Wednesday, May 23, 11:15am-12:15pm
Room: Ski-U-Mah

Presenters: Matthew Hunter, Florida State University; Peter Potter, Virginia Tech; Brian Hole, CEO, Ubiquity Press; James MacGregor, Public Knowledge Project


Libraries that develop their own software and host their own publishing platforms have the advantage of independence and access to open source services. Not all libraries, however, have developers nor do they always have the resources to make maintenance sustainable. Vendor-provided publishing tools have a lower threshold for adoption and maintenance, but they often require dependence on commercial, closed services that may misalign with the values of libraries and academic researchers. How should a library approach the decision between in-house development and outsourcing services with vendor-provided tools? What are the ethical considerations of vendor partnerships? What qualities make a vendor a suitable publishing partner?

This panel will bring together two librarians that have navigated the decision-making process between in-house development and vendor provided tools for digital scholarship services; and two vendors, Ubiquity Press a for-profit provider of open access publishing and repository platforms and Public Knowledge Project, a non-profit multi-university initiative developing open source software and providing hosted publishing services. The panel will begin with the librarians discussing the decision-making processes of their institutions when choosing between in-house development and vendor provided tools followed by the vendors, who will discuss the steps they’ve take to design infrastructure that aligns with community values. The panel will then open up for a discussion with the audience on the concerns and issues of choosing vendors, and how vendor collaborations can be best balanced for sustainable library publishing.