​Why merge the organizations?

We feel a merger will improve the sustainability of our projects and programs and increase their impact in every sector of our ecosystem internationally. Also, both organizations have histories that include mergers. DuraSpace formed in 2009 after the DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons joined together. LYRASIS formed in 2009 from four library consortia (Palinet, Solinet, BCR and Nelinet). Both organizations were able to move significantly further forward after each merger than they had been able to prior.

What catalysts led to this intent to merge and how is it different from the 2016 intent to merge?

Our organizations are increasingly working toward similar strategic goals. We don’t want to compete for a limited pool of funding and staff resources. We also feel strongly we can have a greater impact in our field together than we can apart.

Over the last 2-3 years, our missions, goals, and cultures have grown closer together. For example, the It Takes a Village (ITAV) project created an opportunity for DuraSpace and LYRASIS to collaborate. ITAV provided leadership and created new understanding of the needs and potential models for support of open source software (OSS). LYRASIS’ experience with the ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace communities and DuraSpace’s experience with DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO contributed to the ITAV outcomes and bolstered the body of knowledge around supporting open technologies and community governance.

In addition, both organizations have been working on innovation and thought leadership initiatives and wish to formalize, grow, and spread these efforts internationally. We feel we can do that through joint investments in the new LYRASIS Leaders Circle and Catalyst Fund that will convene our members internationally, promote sharing ideas and use cases, and fuel collaboration on Research & Development and prototyping to test ideas and eventually turn them into solutions for our members to use.  

It is also clear, based on the consolidations in the for-profit space serving our communities, that we will be stronger and more sustainable together, giving us the means to create viable alternatives to proprietary products in a not-for-profit environment.

How will this impact my membership?

DuraSpace and LYRASIS have agreed not to make changes to membership fees in the first year of the transition. However, there will be an increase in member benefits in the first year. For example, DuraSpace members will immediately have access to LYRASIS member benefits, including service discounts, as well as voting rights for Board of Director seats. Also, Leaders Circle membership will be extended to DuraSpace members automatically for the first year of the merger, which includes access to the Catalyst Fund. LYRASIS members will gain access to service discounts on DuraSpace services. We are dedicated to increase the value of membership together. As such, a detailed consultation on membership structure and benefits will occur during the first year of the merger to inform how to improve value in the future.

Will there be an impact on community governance?

We are dedicated to community stewardship of open technologies. DuraSpace and LYRASIS will provide support and leadership while respecting the role of community governance groups to make decisions that best reflect the needs and values of their communities. DuraSpace and LYRASIS have agreed not to require changes to community governance the first year of the transition. A merged organization will have the benefit of serving nine global open source technology communities including DSpace, Fedora, VIVO, DuraCloud, ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace, ORCiD US, SimplyE public, and SimplyE academic. It will also maintain relationships with Samvera, CASRAI, PASIG, Islandora, and ARKs. In the first year of transition there will be opportunities to share successes and challenges among these groups that may result in recommendations to be adopted or rejected by community governance groups.

What consultations have already occured?

DuraSpace and LYRASIS Boards of Directors and leaders have been engaged in rigorous discussions during the fourth quarter of 2018 that have included preliminary terms for the merger and discussions with the leaders of community governance bodies, including ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace, DSpace, Fedora, VIVO, and Samvera. Select service providers and granting agencies were also consulted.  

What consultation will happen as part of the intent to merge?

The following consultations are planned over the next 6 weeks:

  • Discussion and in-person meetings when possible with community governance groups, strategic partners, and individual conversations with representatives from DuraSpace Platinum and Gold members will be scheduled in January and February 2019.
  • We will hold two ‘town hall’ webinars to provide more information and answer questions in February 2019. A variety of days and times will be provided to accommodate members in different time zones.
  • Our International Membership and Partnership Manager will follow up with collaborators and partners internationally to arrange meetings.

What is the timeline for the merger?

Both the DuraSpace Board of Directors and the LYRASIS Board of Trustees have unanimously voted in support of the intention to merge. Each organization will now complete their due diligence work, including consultations with members and project community governance. We expect the due diligence work to be completed in February 2019 after which a final decision to merge will be voted on by each organization’s Boards. If approved, we anticipate LYRASIS and DuraSpace teams and infrastructure will be merged by summer 2019.

Where will the newly merged organization be located?

The organization will be headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with virtual employees collaborating and engaging with the community globally. LYRASIS will be the parent organization and legal entity for the newly merged organization. The DuraSpace brand, stewardship of DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO, and fiscal sponsorship supports will transition to the new DuraSpace Community Supported Programs Division of LYRASIS. DuraSpace hosted services (DuraCloud, DSpaceDirect, and ArchivesDirect) will also transition to LYRASIS.

How will the newly merged organization engage with communities internationally?

More than forty percent of DuraSpace’s members are located outside of the United States. We have and will continue to have a deep commitment to serving and engaging with our international members through our strategic partnerships with COAR, OpenAIRE, and euroCRIS as well as the events organized and sponsored internationally. We also attend many international events and conferences such as Open Repositories, PASIG, iPRES, RDA Plenaries, and others. Together, we feel DuraSpace and LYRASIS can bolster international engagement by pursuing new strategic partnerships internationally and organizing new events outside of North America. Our International Membership and Partnership Manager will follow up with collaborators and partners internationally to arrange meetings, in-person when possible.

Will there be any staff layoffs?

No. We anticipate that all current LYRASIS and DuraSpace staff will have positions if they so desire in the merged organization.  

