Can we do away with RFPs?

Scholarly publishing at times seems to want to hold on to some outdated processes. At the top of my list is the dreaded RFP (Request for Proposals) process.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://upstream.force11.org/posts/can-we-do-away-with-rfps
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Regarding the relationship between RFP processes and open source projects, it is true that often RFPs cause unnatural dichotomies such as “we must chose between hosted solutions vs. open source software” or “we must chose between sustainable companies and fragile non-profits”. These dichotomies are false and this framing gives unnecessary advantage to corporations that are designed to navigate the bureaucracy of a tender process.

Even worse than a single RFP process, the entire RFP/tender framing reenforces within our schol comms community that when you “win a bid” then you are a winner. Over time, we value those that are designed to succeed in a rigged system. And it makes our path to building an open future a much more than a bidding process because its actually a harder/cultural problem.

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