January 12, 2015

The Chrysalis Project White Paper: Opportunities for New Types of Research Alliances

How can we collectively design systems and organizations that will most effectively sustain innovative new varieties of digital scholarship over time? The Chrysalis project undertook a one-year planning effort funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study this question by researching models for implementing vertically integrated research alliances (VIRAs) designed to sustain digital scholarship. Such research alliances would be comprised of combinations of scholars, libraries, scholarly associations, and university presses. The white paper examines potential revenue streams associated with these models, including possible redistribution of current university library investments in information resources, as well as the creation of new sources of revenue generation to sustain research publishing. The planning project interviewed a broad range of research stakeholders through a series of meetings and iterative discussions, including faculty, academic libraries, research presses, and scholarly societies. The name of the project, “Chrysalis,” was selected because of the fact that organisms with a pupal developmental stage undergo a chrysalis metamorphosis which allows for internal reorganization in preparation for longer-term survival. If successful, VIRAs could constitute a chrysalis of sorts for innovative digital research publications that would otherwise be at risk.