NINCH >> NINCH Programs
April 8, 2003, New York City
Peter B. Kaufman Welcome
Waters The Economics
of Digitizing Library And Other Cultural Materials: A Perspective
from the Mellon Foundation.
STUDIES: CALCULATING PRODUCTION COSTS
of Scale: Lessons Learned from the Making of America IV Project.
Luna Imaging: A Manufacturing
Ten Ways to Spend $100,000
B. Kaufman Digitizing
History: University Presses and Libraries
the Costs of Digital Preservation: Is Repository Storage Affordable?
PROJECTS TO FULL PROGRAMS: INSTITUTIONAL COST ISSUES
York Public Library Visual Archives
Tom Moritz Toward Sustainability
- Margin and Mission in the Natural History Setting
Challenges in Storing
Local Programs Through Revenue Generation
for Online Scholarly Publishing
Abuhoff A Final
Lesk The Future
is a Foreign Country
Peter B. Kaufman Innodata
Kaufman, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Innodata, opened
the meeting by welcoming the 260 participants from libraries,
museums, and universities, as well as staff from Innodata
and other digitization vendors. In his brief remarks, Kaufman
acknowledged the sponsors of the event: Innodata, New York
University, New York Public Library, and NINCH. Specific thanks
were given to Innodatas Chairman and marketing department,
and to David Green of NINCH
the services offered by Innodata, such as training, professional
consultancy or responding to requests for services, Kaufman
expressed his hope that this meeting would
present an opportunity for people in the same sector to share
knowledge and information. He also hoped it would provide
an opportunity to focus on and possibly enhance the NINCH
Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management
of Cultural Heritage Materials, with particular emphasis
on the Guides sections on Cost Models, Project
Planning, and Working Together. He outlined
a vision that the next edition of the Guide could include
a suite of representative RFPs, completed proposals, outlines
and mini-planning guides. Both vendors and cultural heritage
organizations are actively involved in developing such materials,
and coordination across the sectors could lead to the emergence
of useful standards on common goals and terminology. Noting
that this meeting had attracted such a substantial enrollment,
clearly reflecting a great deal of interest in this topic
and a desire for information throughout the community, Kaufman
announced that the event would be repeated at new locations
on the West Coast, the Midwest and the Southeast in 2003 and
spoke briefly about the genesis of the idea for the meeting
in an article by Margaret Hedstrom, The Digital Preservation
Research Agenda," published in The
State of Digital Preservation: An International Perspective
(CLIR, 2002). There, Hedstrom states that the challenge
of developing economic models for the value and costs of archiving
over the long term deserves an entire meeting or conference.
that these concerns affect the cultural heritage community
as a whole, Kaufman emphasized the urgency of developing standard
practices for preservation and access. Virtually all libraries
and museums maintain collections of one-of-a-kind printed
and manuscript materials that present significant challenges
for preservation and access. Some materials are in great demand,
but, because of their value and condition, are endangered
by unrestricted use. Many more remain inaccessible to all
but the most intrepid researchers because of outdated and/or
inadequate descriptions and finding aids. The information
contained in archival and local history collections defies
most standard library classification systems for several reasons:
they are difficult to categorize; their principal value is
their uniqueness; and the most effective way to describe documents
is to show them (and since historic documents have artifactual
as well as informational value, direct visual contact is usually
important to the researcher). For the library, then, a priceless
community legacy can become an administrative albatross. The
result has been that irreplaceable material deteriorates,
sizable sections of library collections are underutilized,
and potent historical information sits inaccessible to scholars,
educators, community leaders, and the general public.
emphasized the incredible ubiquity of activity and concerns
about digitization and electronic media. Publishers, universities,
politicians and cultural heritage organizations are all thinking
about digitization issues and he cited just a few of the major
Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure
and Preservation Program, the White House Office
of Science and Technology Policy, the programs of the
National Archives and Records
National Library of Medicine, the National
Agricultural Library and NASA.
