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Publications

Research Report
February 5, 2016

The Costs of Publishing Monographs

Toward a Transparent Methodology

The University Press business model faces numerous challenges today, with revenues under pressure due to a host of factors, from the decline of bricks-and-mortar stores and shifting library purchase patterns to the still emerging distribution and revenue models made possible by digital books. Over the last few years, certain forces have emerged and intensified—federal mandates for Open Access, declining sales reach, and the desire of university presses to build a greater audience for scholarly works—encouraging university presses to seriously consider…
Research Report
June 18, 2014

Sustainability Implementation Toolkit

Developing an Institutional Strategy for Supporting Digital Humanities Resources

What do the digital humanities look like on your campus? What types of projects are your faculty undertaking? Which will require longer-term support, and where will that support come from? What roles do your service units, centers, and digital labs play in the various life-cycle stages, and is this clear to faculty? This toolkit will help administrators create a coherent institutional strategy for supporting digital humanities activities and the valuable outputs that they generate.To get started, follow the three steps below.…
Research Report
June 18, 2014

Sustaining the Digital Humanities

Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-up Phase

As more and more scholars experiment with building digital humanities (DH) resources, how are their host institutions approaching the challenge of supporting these diverse projects over time? In this study, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ithaka S+R explored the different models colleges and universities have adopted to support DH outputs on their campuses.  This final report, Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host-Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase, and the accompanying Sustainability Implementation Toolkit, are intended to guide faculty,…
Research Report
March 27, 2014

A Guide to the Best Revenue Models and Funding Sources for your Digital Resources

There are fewer barriers than ever before for those who wish to build something on the web, whether an online journal, a website with tools for teaching, or a digitized collection of rare and unique materials. Yet, no matter who creates these resources or how they were initially funded, there are substantial costs involved in keeping digital resources up and running for the long term while continuing to deliver value to those who use them. With the support of the…
Issue Brief
March 6, 2014

Opening the Textbook

New Opportunities for Libraries and Publishers?

  What solutions might we find within our community to solve the problem of rising textbook prices? In this issue brief, Nancy Maron, Ithaka S+R’s program director for sustainability and scholarly communications, looks at recent trends in textbook publishing and suggests that collaborations between university presses and academic libraries might yield a new breed of textbook more aligned to the needs of faculty and students.
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Research Report
November 20, 2013

Grateful Dead Archive Online

University of California at Santa Cruz

Cultivating a targeted user group for support and content Few archives come with a built-in fan base. The Grateful Dead Archive Online is distinguished from many other academic special collections by the variety of media it holds, from concert tickets to audio files and art created by fans of the band, and by its potential audience, the many thousands of fans of the Grateful Dead. Support for the Archive has come from grant funding, private donors, and from this fan…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Maine Memory Network

Maine Historical Society

Investing in distributed capacity-building for continuous growth The Maine Memory Network, referred to as “Maine’s Statewide Digital Museum,” created by the Maine Historical Society, provides a shared space for cultural institutions throughout the state to scan and host images, documents, and artifacts from their collections. By initially framing the project as a partnership and investing in concentrated outreach and training, the program has succeeded in bringing in over 270 partners from across the state, from the Maine State Archives, to…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Searching for Sustainability

Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections

This report aims to address one of the biggest challenges facing libraries and cultural heritage organizations: how to move their special collections into the 21st century through digitization while developing successful strategies to make sure those collections remain accessible and relevant over time. Through a cooperative agreement as part of the National Leadership Grants Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), in partnership with Ithaka S+R, to undertake in-depth case studies…
Research Report
November 20, 2013

Florida Folklife Collection

State Archives of Florida

Building User Engagement for a Sustainable Future The Florida Memory site first came online in 1996, and today it enjoys over forty-eight million page views each year from folklorists, historians, musicians, teachers, students, and others who use this rich collection. The Florida Folklife Collection, launched online in 2003, is one of Florida Memory’s most popular components. A digital repository of thousands of photographs and films, the collection is especially noted for its diverse mix of audio recordings, including vocal and…
Research Report
February 21, 2013

Appraising our Digital Investment

Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries

Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and conducted by Ithaka S+R, this study provides insight into how ARL libraries are managing and funding the hundreds of digitized special collections they have created and that they believe to be critical to their futures. This is the first survey of ARL institutions that specifically attempts to understand and benchmark the activities and costs of supporting these collections after they are created. By looking at questions of management, costs, funding sources,…
Research Report
January 29, 2013

