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Sustainability and JISC 20 th August 2010, Royal School of Needlework Presentation for Look Here project at Visual Arts Data Service

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability and JISC 20 th August 2010, Royal School of Needlework Presentation for Look Here project at Visual Arts Data Service"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability and JISC 20 th August 2010, Royal School of Needlework Presentation for Look Here project at Visual Arts Data Service Alastair Dunning JISC Digitisation Programme Manager 1

2 Sustainability Problem Exists Everywhere Any project will have only limited funding Also difficult where money is not the prime motivator for the project in the first place (e.g. Environmental sustainability) Particularly true for innovation, where a project depends on a broader infrastructure to maintain it Very true for digital content – technology changes 2

3 Find these JISC projects ! Lemur: Learning with Museum Resources Aberdeen University, £183k, National Fine Art Collections The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, £?, Bioscience ImageBank University of Leeds, £113k, BuilDNER: Databank of Building Images for the DNER South Bank University, £26k, Virtual Norfolk University of East Anglia, c.£350k,

4 Find these JISC projects ! Lemur: Learning with Museum Resources National Fine Art Collections Bioscience ImageBank BuilDNER: Databank of Building Images for the DNER ? Virtual Norfolk / / 4

5 Sustainability is not just technical I think it is important that you [update] partly because I when you look at a website and it says last updated more than 12 months ago you just immediately think this is being allowed to wither on the vine and you dont trust it. So I want to be able to if nothing else to say on our homepage, last updated or we have the version number 4.2 you know date July 2006 is a way of assuring the users that we are still paying attention. p29, Claire Warwick et al (UCL, 2006) Log Analysis of Arts and Humanities Resources 5

6 Sustainability is not just technical Of the NOF digitisation projects, 85% (104 out of 122) were still running five years after launch. However, only 35 of these 122 had clear indication of having had their content or interface updated 6

7 Digital Sustainability means Running a service your users can rely on Adding new content when necessary Updating functionality Responding to users pointing out mistakes Building partnerships and new users; offering multiple products Looking fresh Having a healthy base of committed users And having sufficient income to keep the service going 7

8 Multiple methods required Direct income streams Sponsorship and philanthropy Different audiences Community engagement Institutional buy in – senior management, use in research and teaching Continued project funding Larger collaboration Added value Leadership and ingenuity 8

9 Institutional Support Senior management perhaps sceptical of external benefits Internal benefits - Cost-saving, as well as value-adding Embed resources in teaching and learning Win multiple friends in organisation 9

10 Revenue Streams Getting people to pay for your content, either digital or printed Been tried for quite some time Start up costs are expensive Who is keen to pay for digital content? Can work in larger institutions; more difficult in smaller institutions Might others want to licence your content? Vision of Britain example 10

11 Vision of Britain Social, political and economic information on every town in Britain Strongly geographical interface Integrated numerous different data sources Attracted UK and EU funding Achieved licensing deals with private companies Google Ads bring in c. £6k a year 11

12 Added Value Presenting digitised content as part of a larger suite of information or services Great example of British History Online Works as a digital library, offering access to primary and secondary resources Digitisation is only part of the offer More ways to become essential rather than useful for your users What else do you want to offer? As a single institution? Or as a group? 12

13 Larger Collaboration E.g. VADS and Look Here ! Working with similar partners to goals common Sharing costs and infrastructure Builds critical mass within a subject area But who is responsible for leading a consortium? Everyone wants someone else to pay 13

14 Different Audiences / Products Not just academic users who are interested in your content Particularly true in the visual arts But content needs to be repackaged to be presented to different users Alternatively, split up your academic users Old Bailey example 14

15 Old Bailey Online Tim Hitchcock (Hertfordshire) and Robert Shoemaker (Sheffield) Have achieved multiple funding successes Are building a sustainable platform for multiple resources Inspired a BBC series; have their own popular history book Publishing academic monographs as eBooks, with accompanying data And, most importantly, are altering history within their field 15

16 Partnerships Finding new audiences There are others companies, groups, societies better placed than you to access users They need ways to keep their users engaged You need users to keep your content sustained eBird Example 16

17 eBird Website for amateur and professional ornithologists Started with heavy research focus. Only took off when public was involved Has now achieved sponsorship, licensing of software and development of kiosks for interested parties to use in specific places Only small fraction of institutional funding now required 17

18 Sponsorship & Philanthropy Why restricted to larger institutions in UK? Smaller sums can still help Relationship needs to be carefully managed Requires expertise in fundraising Those outside universities keen to gain the lustre of being involved in an educational / digital project 18

19 Leadership and Ingenuity Working in your traditional role will not allow for sustainability Building out external partnerships, undertaking new roles, forgetting parts of the day job. Doing new things with digital content Examples cited all rely on leaders not constrained by the traditional definition of their jobs. 19

20 Links Strategic Content Alliance case studies on sustainability modelling-publications/ modelling-publications/ eBird website - Old Bailey Online - Vision of Britain - British History Online - Digitisation in the UK - JISC Content - And VADS – 20

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