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Gathering Input from Stakeholders

In Sustainability and Revenue Models [PDF], the authors point out that repositories “do not exist in a vacuum – sustaining them requires that project leaders understand the unique value that the resource provides and where it fits within the competitive landscape.” They suggest asking some key questions including:

  • What does your repository contribute that sets it apart?
  • Are its contents rare or unique or otherwise in particularly high demand?
  • Does the repository provide important services or functionality that can be found nowhere else?
  • What groups really care about the repository? Are there any secondary beneficiaries beyond its primary audience?
  • How does service to this audience fit in with the organization’s overarching mission?
  • As the landscape changes, what must the project do to keep pace with the changing needs of its users?

During the planning stages, we stressed the importance of gathering a group of stakeholders. It is vital that you keep members of this stakeholder group involved in the repository as it continues to grow and develop. This ongoing contact will allow the repository staff to determine the answers to the aforementioned questions, and to learn how various constituencies are using and responding to the repository. Your user groups’ needs are not static and they may want the repository to fulfill new needs or serve additional purposes. You might consider maintaining an advisory board or committee made up of members of your stakeholder groups. This committee can serve as a conduit for feedback from repository users, and may provide you with ideas for future directions for the repository.

Links:
Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report — http://www.ithaka.org/ithaka-s-r/strategy/ithaka-case-studies-in-sustainability/report/SCA_Ithaka_SustainingDigitalResources_Report.pdf [PDF]


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