New publications: sustainable strategies for digital resources

Tens of millions of dollars, pounds and euros are invested each year by government agencies and private foundations to develop and support digital resources in the not-for–profit sector. As institutional budgets tighten, will these digital resources be able to survive and thrive?

A new study, released today by Ithaka S+R and the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance, illustrates the varied and creative ways in which leaders of digital initiatives, particularly those developed in the higher education and cultural heritage sectors, are managing to identify sources of support and generate revenue. Read on for links to download the report and all the case studies.

Ithaka Case Studies in Sustainability consists of twelve examples of digital resource projects and a final report, ‘Sustaining Digital Resources: An On-the-Ground View of Projects Today’, written by Ithaka S+R analysts Nancy L Maron, K. Kirby Smith and Matthew Loy.

The case studies provide a rare glimpse into the strategies of twelve digital initiatives across Europe, the Middle East and North America – ranging from an online scholarly encyclopedia of philosophy to an image licensing operation at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Ithaka Case Studies in Sustainability project (July 2009)

Full document with case studies

Report with case studies: Sustaining Digital Resources: An On-the-ground View of Projects Today

Final report

Report: Sustaining Digital Resources: An On-the-ground View of Projects Today

Individual case studies

Image licensing at a cultural heritage institution: V&A Images

Specialised historical content for a niche audience: The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

Experimentation with sustainability and partnerships for library digitisation projects: The University of Southampton BOPCRIS Unit

Building an endowment with community support: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Subscription-based resource sold through a university press: The Electronic Enlightenment

A two-sided market for academic researchers and enthusiasts: eBird Cornell University Lab of Ornithology

Library partnership and a subscription model for a journal database: DigiZeitschriften

Leveraging shared infrastructure and expertise to develop digital projects in an academic department: Centre for Computing in the Humanities

The open access contributor pays model: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Free content and rights licensing as complementary strategies: L’Institut national de l’audiovisuel

Digitisation with commercial partnerships: The National Archives

Early sustainability planning for a grant-funded digital library: National Science Digital Library