Be the first to like this
Across jurisdictions and domains (academia, government, business) there has been much recent attention paid to open forms of knowledge production (e.g., open-source software, open data/metadata, open infrastructures) and the creation of open digital repositories for the unrestricted sharing of data, publications and other resources. This paper focuses on the latter, documenting and critically examining 14 different funding streams, grouped into six classes (institutional, philanthropy, research, audience, service, volunteer), being pursued by open digital repositories to support their endeavours, with a particular focus on academic research data repositories. Whilst open digital repositories are free to access, they are not without significant cost to build and maintain, and unstable and cyclical funding poses considerable risks to their futures and the digital collections they hold. While the political and ethical debate concerning the merits of open access and open data is important, we argue that just as salient are concerns with respect to long-term, sustainable funding for the operation and maintenance of open access digital repositories.