When considering business models
  • Regularly reassess your business models to determine whether they remain efficient and effective in the changing technological environment.
  • Consider instituting ‘freemium’ business models. Under such models, broad public access is used to draw attention to material, whilst commercial licensing/reproduction options are used to track/monetize the increased demand and profile (eg by placing advertisements for sales of prints next to open access downloads).
  • Wherever possible, complete and high quality versions of work should be made freely available, as these are the most useful for downstream users. However, making excerpts or low quality versions of works, such as samples, previews, single chapters and low resolution thumbnails, available is preferable to not making the material available at all. Many institutions make ‘lower quality’ versions available for free while charging for high quality versions that require more resources to create.
  • Reduce costs by working collaboratively with users, communities (eg Wikimedia) and other institutions to document, tag, provide access to and even curate collections. For example, as per the Australian Newspaper project, use web 2.0 technologies to allow volunteers to edit or add to information about a collection item. If there are concerns about veracity/authority of user-generated metadata/tags etc, mark it differently to curator material.
  • Take advantage of storage/web 2.0 etc tools provided by commercial bodies such as Flickr and YouTube to reduce costs, streamline technical processes and increase discoverability of material.
  • Use open access as a ‘selling point’ when applying for grants.
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