Library of Congress receives over 2 million requests a day
for digital files, compared to 2 million requests per year
for items to be delivered to readers in its rooms, and, according
to a recent report, there are now 50 million historical documents
posted on the web by the National Archives alone (see http://www.archives.gov/aad/).
concluded by calling for a formal forum of exchange to look
at the lessons of market discipline learned by the commercial
sector: not business models, per se, but lessons from
business. Such a forum would create a framework for what Clifford
Lynch of the Coalition for Networked Information has called
federating, that is, developing a fruitful
area for exploration and innovation.
hoped this meeting would begin to achieve such an objective.
Green, Executive Director of NINCH, expressed his thanks to
Vincent Doogan of New York University, and to Heike Kordish
and Jan Brown at the New York Public Library for their sponsorship
of the meeting, as well as to Innodata, the first member of
NINCHs corporate council and co-organizer of the symposium.
Green also acknowledged the remarkable collection of speakers
who had agreed to donate their services.
cited several NINCH programs that are actively promoting the
type of community called for by Peter Kaufman, including the
exchange of information via NINCH-announce;
nationwide discussions of copyright through the Copyright
Town Meetings; and developing interdisciplinary collaborations
Computer Science and the Humanities initiative). Green
also mentioned the several projects which fall under the auspices
of NINCHs tools for today series, including
Database of Digital Humanities Projects. Of all its work,
Green commented that he thought the hallmark project is the
NINCH Guide to Good
Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural
Heritage Materials. International in scope, based
on empirical interviews with over 30 major digitization sites,
and directed by a NINCH Working Group drawn from museums,
libraries, archives, scholars and teachers, visual resources
and humanities computing services, the Guide both in its process
and in its evolving product was an effort to draw in the different
expertise and experience of different kinds of institutions
all working broadly for the same goal of an interoperable,
sustainable body of rich cultural materials in digital form.
He outlined plans for its further evolution to reflect changes
in the field, especially in the topic at hand, the pricing
and costing of digitization.
himself was leaving NINCH, he indicated that he would be continuing
the broad mission of networking cultural resources as he had
done while heading the coalition.
the issues of preservation and access, Green singled out for
attention the vision of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that
has spearheaded thinking about digitization for many years.
He then introduced Don Waters, the Foundations Program
Officer for Scholarly Communications, who delivered the keynote
Waters, The Economics of Digitizing Library and Other
Cultural Materials: Perspective from the Mellon Foundation.
noted that the theme of this meeting identified a set of issues
that had been part of a broader set of concerns at the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation for the better part of a decade, and
that a reflection on the grant making activities of the Foundation
afforded him an opportunity to frame the discussions in a
way that he hoped would be helpful to the audience.
began with definitions of some key concepts: costs
are the financial or other obligations incurred in the course
of producing goods or services. Costs can be indirect or direct;
and can be internal or external to the project at hand. Costs
will vary in size, and are not self-evident. Indirect costs
in particular can be hard to measure, as they are defined
by institutional practices and metrics that are not transparent,
but they cannot be ignored. Waters cited electronic journals
as an example of the shifting paradigms of delivery of resources
by libraries. Libraries now rent, rather than purchase serials.
The costs of renting vs. buying journals are very different
cost related to buying serials includes the cost of
storing, shelving, retrieving and cataloguing the materials,
as well as costs related to the physical storage of the content:
the costs of building libraries; the cost of power for heat,
light and air conditioning. These are indirect cost to the
library acquisitions budget, and to a certain degree to the
library itself. The shift to renting electronic content has
reduced the costs of maintaining the physical materials, but
has increased the cost of preserving the content. Who is paying
or is willing to pay to insure against the massive loss of
clarified that price and cost are
not the same thing: Price is the amount paid by
a customer for a good or service and is set in the marketplace.
