This week we presented a internet webinar hosted by iDigBio that was an information update on our progress with transforming the Specify Software Project into the Specify Collections Consortium. We will post the URL of the recorded video here in a few days. In the webinar we proposed four levels of institutional membership in the Consortium, ranging from Founding Members that are institutions who will play a central role in the governance and priorities of the Consortium, to Associate Members which are collections which will receive the same level of technical support that we have provided over the last 20 years as a grant-funded project. We are still deliberating over the specific benefits of the four membership classes; we will post them on this web site soon, to invite your input and feedback.
In the webinar we pointed out that the Consortium is committed to maintaining Specify software platforms and applications as open source, downloadable, and free-to-use products. Institutions need not be members of the Consortium to use Specify in their collections. Updates will also be free and open source; non-member collections can download and apply updates as soon as they become available. The Consortium, like the Specify and MUSE Projects before it, is committed to the open-source community model and vision, wherein all stakeholders, members or not, will always have access to the latest Specify software tools.