September 18, 2023

Finding the Right Publishing Platform


A Research blog post from

  • Corinne Guimont, Digital Scholarship Coordinator & Interim Director, Virginia Tech Publishing, Virginia Tech
  • Matt Vaughn, Open Publishing Librarian, Indiana University Libraries
  • Cheryl E. Ball, Independent publishing consultant and Executive Director of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

A key job responsibility for many library publishers is to collaborate with authors to determine the best mechanisms to share and publish their research. Open-access publishing has been on library publishers’ radars for over two decades, and the types of publishing that librarians are responsible for has expanded from PDFs in Institutional Repositories to faculty and student journals, digital humanities projects, and open educational resources. Further, authors and editors are interested in publishing their work in a digital and open environment with innovative content, including interactive elements and multimedia. While there are numerous commercial and open-source platforms available for publishing research (i.e., bePress, Drupal, WordPress), the number of academy-owned or -affiliated publishing platforms has flourished in the last five years, and the choices can feel overwhelming to librarians, let alone authors and editors. So, then, how do potential users find out about which platforms may be available? The librarians’ answer: A crosswalk!

We are delighted to announce the release of “Finding the Right Platform” (, a crosswalk that compares 10 academy-owned and open-source publishing platforms commonly used in library and university press publishing. “Finding the Right Platform” is published under a CC-BY license on Humanities Commons.

The crosswalk begins by asking users what type of project they want to publish and what features they are looking for in publishing platforms. Our goal was to help librarians, publishers, and authors/researchers make a decision to further pursue one platform over another (or to identify and further research a smaller group of platforms that might be suitable for their projects).

This 34-page, hyperlinked crosswalk includes at-a-glance feature comparisons for the following platforms