Price may be only tangentially related to cost, and the difference
between price and cost defines profit (or loss). Waters referred
to the particular issues facing nonprofit organizations in
charging prices that meet their costs.
that the process of digitization must be understood
in order to accurately understand cost issues. As the field
matures, we realize that digitization is not a uniform process,
and that digital interoperability is neither simple nor straightforward.
In examining this question, Waters drew parallels with the
history of publishing. Citing Adrian Johns, The
Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago,
1998), Waters noted that print did not emerge casually, but
as the result of laborious processes.
was very little trust in the print medium when it was first
developed it was seen as unstable and subject to piracy
and fraudulent copying. Authenticity was hard to guarantee:
indeed, the term piracy was first used by John
Fell, Bishop of Oxford, to describe certain pernicious practices
of early printers and booksellers. A pirate was
someone who participated in the unauthorized reprinting
of a title recognized to belong to someone else. Stationers
eventually emerged as the trusted practitioners who were placed
in charge of various aspects of publishing practices
we would now recognize as printing, publishing, editing, and
bookselling. Stationers worked out the conventional practices
of making books, and thus made printing a viable economic
enterprise with the elaborate complexity of producing a book
eventually invisible to all but the practitioners in the trade.
likened these stationers to digitizers, who similarly
have had to define and disentangle the various practices associated
with digitization, including an examination and careful definition
of various tasks and costs involved. In particular, Waters
singled out activities such the workshops organized by Kate
Wittenberg at Columbia for young scholars who have won a Gutenberg
prize to turn their thesis into an e-book. The workshops organize
the various processes in the production of an e-book and try
to regularize and normalize that production process. He cited
the NINCH Guide to Good Practice as an especially noteworthy
effort to identify and codify current conventions. Such initiatives
have given us the power to imagine the real costs of such
initiatives. Digitizing the Library of Congress is still prohibitively
expensive, but at least we can now make a reasonable estimate
of how much such a project would cost, based on the experiences
of projects like the University of Michigans Making
of America project. The care and precision with which digitizing
costs are being measured by institutions and projects such
as Michigan, Virginia, JSTOR, ARTstor, the Library of Congress,
and other institutions that have undertaken large scale digitization
projects, are creating an economic discipline that focuses
on areas of high cost and results in significant market pressure
systematically to reduce those costs as barriers to massive
identified three cost barriers to digitization. Careful attention
to these barriers is critical for jump-starting the dynamic
Technology and workflow costs.
A better understanding of good practices has created a more
efficient production workflow, and Waters pointed to some
useful innovations (such as those developed and refined by
Luna Imaging on large-scale projects for the Museum of Modern
Art and the New York Public Library) in developing metadata
to track workflow, and in quality control. In addition, technology
development paths that result in lower costs have now been
clearly identified for various formats, including the capture
and markup of text, and OCR. It is possible to make informed
choices about the possible tradeoffs related to cost and quality.
Processes for digitizing sound and video are much less well
developed, but measurable standards are emerging.
Intellectual property costs.
The temptation is either to despair of the cost and abandon
digitization, or to try to operate under the radar of the
copyright police. Slide digitization projects
often apply the latter approach, by restricting access to
campus machines, or even to registered students of a particular
class. Such initiatives avoid lawsuits, but result in costly
duplication of effort across many campuses. Projects attempting
to address this issue include ARTstor, JSTOR, CIAO, ACLSs
History-E project, the BiblioVault project at the University
of Chicago, and the Electronic Enlightenment at Oxford University.
Such projects demonstrate that communities of users and publishers
can find ways to create the trust and goodwill needed to overcome
the costly barriers of copyright and create highly useful
digitized collections of research and educational materials.
Institutional costs and variables.
The organizational variables that affect decisions about how
to approach technology or intellectual property costs factors
are rarely recognized or analyzed. There is a need for institutions
to be able to define and defend their choices related to digitization
in terms of their institutional mission of teaching and research,
and to avoid the distraction of commercializing their products.
