February 2, 2013
Beyond the Initial Construction and Implementation Phase: Examining Institutional Strategies for Digital Content
In Sustaining Our Digital Future: Institutional Strategies for Digital Content, Ithaka S+R examines "the strategies that institutions have in place for supporting digital content resources beyond their initial construction and implementation". The report "is both an assessment of the university environment as a host for digital content and an exploratory look at how cultural heritage institutions think about and plan for sustaining and enhancing the value of their digital collections." Quoted from the announcement. A snip from the Executive Summary:
Although the most visible signs of our embrace of digital media belong to the world of commercial entertainment and the iPads, e-readers and smartphones we use to consume it, the shift taking place in scholarly communications is proving to be no less transformative. It is not only data sets and scholarly articles that are being created, but dynamic digital resources — websites, digital collections, databases of crowdsourced or born digital content — and they pose opportunities and challenges that are all their own. Aside from the riskiest of experiments in digital innovation, it has become clear that a great deal of the content that libraries and scholars are creating today is expected to endure.
However, whose responsibility it is to look after this content is still unclear. In the United Kingdom, the current political and educational context offers urgent and specific reasons for institutions of higher education to support the outputs of its faculty: declines in government spending and national mandates for open access of scholarly outputs have encouraged this conversation. Meanwhile, the potential for use and re-use of this content has never been greater. While the hot issues around big data sets and peer-reviewed research articles often take centre stage, this study focuses on those digital content resources that require some form of support and management even after they are built. How are institutions supporting and maximising the value of the digital content their faculty and staff create?
Hat tip to DigitalKoans. [JH]