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About Reason CMS

Reason CMS is a free, open-source web content management system created by and for higher education. It provides an extensible framework for building large websites and for distributing site management among multiple content contributors and maintainers.

Reason is uniquely suited to the requirements of higher education.

In its initial development at Carleton College, a lot of thought was put into how other content management systems failed to fit smoothly with the unique culture and systems of higher education. Reason was therefore designed from the ground up to integrate not just with common technical platforms in use at colleges and universities, but with the culture of collaboration, intellectual freedom, and decentralized communication that exists in higher education.

Here are some of the ways the Reason is tailored for higher education:

  • Multiple site authors from across campus can collaborate on web projects
  • Removal of barriers to publishing
    • Faculty and staff need minimal training to use system
    • Focus on informal rather than formal content review
    • Immediate publishing allows instant gratification
  • Item history feature allows Reason to feed an institutional repository
  • Sharing and borrowing features enhance institutionwide collaboration and sharing of resources
  • Deep integration with the LDAP EduPerson schema
    • Automated department staff and faculty listings
    • Understanding of dynamic groups based on attributes like affiliation and title
  • Reason on Linux/Apache/PHP/MySQL provides a 100% open-source stack
    • No worries about lock-in
    • Fully extensible
    • While Reason provides a powerful and flexible API, you are not limited by vendor-provided APIs and can directly access Reason functions and data if needed

In addition, because the core of the Reason open-source community is in higher education, the Reason development team tracks developments and emerging standards in the technologies used by higher education. This focus on the needs of colleges and universities distinguishes Reason from many other open source content management systems.