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Grant number: HC-50005-09

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Ithaka Harbors, Inc. (New York, NY 10065-8112)
Laura Brown
HC-50005-09
Case Studies on Sustainability for Digital Resources in the Humanities

A cooperative agreement between NEH and Ithaka to perform two case studies on the topic of long-term sustainabiilty for digital scholarly projects

In May 2008, Ithaka completed an initial study and report called "Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources." This report provided an overview of challenges facing not-far-profit content providers as they develop new models to support digital resources, and served as the basis for two follow-up workshops. These workshops brought together project leaders and funders to discuss the issues surfaced in the paper and identify promising potential areas of future research to help stimulate a more robust and sustainable environment for not-for-profit digital resources. Participants agreed that a high priority next step would be to develop a set of more detailed case studies illustrating the range of issues facing these projects and the various approaches that have been taken - both successful and unsuccessful. Ithaka subsequently secured funding for eight such case studies in the UK and Europe. This proposal requests support for two additional case studies in the US that will focus specifically on the humanities, selected in consultation with the Office of Digital Humanities. The research will analyze the successes and challenges of different sustainability strategies and revenue models, including hybrid models, and point the way toward best practices for supporting online resources. Each case study will consist of focused background research on the project selected and multiple interviews with project leaders and other stakeholders. The project will result in two case studies, each about 10 pages long, as well as a final report summarizing overall findings. In addition, Ithaka will organize a concluding workshop to discuss the outcomes of the research.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Digital Humanities Cooperative Agreements & Special Projects
Division: Digital Humanities
Total amount awarded: $38,600
Grant period: 12/1/2008 – 5/31/2009

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