Sharing Infrastructure: How Open Source Tools and Platforms Can Transform Us

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Saturday, June 18, 10:45 AM–12:00 PM
Chair: Neil Blair Christensen, Director, Digital Business Development, University of California Press,br />Panelists: Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, Univerity of London; Kristen Ratan, Co-founder, Collaborative Knowledge Foundation; Alec Smecher, Technical Architect, Public Knowledge Project; Erich Van Rijn, Director of Publishing Operations, University of California Press

Most industries have used technology to evolve their sectors with profound leaps forward, while the academic publishing industry is still trying to figure out basic digital workflows. Many of us have been frustrated when a new idea is blocked because legacy, proprietary systems were too difficult, slow, or expensive to change. This session will explore ways that scholarly publishing can break down unnecessary silos and create shared layers of open source platform components that can be flexibly combined to create new platforms and solutions.

In recent years there has been a shift towards open source across technology-driven industries, with competitors sharing common infrastructure that doesn’t confer a direct competitive advantage, and focusing their resources on a layer of innovation on top. The publishing industry can learn from this model and use the reduced costs to increase innovation and expand services. There is also an emerging trend towards decoupled architecture with a modular rather than monolithic approach to software, workflow, and product development. In combination, these approaches enable flexible and adaptable platform solutions that offer faster and lower cost publishing with more resources left over for experimentation with new products and services.

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