Furthermore, within an institutional context, such clarity
of mission will allow the costs of digitization to be offset
by economies of scale. For example, purchasing JSTOR means
that an institution will not have to incur the cost of new
shelf space. On aggregate, these savings could be enormous.
Such savings will come out of different parts of the overall
institutional budget, but if they could be captured, these
savings would provide a massive fund for further digitization.
whether digitized resources are worth the cost, institutions
need to think in broad terms to take account of all elements
of the financial equation: including the long-term implications
for building plans, capital costs, and maintenance. In a digital
world, a broader institutional perspective needs to be applied
to resource allocation decisions. Such major institutional
lessons cannot be learned if digitization is tucked away in
relatively small digital production departments within a university
library. Presidents, provosts, deans, scholars, librarians,
and technologists together must find ways within the larger
academic community for their institutions to work together
to realize the extraordinary economies of scale that are possible,
and foundations like Mellon should not be seen as the deep
pockets to which they turn to cover the huge costs of
digitizing, but as catalysts in the necessary effort to establish
these new modes of cooperation. Incentives for such collaborations
should include the advancement of the academic mission of
teaching and research. Electronic resources should facilitate
scholarship, enabling primary evidence to be found across
institutions by custodial paradigms replicating the serendipity
of browsing the library stacks. The demand for such resources
should be the opposite side of the economic equation to costs.
From demand borne of real need follows the income streams
that create sustainability, whether it is in the form of contributions,
user fees, or base budget support from the home institution.
concluded by mentioning the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge, a nineteenth-century example of a project to provide
cheap books for the working class that was attacked either
for distributing dangerous ideas or for distributing no ideas
at all. In the ensuing debate about costs and quality, the
Society lost sight of its ultimate objective: meeting demand
for useful knowledge.
STUDIES: CALCULATING PRODUCTION COSTS
Introducing the panel, Peter Kaufman hoped discussions of
case studies would enable improved approaches to scholarly
collaboration. He also hoped that the discussions at the symposium
would dispel the image that pricing for digitization was undertaken
in secrecy. Kaufman hoped that developing repositories of
such case studies and opportunities for exchanges of information
make the pricing process more transparent in future.
Bonn Economies of Scale: Lessons Learned from
the Making of America IV Project.
Presentation Slides: see Powerpoint
Bonn presented an overview of a stacks-driven digital imaging
project (part of the larger Making
of America project) aimed at preserving and increasing
access to embrittled 19th-century American volumes. Instead
of microfilming the documents as might have been done a few
years ago, the project scanned them using bitonal imaging
followed by optical character recognition. The files were
then put into an online access system developed at the University
of Michigan. There were two phases of the Making of America
(MoA) project at Michigan: the 1996 Making of America I consisted
of 1,500 volumes, and the 2000 Making of America IV digitized
8,500 volumes. As part of MoA, the materials are freely available
to the public, with a reprint service available. Usage of
the materials is very high over a million users accessed
the materials January - February, 2003, which is especially
significant in light of the fact that the originals had not
been in circulation at the library.
of the Making of America IV project, The Mellon Foundation
funded a study on the costs and methods of using digital technologies
for preserving and deploying monographic materials. This study
was an attempt to collect, analyze and report data on the
costs of all significant phases of digitization of ordinary
books. It was used as benchmark to evaluate other digitization
by Bonn describing the project, entitled
Benchmarking Conversion Costs: A Report from the Making
of America IV Project, was published in RLG DigiNews
(October 2001) and a fuller review of costs and methods is
available in the report to the Mellon Foundation, Assessing
the Costs of Conversion (See Resources
The assumptions behind the cost study were:
selection costs were negligible if automatic processes were
the cost per page is the most reliable cost unit;
the existence of some institutional infrastructure is key;
staff can and should multi-task, as this will keep them
engaged in what can be rather tedious, repetitive tasks.
