July 21, 2020 | By Joseph Esposito
This post was co-authored by Joe Esposito and Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka S+R.
Every day, choices are made, and positions advocated, about the best organizational forms for providing the various services needed for the academic enterprise. This is an important, and underexamined, issue for academia. As well-resourced as some universities are, they are not infinite in size, and, as a result, they have to prioritize their investments. When purchasing or developing scholarly communications services, library systems, and research workflow tools, individual universities seek cross-institutional scale, which can be achieved in a variety of ways, including open source software, institutional partnerships, consortia, and outsourcing to third-party organizations, both not-for-profit (NFP) and commercial in structure.