Download: Final Ithaka report on sustainability

A final version of the Ithaka report on Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources is now available to download.

Read on for the Executive Summary and to download the full report as a pdf.

Executive summary

This paper was commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is the first step in a three-stage process aimed at gaining a more systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects. It focuses on what we call ‘online academic resources’ (OARs), which are projects whose primary aim is to make content and scholarly discourse available on the web for research, collaboration, and teaching. This includes scholarly journals and monographs as well as a vast array of new formats that are emerging to disseminate scholarship, such as preprint servers and wikis. It also includes digital collections of primary source materials, datasets, and audio-visual materials
that universities, libraries, museums, archives and other cultural and educational institutions are putting online.

This work is being done as part of the planning work for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), so it emphasises the development and maintenance of digital content useful in the networked world. In this first stage, we have conducted an initial assessment of the relevant literature focused on not-for-profit sustainability, and have compared the processes pursued in the not-for-profit and education
sectors with those pursued by commercial organisations, specifically in the newspaper industry. The primary goal of this initial report is to determine to what extent it would make sense to conduct a more in-depth study of the issues surrounding sustainability.

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