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Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources

June 4, 2008 | By Brett Bobley

On May 8th, I took the train up to New York to attend a workshop on the topic of "Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources." The workshop was co-sponsored by JISC’s Strategic Content Alliance and Ithaka. In advance of the workshop, all attendees were asked to read and comment on a recent Ithaka report that lays out many of the sustainability challenges facing online academic projects and explores some possible solutions. If you haven’t read the report, I urge you to do so and send in your comments, as the Ithaka staff is quite interested in getting feedback from the field.

This is certainly an issue of great interest to the NEH. In the pre-digital days, sustainability wasn’t really on the radar. NEH grant products were typically books and any sustainability issues were handled by the academic libraries that purchased them. But when we fund an important academic project whose product is a website or database of some sort, then long-term sustainability is a very big issue. Who will keep the lights on when the grant runs out? So your thoughts and ideas are certainly welcome.