The Open Semantic Framework has an explicit design to support distributed collaboration. This network design is responsive to a broad spectrum of interests, locations and organizations. Every object in an OSF installation — from all properties and entities to entire datasets, results sets or ontologies — gets a Web identifier (URI). Each OSF installation itself also has unique identifiers.

Different access rights and privileges can be assigned to these digital assets, specifically:

  • By dataset
  • By Web service (tool), and whether that tool can potentially support create, read (access), update or delete (CRUD) operations
  • By user role (for example, administrator, owner, curator, contributor, unregistered)
  • By OSF instance.

The combinations of these rights can govern any imaginable access and use scenario, including access or management of multiple, distributed OSF instances. Collaborations may therefore be established on any organizational, informational or geographical scale. Differential access and rights can vary across instances, datasets and geography.

The same broader capabilities of various OSF applications can be integrated with these distributed capabilities. Thus, the distributed network design at the heart of the OSF architecture may be applied to these other OSF applications: