|deborah (deborah) wrote,|
@ 2008-06-24 10:20 am UTC
Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources
is a new report by Ithaka "sets forth a systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects
". They say some very smart things, including "Assuming that grant funding will always be available is not likely to lead to a successful sustainability plan.
" and "Project leaders need to adopt a more comprehensive definition of ‘sustainability’.... It is incorrect to assume that, once the initial digitisation effort is finished and content is up on the web, the costs of maintaining a resource will drop to zero or nearly zero."
(Emphasis mine.) They say some other things which I don't exactly disagree with but I think need to be carefully defined, such as "The value of a project is quantified by the benefits it creates for users
", which needs to be carefully defined in an archives world where the value it creates for users might be "long term preservation of rarely accessed materials to benefit the global scholarly community". (At Open Repositories 2008, I heard a lot of conversation and presentations where people assumed that digital resources which weren't being heavily used had no value. As an archivist, I say them nay -- much of what we are preserving we are preserving for the future
But in any case, I read the report thinking "that's just what I've been saying
". I'm thrilled that major reports are coming out discussing these issues.