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Foundational research studies and reports that have helped shape thinking about what makes digital initiatives sustainable. 

Collections Without Borders

Sustaining Digital Content at Cultural Institutions (2014)

A case study of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

Collections Sans Frontières (Français)

Pérenniser les Contenus Numériques dans les établissements Culturels (2014)

A case study of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

Sustaining the Digital Humanities

Host Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase (2014)

This study examines different models universities have adopted to support the long-term growth of digital initiatives.

Appraising our Digital Investment

Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries (2013)

A survey of library directors and those in charge of digitized special collections revealing the challenges of creating and supporting these collections. 

Searching for Sustainability

Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections (2013)

Includes eight detailed case studies and a summary report.

Sustaining Our Digital Future

Institutional Strategies for Digital Content (2013)

This JISC-funded study includes close examination of the role “host” organizations play in supporting digital innovation, based on detailed case studies of University College London, the Imperial War Museums, and the National Library of Wales. Also includes the “Sustainability Health Check Tool” and sample questionnaires. 

Funding for Sustainability

How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources (2011)

A unique behind-the-scenes examination of just how public and private funding bodies think about “sustainability” and methods of encouraging it. Based on interviews with representatives from over 25 funding bodies in the US, Canada, UK, France, Denmark and Germany.

Revenue, Recession, Reliance

Revisiting the SCA/Ithaka S+R Case Studies in Sustainability (2011)

An update of the original twelve case studies found in Sustaining Digital Resources, this study includes an updated framework for understanding key drivers of sustainability. 

Sustaining Digital Resources

An On-the-Ground View of Projects Today (2009)

An early, foundational work identifying key drivers and challenges of supporting innovative digital projects in higher education. Includes 12 detailed case studies, including financials.

Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources

An Ithaka Report (2008)

The original ITHAKA report, defining the importance of an entrepreneurial “mindset” for leaders of digital initiatives.

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