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An open standard “is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed (e.g. open process)”. There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage. The terms open and standard have a wide range of meanings associated with their usage. There are a number of definitions of open standards which emphasize different aspects of openness, including the openness of the resulting specification, the openness of the drafting process, and the ownership of rights in the standard. The term “standard” is restricted here to technologies approved by formalized committees that are open to participation by all interested parties and operate on a consensus basis.

Open Standards lower total costs of ownership (TCO) and increase returns on investment (ROI) by providing the following benefits:

  • Interoperability
  • Vendor neutrality
  • Efficient use of existing resources
  • Greater use of automation
  • Flexibility
  • More options provide more opportunities to optimise
  • Lower and manageable risk
  • Robustness and durability
  • Quality
  • Increase available skills
  • Better human communication.


Open Standards are commonly considered key enablers of Open Science as their adoption ensures better interoperability/compatibility across/between different knowledge, data, and software infrastructures and services. For more information about Open Standards requirements for software, in particular, look at these pages: one, two, three and four.

The Sci-GaIA project consortium is very much concerned by the use of Open Standards and the following are (some of) those adopted inside the Open Science Platform: