PeerLibrary in broader context

There are many projects related to PeerLibrary. To better understand the whole PeerLibrary environment we are building an index of related projects and learning more about them. For each related project we try to find what are good sides of the project and what we could learn from it and imagine possible ways we could collaborate and work together. The list is long and it is all the time getting longer so this is hard work and we have not yet managed to analyze all related projects in detail.

This analysis I see as really important because it will enable us to really understand in which ways we can contribute new and useful things and in which ways it is better to build upon existing projects. Additionally, I do not see PeerLibrary as a project which should be competing with other open and good existing projects in this area, but more like a good user interface integrating and making easier to use existing projects. We times in our development we started reimplementing something and then we learned that it is better to simply integrate existing tool, polish it, fix bugs and send them upstream, and have a working, compatible, and interoperable version in PeerLibrary. This engages existing communities and makes better long term prospects for our sustainability.

Because sustainability matters. At the stage PeerLibrary is currently we do not really have any real funding, from the community or elsewhere. Participants are volunteering their time and have their own personal sources of income. We have also not yet discussed how we would address community funding in the future, if we will even have it. We will try to get foundation funding in the future, to allow interested team members to work on the project full time, but we have not yet done much towards that goal. So in meantime we are working on sustainability through cooperations and partnerships with others. For example, we talked with Internet Archive to store all publications and annotations there so that they will be archived forever and even if PeerLibrary fails to exist, data will be still available to users.

There are some commercial projects in the field, but their approach is directly opposite. They are trying to lure users onto their platforms and keep them locked in there. Our approach is different, more we connect and link and proactively push data around, happier we are.