Public statement following first meeting on Open Community Infrastructure - Google Docs
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-05-16
"On December 17-18 , a group of institutions who are major contributors and supporters of open source community infrastructure projects that support the preservation and access of digital content gathered in Ann Arbor. The following is an outline of the discussion we had over the course of the two days. The institutions present were: University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Colorado, North Carolina State University, Penn State University, Ohio State University, New York University, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Iowa, Emory University, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University
Observing the ecosystem of open source software projects that support the preservation and access of digital collections, it is a well-known and often-observed condition that we have created a number of separate projects, each with different types of funding, different modes of governance and organizational structure, separate administration, and separate strategies. The current condition has a variety of redundancies and inefficiencies--for example, the need for each project to re-create its own business structures and the staff to administer them; the prevalence of a membership funding model that causes a competition for institutional dollars between projects; poor integration of the separate software components; and reduced ability for executives at the member institutions to assess the direction of the various software projects against their own programmatic and strategic goals.
The desirability of bringing more coherence to these separate communities and projects is not new. It has been expressed in various ways for several years, but various obstacles have stood in the way of coordinated action to create coherence. On December 17-18, 2018, Deans/ULs and IT Directors/AULs of fifteen institutions who are major payers into and supporters of the open software ecosystem gathered in Ann Arbor, with an intent to look carefully at the feasibility of a coherence model for a focused set of open source software projects that we collectively use for digital preservation and access, and to consider what it might take to move the ideal of coherence and interdependence into action...."