Now available: "Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information"

The Final Report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, co-chaired by OCLC Research Scientist Brian Lavoie.

This report, the result of a two-year effort focusing on the critical economic challenges of preserving an ever-increasing amount of information in a world gone digital, addresses one of the most urgent societal challenges of the Information Age.

It concludes that the required solutions are at least as much economic and social as technical, but that dollars won't do it alone. Economically sustainable plans are required, but sustainable preservation strategies are not built all at once, nor are they static.

"Addressing the issues of value, incentives, and roles and responsibilities helps us understand who benefits from long-term access to digital materials, who should be responsible for preservation, and who should pay for it," said Lavoie.

The report provides general principles and actions to support long-term economic sustainability; context-specific recommendations tailored to specific scenarios; and an agenda for priority actions and next steps. Moreover, it is intended to serve as a foundation for further study in this critical area.

The task-force report cites several specific recommendations for decision makers and stakeholders to consider as they seek economically sustainable preservation practices for digital information.

In addition to the report, the Task Force also has announced plans for a 1 April 2010 symposium on economically sustainable digital preservation practices involving a spectrum of national leaders from government and other organizations for whom digital information is fundamental to success.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was launched in late 2007 by the National Science Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The Task Force was commissioned to explore the economic sustainability challenge of digital preservation and access. Fran Berman, Vice President for Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, co-chairs the Task Force with Brian Lavoie.

More Information

Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information

Full news release

Brian Lavoie

Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access Web Site

For more information:

Brian Lavoie
Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Bob Bolander
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research