What will be the mission of the merged organization?

The DuraSpace and LYRASIS missions are very similar in part based on our merger discussions in 2016.

The DuraSpace mission is:

DuraSpace as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access to digital data. We collaborate with academic, scientific, cultural, technology, and research communities by supporting projects and advancing services to help ensure that current and future generations have access to our collective digital heritage.

Our vision is expressed in our organizational byline, “Working together to provide enduring access to the world’s digital heritage.”
The LYRASIS mission is:

​LYRASIS supports enduring access to our shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content ​services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide.​​​
If a merger is affirmed, we expect DuraSpace to adopt the LYRASIS mission statement.

How can I provide feedback or ask questions about the proposed merger?

DuraSpace staff and board members will make personal phone calls to representatives of our Platinum and Gold members. We will also hold two ‘town hall’ style webinars in February to share information and answer questions. If you are part of a community of practice or community governance group we encourage you to compile questions and feedback on behalf of the group and share it with us. Contact Erin Tripp, Executive Director, DuraSpace at etripp@duraspace.org and/or Robert Miller, CEO, LYRASIS at robert.miller@lyrasis.org.

DuraSpace Communities, Projects & Partnerships

How will this impact DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO?

If the merger goes ahead, there will be no changes to DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO membership, community governance, or staffing. We are committed to continuing DuraSpace’s stewardship of these communities.  

How will this impact DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO community governance?

We respect the role of community governance groups to make decisions that best reflect the needs and values of their communities. The Steering Groups and Leadership Groups for each project will continue to operate as they do now. If a merger is pursued, DuraSpace and LYRASIS will not require changes to community governance. A merged organization will have the benefit of serving nine global open source technology communities. In the first year of transition there will be opportunities to share the experiences of these groups that may result in recommendations to be adopted or rejected by community governance groups.

What will happen to the grant work that DuraSpace is participating in?

All current grant work for which DuraSpace is either a principal investigator or supporting organization will continue as planned. As a part of the due diligence phase we will consult with all granting agencies and/or principal investigators to confirm our continued role and responsibilities.

What will happen to the DuraSpace Service Provider Program?

All current DSP Program agreements will be honored. If the two organizations merge, there will be no change in the Service Provider Program for a minimum of one year. Any future changes will be made thoughtfully and in consultation with service providers and community governance groups.

What will happen to DuraSpace’s strategic partnerships?

DuraSpace’s Strategic Partners will remain an integral part of our shared strategy aimed at developing and maintaining strong international collaborations in support of implementation and adoption of technological standards and protocols that enable interoperability between different systems. If a merger is affirmed by the boards of the two organizations, we will consult with our strategic partners about future terms of our agreements and how they should evolve to elicit collaboration in the combined organization.

DuraSpace Hosted Services

Will my current subscription service (DuraCloud, DSpaceDirect, ArchivesDirect) be impacted?

If the merger goes ahead, there will be no changes to subscriptions for the first year of transition. Prices will not increase and existing agreements will be honored. DuraSpace and LYRASIS services staff are committed to ensuring a smooth transition with minimal disruption to customers.

Will I need to be a LYRASIS member to keep my DuraSpace service subscription?

No. DuraSpace services customers are not required to be members of any organization to begin or continue with their DuraSpace service subscription.

I’m a LYRASIS member. Can I get a discount on my current DuraSpace service subscription?

If the merger goes ahead, services staff will discuss available LYRASIS member discounts at the time of subscription renewal.

I’m a LYRASIS member. Can I get a discount on a new DuraSpace service subscription?

Yes. DuraSpace services will transition to LYRASIS and members will be eligible for discounts on the combined portfolio of services.

Once the merger is finalized will DuraSpace service customers need to have a new contract with the new merged organization?

Customers will not need to take any action if the merger proceeds. At the first subscription renewal after the merger, customers will be asked to sign a new service level agreement to reflect the new organizational home of the service.

Will service partnerships be impacted?

All current partnerships will be honored. DuraSpace and LYRASIS are committed to reducing the impact on members and service customers. No changes to service partnerships will be made without ample consultation among partners and with the needs of customers at the forefront of those consultations.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my DuraSpace service?

Customers can continue to send any questions or problems to support@duracloud.org (for DuraCloud and ArchivesDirect customers) or support@dspacedirect.org (for DSpaceDirect customers).

Will there be any difference in pricing for my service in the merged organization?

If the merger goes ahead, there will be no changes to subscriptions for the first year of transition. Prices will not increase and contracts will continue to be supported.

LYRASIS Services

Will any LYRASIS services be impacted by the merger?

All LYRASIS services will continue without change during the merger. Members can contact their Member Representative at any time to discuss any questions about specific offers and purchases.

Will my Deposit Account with LYRASIS or my ability to use it be impacted by the merger?

The deposit account program will remain unchanged and will continue unimpeded throughout and after the merger. There will be no changes for members who use this benefit.

Will any current subscriptions I hold through LYRASIS be impacted by the merger?

None of the subscriptions or product purchases through LYRASIS will be changed by the merger, and all services, including billing and support, will remain unaffected throughout and after the merger.

Will LYRASIS continue its ongoing work with vendor licensing and scholarly publishing?

Yes, LYRASIS will continue its extensive licensing work, including negotiating terms with vendors and publishers, and seeking and developing partnerships with University Presses and Open Content resources as a benefit to our membership and the wider field. These current projects will remain unaffected throughout and after the merger.