New Business and Sustainability Models – Catherine Grout

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The new business models required to sustain digital

The new business models required to sustain digital

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  • 1. Digital Content Task Force Meeting London 27 th July 2010 Joint Information Systems Committee New Business and Sustainability Models 07/25/10 | Supporting education and research | Slide 1 Catherine Grout JISC eContent Director
  • 2. A Vision
    • “ If we want to avoid this new gulf between information rich and information poor, between the connected and the unconnected, we have just simply got to get everybody connected to the internet and make sure they are sharing in this information rich age.”
    • He added: “I want to give this all the support I can… to make Britain the most connected, the most wired up, the most digitally-advanced country there can be.”
    • (David Cameron)
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 3. The Value Proposition
    • This is positive – but what does being “information rich” mean – can we influence this?
    • Should being information rich partly involve access to this compelling and coherent UK collection?
    • But - reality is that we are in an economic climate about doing more with less.
    • Therefore need to consider business models that may allow us to move
    • FROM the current situation where only a small percentage of the resources in UK cultural and research collections are digitised
    • TO: to one where these resources can be at the heart of every citizens online experience.
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 4. Some Potential Models
    • A: Centralised Investment/loans - sustained by a variety of income streams
    • B: Private sector investment in public content (eg in individual or shared library Collections/Services)
    • C: Crowd sourcing/community generated collections
    • D: Internal resource redeployment (potentially supported by national shared services)
    • E: Consortial action : (pooling resources/Shared Services/Centres of Expertise)
    • (Obviously, some of these models are used in tandem. And there are others - private philanthropy, or data commercialisation)
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 5. A: Public Investment
    • Example : The French government have invested in the digitisation of the INA archive (France’s audio visual heritage – equivalent in some respects to BBC archive - 60 years of TV & 70 years of radio: with over 3 million hours of TV & radio. http://ww.ina.f r - 100% of content online by 2015)
    • Advantages: Mass digitisation achieved within relatively short time scale. Once content in place can be exploited in a variety of ways. Sustainability options greater given amount that exists.
    • Disadvantages: Central funding hard to make the case for in the current economic climate. Many demands upon the public purse across the UK and harder to make the case for what should be prioritised.
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 6. B: Private Investment in Public Content
    • Example : Google Books Library Project
    • Digitisation of collections, of part of collections of over 21 international libraries. Other libraries and cultural institutions continue to be added to as Google partners. Includes >1m out of copyright 19-th century books from the Bodleian Library
    • Example : 17th- and 18th-Century Poetry from Brotherton Library, University of Leeds
    • Leeds collections digitised and published via Adam Matthew Digital Publications. Includes images of 190 manuscripts of 17th and 18th century verse held in library, plus search engine for verses. Includes work by John Dryden, Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift
    • Just one of a number of digital collections made available via Adam Matthew Ltd
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 7. B: Private Investment in Public Content
    • Advantages : one way of unlocking public content, can be flexible and licensing terms and conditions can be negotiated to allow free at the point of use access to be maintained.
    • Disadvantages : Access terms may be restricted and not open. It can be difficult to make the right kind of offer to the commercial sector in order to make an investment worthwhile. Specialised research content may not be so attractive as it does not have mass market appeal and it may be more difficult to generate revenue; often requires multiple collections from multiple collections to create ‘saleable’ package
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 8. C: Crowd Sourcing/Community Collections
    • Galaxy Zoo ( www.galaxyzoo.or g ). 250,000 people so far have taken part in classifying galaxies. Within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour, and more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, from almost 150,000 people.
    • Oxford University Anglo Saxon Archive The university is asking members of the public to upload any stories, poems, writing, art or songs they have composed or heard that relate to Old English and the Anglo-Saxons to Project Woruldhord (Old English for "world-hoard").
    • This builds on the success of the Great War Archive ( ) and is part of the Run co co project which is looking at the best way of using crowd sourcing to develop existing or build new collections.
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 9. C: Crowd Sourcing/Community Collections
    • Advantages : engages users directly and creates a sense of ownership and interest in collections. Fulfills social mission of universities and other organisations; can generate a great deal of content very quickly with very modest investment. Can also have its own sustainability model at low cost
    • Disadvantages : will need specialist staff time and effort from official collections to get off the ground and to mediate the content; will potentially need ongoing effort and investment to sustain; may not achieve mass digitisation to scale but hard to say until more experimentation into the potential of this model has been achieved; does not work with rare / fragile collections
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 10. D: Internal resource redeployment
    • This is looking at the day to day business of content rich institutions who would in theory like to be able to offer a much greater percentage of their resources online and have a more compelling online presence.
    • In theory a greater shift to the digital would involve re-directing staff activity and budgets away from some activities, for example support for physical collections and/or investment in physical collections towards investment in the creation or procurement of digital collections.
    • Where has this taken place??....
    • In theory this could be more viable if there are more centrally shared services to support the library eg collections management, cataloguing, archiving and preservation etc.
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 11. D: Internal resource redeployment
    • Advantages : could be achieved at a modest or low cost. Could offer opportunities for new income streams. Could enable institutions to remain head of the game in this new era. If accompanied by shift in strategic thinking can help embed digital practices within whole of the institution
    • Disadvantages : what existing practices have to stops to enable this to happen? Problematic to identify business case internally and to shift cultures and mindsets. Other priorities during period of ‘austerity’
    • Might be easier as part of a consortial approach rather than going it alone
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 12. E: Collaborative
    • Could be: Consortial action/pooling resources/Shared Services
    • Examples : Current JISC eContent Programme. Relevant projects at Leeds, Manchester, SOAS, VADS
    • Helps to develop skills, infrastructure and expertise as well as content which then become shared resources and help to boost the overall capabilities of our sector in the shift to the digital
    • JISC also provides centralised content related service. Licensing, resource discovery, delivery, advice etc. to support this mutual endeavour
    • Advantages : whole is greater than sum of parts, economies of scale, sharing of good practice, up-skilling (as well as content)
    • Disadvantages : ongoing business case can be more difficult to identify in current economic climate (prob others?)
    Joint Information Systems Committee
  • 13. SCA: Sustainability and Business Models work
    • Through the Strategic Content Alliance, JISC and its partners have been funding in depth case studies into the different business models that have been deployed for particular digital collections (under the bonnet)
    • Slightly different tack to looking at the economics of mass digitisation (..towards a national collection)
    • Now looking at funders’ approaches to sustainability (flip side of coin)
    • Work is highly recommended and can be accessed at:
    Joint Information Systems Committee