Report looks at impact of funding on digital resources

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A new Strategic Content Alliance/Ithaka S+R report examines funding practices to provide insight on post-grant sustainability for digital resources.

The report, “Funding for Sustainability: How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources” is based on interviews with representatives from more than 25 funding bodies in Europe and North America. It found that funders engage in a rich range of planning activities to address different aspects of sustainability, including technical, content-based, access and discovery, and audience impact requirements.  However, many funders only engage with their grantees at the beginning of the grant period, and often funders and project leaders alike rely heavily on a university or other host institution as a back-up plan for long-term sustainability.

‘The need for guidance around this subject has never been so stark,’ commented Stuart Dempster, director of the Strategic Content Alliance. ‘As many of our peers in the funding community can attest, the path from initial funding to long-term sustainability has been a long and rocky road for digital resources, largely under-investigated and little understood. This report encourages funders to consider a sustainability framework for the types of resources that they support in an era of discontinuity.’