, etc.

In the future, thbridgee Open Commons will work with archives, publishers and private estates to provide access to copyrighted and unpublished materials. Despite its not-for-profit nature, it will raise funds by licensing the access to the full range of its digital tools to academic libraries and institutions for a reasonable fee. Funds will be used to develop the capacity of the platform, to acquire copyrighted materials and to fund translation and critical edition projects. Texts themselves will remain competely free, thereby garanteeing equality of access to scholarship and knowledge and promoting the dissemination and availability of research in phenomenology.

Finally, the Open Commons will offer to host individual and institutional projects or provide easy access to its resources through application programming interfaces (APIs) and technical support. In short, it will work towards federating often scattered resources in phenomenology into a single yet decentralised, flexible publishing and research ecosystem that will be directly at the service of users from both the scholarly community and the general public.


The Open Commons of Phenomenology will be set up as a not-for-profit association, accepting both individual and institutional members. The Open Commons will function as a scholarly association and be administered by an executive committee constituted of academics, librarians and graduate students elected for fixed-terms.

An advisory board of leading academics in the fields of phenomenology and digital humanities, as well as senior librarians and data management experts, will oversee scientific matters. In particular, the scientific advisory board will attend to questions concerning data curation and data management, peer-reviewing and evaluation processes, directives and guidelines for critical editions, standards for glossaries, etc.

235px-Election_MG_3455To guarantee the democratic and balanced inclusion of the diverse interests of scholars throughout the phenomenological community, the statutes and governance charter of the Open Commons will be ratified by all founding members. The status of founding member will be acquired through participation or endorsement of the project in its preparation phase. Moving forward, members will also have a voice in establishing policies and best practices for data curation and data management, in defining the Open Commons management structure, as well as in agreeing upon procedures for content evaluation and moderation.

Cooperations with institutional or private archives as well as with research projects and publishers, in particular concerning the inclusion and curation of their copyrighted and unpublished materials, will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Further, archives, research institutes and publishers will be given representation through ad hoc boards.


  • Preparation (Feb 2015)

constitution of provisory steering committee

creation of website

outreach to scholarly community for information and initial support

organisation of a crowdfunding campaign to raise initial funds

  • Pilot (mid 2015)

creation of legal entity, adoption of statutes by members

low-level collaborative inputs of metadata and upload of texts

set-up of moderation structures, book series, critical edition projects, etc.

definition of collaboration scope with partner institutions (archives, publishers, etc.)

  • Operation (mid 2016)

full-blown collaborative inputs of texts and bibliographic data

licensing scheme/membership fees for sustainable funding of the platform

funding of research/edition/archival projects in phenomenology

Current Status

A website with an incipient database is online (

A steering committee and working group has been created, with the participation of 20 scholars and graduate students.

Initial organisation and outreach work is ongoing.

Call for involvement in the steering committee and working group is open (interested parties may join the project by writing to

Steering committee (provisory 20.02.15)

President : Nicolas de Warren (Husserl Archives Leuven)

Coordinators : Rodney Parker (University of Western Ontario), Patrick Flack (sdvig press)

Members : Karel Novotný (Charles University), Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray (University of Guelph), Peter André Varga (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Māra Grīnfelde (University of Latvia), Michal Mrugalski (Tübingen University), Andrei Patkul (St. Petersburg State University), Christian Dupont (Boston College), Genki Uemura (Seijo University), Darian Meacham (University of the West of England), Anna Yampolskaya (Russian State University for the Humanities), Iulian Apostolescu (University of Bucarest), Andrea Dietrich (Birkbeck, University of London), Philippe Hänsler (University of Zürich), Paul di Georgio (Duquesne University), James Owen (KU Leuven)

Cite this blog post
Patrick Flack (2015, February 25). Open Commons of Phenomenology. . Retrieved June 25, 2024, from

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