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The Incentives to Preserve Digital Materials: Roles, Scenarios, and Economic Decision-making Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research OCLC Digital.

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Presentation on theme: "The Incentives to Preserve Digital Materials: Roles, Scenarios, and Economic Decision-making Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research OCLC Digital."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Incentives to Preserve Digital Materials: Roles, Scenarios, and Economic Decision-making Brian Lavoie Research Scientist OCLC Research OCLC Digital & Preservation Cooperative Participant Meeting, May 7, 2003

2 Roadmap Background: Economics of Digital Preservation Incentives to Preserve Digital Materials Framework for Analyzing Incentives Implications Summary

3 Digital Preservation Research: Architectures Metadata Preservation strategies Economics Digital Preservation Research: Architectures Metadata Preservation strategies Economics Economics of Digital Preservation Digital collections growing … … but long-term retention uncertain

4 Fundamental Economic Questions IF we preserve, how much will it cost? But: WILL we preserve? Or …What are the incentives to preserve? Important because digital preservation … … likely to be routine, ongoing component of digital asset lifecycle management … extends beyond collecting institutions to stakeholders not traditionally associated with preservation

5 Analysis of Incentives Incentives in practice: – Cost/benefit analysis for a proposed activity – Quantify incentives (costs and benefits) – But: quantifying digital preservation costs and benefits problematic Useful to have some form of predictive model to address question Will we preserve? Strategy: develop simple framework that … – Identifies key decision-making roles in digital preservation – Characterizes set of core scenarios representing possible ways decision-making roles can be organized in a digital preservation activity – Apply economic theory to core scenarios to yield qualitative descriptions of the incentives to preserve in each scenario

6 Incentives to Preserve (1) Recognition of a value or benefit in preserving a set of digital materials need to preserve = demand for digital preservation services (1) Recognition of a value or benefit in preserving a set of digital materials need to preserve = demand for digital preservation services (2) Willingness to implement and carry out processes necessary to preserve digital materials willingness to preserve = supply of digital preservation services (2) Willingness to implement and carry out processes necessary to preserve digital materials willingness to preserve = supply of digital preservation services

7 Digital Preservation: Decision-Making Roles Rights Holder Beneficiary Archive - Holds intellectual property rights - Right to initiate preservation - Can cede or grant right to another entity - Holds intellectual property rights - Right to initiate preservation - Can cede or grant right to another entity - Benefits from preservation - Directly: as end user - Indirectly: on behalf of end-users - Benefits from preservation - Directly: as end user - Indirectly: on behalf of end-users - Implements and manages preservation process - Implements and manages preservation process

8 Roles and Incentives Decision-makers are roles, not distinct entities (Entity: library, publisher, person, etc.) Multiple entities can share the same role Beneficiary: embodies need to preserve Archive: embodies willingness to preserve Rights Holder: empowers incentives

9 Core Scenarios of Digital Preservation Beneficiary Centripetal Model Centrifugal Model Consolidated Model Supply-Side Model Demand-Side Model Archive Rights Holder Rights Holder Rights Holder Rights Holder Rights Holder Archive Beneficiary

10 Economic Theory and Incentives Core scenarios highlight … – Relationships among key decision-making roles associated with digital preservation – Relationships between need to preserve, willingness to preserve, and right to preserve – How do these relationships impact incentives? Economics: rich literature dealing with incentives in settings similar to core scenarios – Prospects for sufficient incentives to emerge; factors that may diminish incentives – Policies to enhance incentives where needed

11 Implications (1) Rights Holder distinct from Beneficiary … – Right to preserve separate from need to preserve – Owner of digital materials may not benefit directly from long-term preservation – Example: licensed/subscribed digital materials – Diminished incentives: positive externality – Centrifugal, Supply-Side, Consolidated Models

12 Implications (2) Rights Holder/Beneficiary same entity … – Right to preserve combined with need to preserve – AND multiple entities fill this dual role in regard to a particular set of digital materials – Example: shrink-wrapped digital content; environment software (operating systems, rendering applications) – Diminished incentives: public goods, free-riding – Centripetal, Demand-Side Models

13 Implications (3) Archive distinct from Beneficiary … – Willingness to preserve separate from Need to preserve – AND multiple Beneficiaries with different perceptions of successful digital preservation – Example: preservation for limited period vs. perpetuity; preserve intellectual content only vs. original look and feel – Multiple levels (intensities) of digital preservation service – Diminished incentives: market fragmentation; reduced scope for economies of scale – Centrifugal, Supply-Side, Demand-Side Models

14 Back to Core Scenarios … Positive externality Public good; free-riding Market Fragmentation Centripetal Centrifugal Supply-Side Demand-Side Consolidated

15 Summary Incentives to preserve fundamental to developing economically sustainable digital preservation activities – For any set of digital materials, need to examine underlying motivations to undertake digital preservation To analyze incentives, characterize organization of decision- making roles for a particular digital preservation activity: – Identify relationships between incentives to preserve (need to preserve, willingness to preserve) and right to preserve Use these relationships to identify potential misalignment of preservation incentives and objectives. This will inform: – Organization of digital preservation activities a priori – Design of policies to enhance incentives ex post

16 For More Information … Paper: dp.pdf Contact:


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