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Sustainability of Digital Resources


A Sustainability Workgroup was set up in June 2006 to discuss issues surrounding the sustainability of digital resources. Information and ideas from these meetings informed the findings in the Information Paper described below.

The AHRC's Resource Enhancement (RE) Review noted that sustainability was an issue for a ‘significant number’ of projects. Among their recommendations was a review of existing digital outputs of RE awards in order to establish their current status (active or not, deposited or not with the AHDS), and to quantify the additional resourcing and support required from the AHRC or other sources in order to ensure sustainability. The ICT Programme has undertaken this review, and during the summer and autumn of 2006 has gathered a significant amount of information about existing Resource Enhancement projects, which also fed into the Information Paper.

Information Papers

The Programme has worked on a number of information papers on the subject of sustainability.

The first was developed in conjunction with the AHDS, the ICT Methods Network, and other major stakeholders, and completed in February 2007. Download the first Information Paper. In summary, the paper:

However the proposals in this paper were overtaken by the termination of funding for the AHDS, as a result of which a set of recommendations was developed for the AHRC Research Committee on the consequences of this decision. Download this paper.

A second Information Paper on the Sustainability of Digital Outputs from AHRC Resource Enhancement Projects was completed by Seth Denbo, Heather Haskins and David Robey in December 2008. This gives the results of a follow-up questionnaire survey eliciting projects' views on issues of sustainability and related matters. Download the second Information Paper as a PDF file.

A synthesis of all three papers is also available for download here.