Jump in, the water is fine! Open source alternatives to platform vendors are here!

As consolidation continues within scholarly communications, many constituents are vocalizing hesitation to continue working with commercial systems vendors. Concerns vary based on the organization and system type, but include publishers and institutions who don’t want competitor publishers or large commercial interests “owning” their infrastructure and accessing their data.  

As you know, Coko is a non-profit, and our tools will always be open source. No single organization, Coko included, is the sole driver of the roadmap. Coko facilitates an active community who share in determining priorities and governance. This approach is core to our mission, and successful examples include Editoria and xPub (Manuscript Submission and Peer Review System). All of this means that tools and data are not vulnerable to acquisition. Everything we create is shared for free; and all code, development, and governance is transparent.

“Working on the Coko project, Hindawi has been able to experiment with some newer technologies that we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to work with in our ongoing work.” commented Andrew Smeall, Director of Product and Technology at Hindawi.

Some have alluded to a high resource cost associated with joining open source communities. This is an unfortunate misperception. While development resources and financial support from partners are welcome and much appreciated, organizations without precious resources can contribute to the community in other ways, or can opt to use a hosted version of our Editoria or xPub (more on this very soon).

“We are advocating to the sector at large that open infrastructure puts you in control,” said Co-founder of Coko Adam Hyde. “Don’t be beholden to these organizations that tell you how to work. Be a part of a collaboration between organizations deciding together where they want to go.”

Take a step to the side of all that by learning more about what is on offer within the Coko Community.

“There are a lots of things that publishers are building that are exactly the same,” commented Paul Shannon, Head of Technology at eLife. “Time and money is being wasted. By sharing in this effort and working together, we can commoditize the basic publishing infrastructure and then innovate on that platform. Organisations can add their own value to the content, the services, and the rest of the applications they’re building.”