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OCLC Online Computer Library Center Protecting the Investment: Economic Challenges of Digital Preservation Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research.

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Presentation on theme: "OCLC Online Computer Library Center Protecting the Investment: Economic Challenges of Digital Preservation Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 OCLC Online Computer Library Center Protecting the Investment: Economic Challenges of Digital Preservation Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research Missouri Digitization Conference, February 11, 2004

2 Roadmap Background Thinking about digital preservation … economically RIO framework for economically sustainable digital preservation Applying the framework Concluding thoughts

3 Rising Digital Tide Equivalent of 5 exabytes of new information created in 2002; 92 percent stored on magnetic or optical media Rush to digitize: –Cultural artifacts (images, audio, video, text) –Electronic publishing (books, journals, newspapers, databases) –Scholarly and non-scholarly communication (listservs, e-prints, blogs, Web sites, chat rooms) Growing proportion of scholarly and cultural record exists exclusively in digital form

4 Opportunities and Challenges Digital technologies offer new opportunities to create, share, re-purpose, and link information … … but introduce new challenges in managing information A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. (Herbert Simon) Updated: A wealth of digital information creates a poverty of stewardship. Case in point: digital preservation

5 Care and Feeding of Digital Information Digital preservation research agenda: –Repository architectures –Developing and managing archival digital collections –Digital archiving tools and technologies –Organizational, economic, and policy issues NSF report Its About Time (August 2003) Transition from proof-of-concept to practical implementation: CEDARS (UK)JSTOR NEDLIB (Europe)KB/Elsevier Camileon (US-UK)OCLC Digital Archive

6 Protecting the Investment Economic sustainability: ability to marshal sufficient resources, on an ongoing basis, to meet preservation objectives Preservation typically under-funded Kenney & Stam The State of Preservation Programs in American College and Research Libraries December 2002 In comparison, lots of resources invested in creating digital collections –BUT: usually one-off, short-term funding, or re- allocation of existing funds Need sustained funding for long-term preservation

7 RIO Stakeholders,Decision-makers,Resources PreservationObjectives R esponsibilities I ncentives O rganization R esponsibilities I ncentives O rganization EconomicallySustainableSolutionsEconomicallySustainableSolutions

8 Responsibilities Responsibility must be recognized and acted on: –Analog world: responsibilities well defined –Digital world: responsibilities blurred Characteristics of digital materials & digital preservation: –Fragile storage media, technological obsolescence –Little scope to postpone digital preservation activities –Likely to be ongoing, pre-emptive process Networked digital environments: –Access separated from ownership/custody –Preservation imperative arises while materials still under copyright, and/or outside custody of collecting institutions –Preservation responsibility extends beyond collecting institutions: e.g., publishers, software developers, database services, etc. Responsibility for preservation more diffused

9 Incentives Require sufficient incentives to induce those responsible for preservation to act Diffusion of preservation responsibilities creates potential gap between preservation objectives and incentives: –Responsibility (and legal right) to preserve often extends beyond collecting institutions –Decision-makers responsible for preservation may not be stakeholders in preservation Ability to share access can diminish incentive to share cost: –Preservation of shared resource by one institution ensures access for all institutions –Little incentive to be the one institution that takes on responsibility (and costs) of preservation Incentives to preserve becoming less assured

10 Organization Digital preservation begins early; proceeds continuously –Implies: more frequent; larger scale –Implies: expanded resource requirements Increased frequency and scale suggests: –Processes and expected outcomes will become standardized across stakeholder communities –More opportunity to organize preservation as collaborative/centralized activity –May expand menu of economically feasible digital preservation activities Leverage communal interest in digital resources Organization of preservation activities must leverage common infrastructure, exploit economies of scale, and eliminate redundancy

11 Electronic Journals Accessed over the Web, via license or subscription, from central server controlled by publisher Responsibility to preserve: –Resides with publishers, who own and have custody of the content (and have right to preserve) Incentive to preserve: –Publishers have incentive to preserve content for duration of its economic value, but not in perpetuity Organization: –Many stakeholders in the preservation of this content, sharing similar preservation objectives

12 JSTOR Digitizes, stores, provides access to, and preserves journal content Responsibilities: JSTOR negotiates with publishers to obtain a non-exclusive right to preserve Incentives: JSTOR enhances publishers incentives to participate by: –Protecting existing and future revenue streams –Shifting costs of preservation away from publishers Organization: JSTOR serves as a means for libraries to leverage preservation resources and reduce redundancy: –Preserve once, provide access for all –Share costs across stakeholders

13 The Web Wealth of information, of varying degrees of significance, and under varying degrees of stewardship Responsibility to preserve: –Resides with vast, uncoordinated set of Web site publishers Incentives to preserve: –Diverse set of publishers/content creates equally diverse set of preservation incentives/objectives Organization: –Benefits from Web preservation enhanced if some degree of coordination, consistency imposed

14 Solutions? Lots of strategies have been tried: –Internet Archive –National Web spaces –Ad hoc archives Benefits from coordination and aggregation of preservation activity, in comparison to fragmented, idiosyncratic activity But: Web site publisher participation usually passive: –Preserve first, ask questions later –No recognition of preservation responsibility among content owners –Lack policies to enhance incentives to preserve Not clear if these efforts are economically sustainable

15 Toward Sustainable Solutions … Shared Responsibilities Collaborative Solutions Libraries, museums, publishers, authors, Webmasters, software developers, … Incentives Establish sufficient incentives for decision-makers to act on responsibilities Leverage community resources to meet community needs

16 More Information … Lavoie, B.F. (2003) The Incentives to Preserve Digital Materials: Roles, Scenarios, and Economic Decision- Making OCLC Research White Paper, available at: Lavoie, B.F. (2004) Of Mice and Memory … Economically Sustainable Preservation for the 21 st Century (CLIR publication, forthcoming)

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