Substance Consortium

In 2016 the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (CoKo), SciELO and Érudit partnered to form a consortium committed to supporting and integrating Substance. In July 2017 eLife joined as well. The idea of the consortium is to create a common-pool resource whose development is driven by community needs. Everybody is invited to join!

PKP’s Juan Pablo Alperin described the need for this consortium:

“We recognize that web-based multi-party editing of structured documents is needed in the authoring, editing, and production workflows of knowledge creation, and believe that we can best ensure Substance serves all these needs by coming together to support them. We hope that by making this commitment, others will recognize that there is more to gain from jointly supporting Substance’s work rather than building local or custom solutions that cannot easily be used by others.”


The goal of the Substance Consortium is simple: to ensure the continued development and support of Substance by creating a community of stakeholders who will support and engage with Substance on an ongoing basis. By ensuring the long-term support of Substance, organizations that want to use Substance-based tools can be confident that it won’t go anywhere and will be properly supported. And, the Consortium is an acknowledgement that the organizations who use these tools as critical infrastructure have a responsibility to contribute to their upkeep.

In July the members met in Montreal to discussed the goals, structure, and principles of the Substance Consortium. The group articulated these foundational principles:

  • Open Source: the Substance library is and will continue to be licensed as open source
  • Reliability: Substance commits to the ongoing support and maintenance of the core library
  • Support: the tools will be supported with quality documentation and trainings
  • Persistence: the core library and tools will be hosted and available long-term
  • Community: development will be prioritized to meet the needs of the community, with clear avenues for community input and discussion
  • Transparency: decisions are made in a transparent manner, with regular communication about current and upcoming development
  • Governance: done correctly, with an advisory board and reports on finances and key decisions

Past Events

  • Substance Consortium Workshop (April 12 & 13, 2018, in Cambridge)
  • Substance Consortium Meetup (July 26 & 27, 2016, in Montreal)
  • Substance Consortium Webinar (June 22, 2016, 11am PDT) - Watch Recording

Mailing list

If you wish to be informed of the consortium's activities please join the mailing list.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Michael and Oliver