INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY COSTS AND BENEFITS: TOWARDS A MODEL Frederick Friend JISC Scholarly Communication Consultant Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL [email_address]
CURRENT AWARENESS OF COSTS AND BENEFITS <ul><li>More known about costs than about benefits </li></ul><ul><li>More known about start-up costs than about recurrent costs </li></ul><ul><li>More known about benefits in theory than in practice </li></ul><ul><li>More known about academic benefits than about financial benefits </li></ul><ul><li>This situation is not surprising. Repositories are still at an early stage in their development. This presentation will outline what we know and suggest a framework for filling in the gaps in our knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this important? If we want institutional repositories to be an ongoing feature of the open access landscape, we must be able to demonstrate their value to the institutions they serve. </li></ul>
INFORMATION ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY COSTS (1) <ul><li>Alma Swan’s chapter on “The business of digital repositories” in “A DRIVER’s guide to European repositories” provides a few examples of start-up and running costs for repositories in US, Canada, Ireland and UK http://www.driver-repository.eu/PublicDocs/D7.2_1.1.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Huge variation in start-up costs according to whether free software used, number of staff-days required to set up system, and which functions included in costs (e.g. advocacy?) </li></ul><ul><li>Innovators have to spend more than those purchasing ready-made solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Most common situation is low staff-costs for start-up but higher ongoing staff-costs – e.g. a South African institution reports approximately 4 FTE staff to maintain repository </li></ul>
INFORMATION ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY COSTS (2) <ul><li>UK LIFE Project provides considerable detail on costs for acquiring, storing and preserving various content types in repositories, with caveat that costs given are “illustrative rather than absolute” www.life.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>The Project provides the most detailed Methodology available to date for calculating repository costs, analysing costs in seven categories </li></ul><ul><li>Lifecycle costs are the sum of costs for creation, acquisition, ingest, metadata creation, bit-stream preservation, content preservation and access </li></ul><ul><li>LIFE Project report provides costs in the form of UK case studies, projecting costs up to ten years ahead </li></ul><ul><li>After year one main costs associated with preservation, with peaks in costs over a ten-year period (i.e. repository costs may not follow a flat trajectory) </li></ul><ul><li>N.B. Are the UK costs applicable in other countries? Maybe, or maybe not, but the LIFE Model could be. </li></ul>
INFORMATION ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY COSTS (3) <ul><li>Type of content held also affects cost – e.g. UK data repository reports cost projections considerably higher than other UK repositories holding text </li></ul><ul><li>“ Keeping Research Data Safe” project report provides information on costs incurred in preserving data, including institutional repository costs http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/keepingresearchdatasafe.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Will there be economies of scale for larger repositories (e.g. in bit-stream preservation)? </li></ul><ul><li>And more generally, we shall soon have the Houghton information on self-archiving costs and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: many different factors affect repository costs. </li></ul>
INFORMATION ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY BENEFITS (1) <ul><li>Benefits currently described in very general terms, e.g. “having a repository to hold a university’s research output advertises a university’s academic strength”, “content in a repository is cited highly”. </li></ul><ul><li>Are these general statements sufficient to justify to a university finance office an expenditure of several tens of thousands of euros/dollars/pounds per annum? </li></ul><ul><li>Can these benefits be quantified in financial terms? Should they be? Some people would argue that we should not make the attempt, that repositories have to be justified solely on their academic benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if repositories can be justified solely on academic grounds, without costing the benefits, we still need to be more specific in describing the benefits and not rely upon general claims. </li></ul>
INFORMATION ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY BENEFITS (2) <ul><li>Academic benefits can be described in specific rather than general terms, e.g. the benefit to a single researcher of open access to a particular journal article held in a repository and not available in the researcher’s library; the benefit to a university’s recruitment of students in a particular subject through awareness of research reports in the university repository. </li></ul><ul><li>Stories told by individual researchers about the value of repository content can be powerful arguments. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of these stories of academic benefits may be turned into financial benefits, e.g. the extra income to a university through attracting fee-paying students. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial benefits may consist of cost savings or additional income for the institution. </li></ul><ul><li>N.B. No case studies for benefits as there are for costs. We need some! </li></ul>
CONCLUSION <ul><li>If each institutional repository manager is to make a case for the long-term support of the repository, data needs to be collected on both costs and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>This data will be specific to the institution, because both costs and benefits vary according to the services and content the repository provides. </li></ul><ul><li>Costs should be set out on a timescale covering several years (e.g. using the LIFE model), as costs in one year may be very different from those in another year, particularly preservation costs. </li></ul><ul><li>The data on benefits to the institution should be related to the institutional strategy and priorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits should be specific, linked to experience in particular academic departments and individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits should include an element of cost saving or additional income if possible. </li></ul>
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING – AND GOOD LUCK! <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul><ul><li>You can contact me at [email_address] . </li></ul>
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