Migration to MSU
The immediate transition of the primary Commons network to MSU, which we expect to begin in early October 2020, should not affect its functioning or its development path. The Commons is hosted through Amazon Web Services, and the transfer of those servers to MSU control should not require any functional changes.
The repository connected to the Commons, however, is currently hosted by Columbia University Libraries. While the migration of the primary Commons network is underway, we will likewise migrate the repository and its associated software to MSU's servers. We expect this migration to be complete around the same time as the Commons migration.
Each of these migrations is likely to require a brief interruption in service as we make the switch from the platform's current locations to its new home. We will make every effort to warn the community in advance of these interruptions.
Early in summer 2020, MSU Commons moved into a beta launch period. MSU Commons will provide a proof-of-concept for institutions seeking academy-owned alternatives to commercial repository, publishing, and profile services.
Multiple Disciplinary Hubs
As the network expands, we will be working on several fronts to improve the services we provide. With the launch of MSU Commons, our community will be expanding beyond the humanities, and as a result we will establish disciplinary hubs for the social sciences and STEM fields, with others potentially to follow. Individual users will be able to select the hub or hubs in which they would like to participate.
The relationships among the main disciplinary hubs and the organization-based nodes will be varied. Some nodes, such as those developed for colleges and universities, will connect with all of the hubs; others, such as those dedicated to discipline-specific scholarly societies, will connect with only the relevant hub. We'll be seeking ways to make the map of the Commons as a whole clear and to leave sufficient breadcrumbs that users don't feel lost.
Development and Support Team
Primary development and support for the Commons will be the responsibility of MESH Research at MSU, with collaboration from MSU's Information Technology Services group and from the MSU Libraries. Our team will be expanding soon; please watch our updates for opportunities to join us.
We have a lot of plans on our development roadmap: ensuring high availability for the entire Commons infrastructure, building out additional repository features including versioning and linked deposits, and enabling additional integrations with important scholarly communications infrastructure. We'll update you on that roadmap soon.