Sustaining Our Digital Future

Institutional Strategies for Digital Content

A great deal of the digital content that libraries and scholars create is expected to endure. However, the responsibility of maintaining the ongoing operation and enhancement of this content remains undefined. With the generous support of Jisc, Ithaka S+R was able to examine the strategies that institutions have in place for supporting digital content resources beyond their initial construction and implementation. “Sustaining Our Digital Future” is both an assessment of the university environment as a host for digital content and…
Research Report
January 28, 2013

Sustaining Digital Content in Cultural Institutions

A Case Study of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

With generous support from the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), Ithaka S+R is examining the role played by the institutional host in supporting digital resources at museums. Over the past decade, investment from private and public funders has helped to create a rich landscape of digital resources in the cultural heritage sector. These projects, whether focused on digitization, born-digital content, or other tools, can be challenging to coordinate and costly to maintain. As cultural heritage institutions seek to expand their…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

Revenue, Recession, Reliance

Revisiting the SCA/Ithaka S+R Case Studies in Sustainability

In 2009 Ithaka S+R investigated the sustainability strategies of twelve digital content projects in the higher education and cultural heritage sectors in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Egypt. Two years and one economic crisis later, Ithaka S+R, with the generous support of the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance, decided to revisit the original twelve case studies to see how their models had held up, where weaknesses might be starting to show, and what new strategies project leaders were adopting in…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

DigiZeitschriften 2011

A Niche Project at a Crossroads

DigiZeitschriften, a collection of digitized German language scholarly journals, has continued to successfully support its operations and generate a surplus through a combination of its subscription model and low cost base, thanks to its 14 partner libraries, which help to curate the content and seek grant funding as needed. Since we profiled this project in 2009, its website has been revamped, and Google and other search engines are now allowed to crawl some content for the first time. And yet…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

V&A Images 2011

Scaling Back to Refocus on Revenue

V&A Images, the commercial image licensing unit of the Victoria and Albert Museum, had a difficult task: to generate profits through image licensing while also fostering the museum’s public and scholarly mission of providing access. In 2009, our study focused on the challenges of operating an image licensing business whose sustainability model depends on monetizing the same assets that are available for free. In part due to these challenges, the group expanded their scope in 2010 to include mobile app…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

The National Archives (TNA) 2011

Enhancing the Value of Content through Selection and Curation

In 2008 we examined the activities of the Licensed Internet Associates program (LIA), a business operation within The National Archives (TNA) that licenses TNA’s holdings to commercial entities. Beyond providing direct revenue to TNA in the form of royalty income, the LIA program has played a major role in the rapid digitization of TNA’s documents at an extremely low cost, outsourcing the function to its licensing partners. In the face of a projected 25 percent cut in government funding over…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

L’Institut national de l’audiovisuel 2011

Balancing Mission-based Goals and Revenue Generation

L’Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA), the French national archive for audiovisual materials, is tasked with preserving France’s audiovisual heritage through ambitious goals for digitising, preserving, and sharing this content. In addition to the government funding that INA receives, its commercial activities support this work. This update examines Inamédiapro, the commercial rights licensing service, and ina.fr, the public website, and their complementary ways of monetizing the rich archival holdings in recent years, through a close examination of user needs and strategic…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

Electronic Enlightenment (EE) 2011

Outreach or Outsource? The Benefits and Challenges of Partnership, Case Study Update 2011

In 2008 the Electronic Enlightenment launched efforts to transition to an institutional subscription model, part of its long-term plan for sustaining itself beyond the period of grant funding. Now housed at Oxford’s Bodleian Library and working with Oxford University Press as its sales, marketing and distribution partner, Electronic Enlightenment is still in the process of building its subscriber base, a task made more challenging by the impact of the recession on library budgets. This update reports on the challenges EE…
Research Report
October 6, 2011

The Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) at King’s College London 2011

Cementing Its Status as an Academic Department

In 2009 the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH), formerly known as the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH), presented the model of a successful cross-disciplinary collective of digital practitioners engaged in teaching and research, with knowledge transfer activities and a significant number of research grants contributing to its ongoing revenue plan. Support from King’s College London to create the department was to be phased out after the results of the government’s 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which was expected…
Research Report
June 14, 2011

Funding for Sustainability

How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources

"Funding for Sustainability: How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources" offers an overview of funders' policies and practices, and provides a framework to assist funders and their grantees in thinking about the key elements of post-grant sustainability planning for digital resources. Over the past decade, philanthropic organizations and government agencies have invested millions of dollars, pounds, and euros in the creation of digital content in the not-for-profit sector. Their grants have facilitated major digitization efforts and encouraged innovative…