highlighted a few caveats to adapting this data to
other projects: the level of existing infrastructure will
vary, as will local practices and labor markets. Furthermore,
she pointed out that this data is now over two years old,
so the actual numbers would be different today.
selection criteria for the materials was automatic, making
it easier and cheaper to proceed: the project was limited
to embrittled monographs (including pamphlets) published between
1850-1876; the materials had to be in US editions, and were
all in English; and they were stored in a remote shelving
facility. Despite these fairly broad criteria, materials still
had to be reviewed for significant illustrations, to ensure
they were not valuable first editions, were signed or contained
materials by notable authors. Bindings also had to be examined.
collection and analysis for the study included the following
sets of time and performance studies spread over the duration
of the project;
analysis of salary and special equipment costs;
of established rates for scanning and OCR; and
snapshots at different points in the project.
related to digitization that were tracked included: the retrieval
of volumes from storage; charging out of volumes; identification,
collation and repair; disbanding and removal of covers; packing
and shipping to the vendor; scanning and CD burning; metadata
creation; quality control; and OCR and SGML generation.
costs can be seen in Bonns
presentation slides, including a detailed cost determination.
These costs break down to 20-27 cents per page: 13 cents for
scanning and the rest for overhead, selection and processing.
However, Bonn pointed out that the real total costs per page
will vary this survey was based on a hypothetical most
productive month, when there was the greatest efficiency
in preparation and when OCR and scanning staff were all at
their most efficient.
questions were raised by the study, which Bonn indicated are
still open issues:
When is the best time to repair and replace materials?
this be factored into the workflow?
can a balance be struck between usability, cost and the
best representation of the artifact? (For example, should
blank pages at the beginning and end of each volume be included?)
digitization, should the original volumes be kept? For how
what is the best way to collaborate with peers on cost-effective
physical and virtual preservation and access of digitally
several questions remain unanswered, there are some important
lessons to be learned from the project, including:
for the artifact can slow production stopping the
digitization process to read the book is not a good idea.
higher volume and larger production staff can bring down
always increase costs, such as taking the time to digitize
the occasional image, or to handle special preservation
projects, the ramp-up is the hardest part and the
most expensive in terms of cost per image.
projects probably can not keep costs consistently low -
they will lose efficiencies of scale. This can be improved
it was the volume of this project that was the key to keeping
following the talk, it was clarified that on this project
vendors did 100% of the quality control, with the project
staff assessing a five percent sample of the materials. Four
full-time staff were assigned to the project, as many as twenty
other staff members contributed percentages of their time
at various stages of the project.
Harm Luna Imaging: A Manufacturing Model
Luna Imaging is a
California-based image digitization company, specializing
in digitizing visual collections, that has developed a project-based
model incorporating best practices into the digitization workflow.
Harm presented an overview of Lunas services, processes
and workflows, and described some of the advantages to be
offered by working with an experienced vendor rather than
doing in-house digitization.
Process is controlled by a carefully structured
web-based tracking system that manages roles and assignments.
The phases of the process were described as:
Inventory and receipt of deliverables
One Edit: Color Balance & "Dust Bust"
Two Edit: Cropping / Sizing - Derivative Creation
and Write to Media, Update Management Data, Initial QC
described the advantages of partnering with Luna lying in
working on many projects
quality of service.
Collaboration, she said, can help define a project by focusing
on the resources and opportunities available. Luna can bring
to bear its experience of working on many projects, including
the wisdom gathered from mistakes.
listed some of the questions that will help the project manager
to assess whether or not digitization should be outsourced
Will the project be based in-house with current resources,
or with a new team? Do you have a trained staff? Are you
able to bring in new staff to start up the project?
Are there critical deadlines?
Do you have the physical space for these tasks or is the
space best used for other activities?
Do you have the right mix? Can you capitalize upon these
investments through sharing the equipment with other projects?
costs is a process that combines the clients requirements
and Lunas in-house capabilities. There will be a wide
range of variability, depending on the quality required, the
type of materials, and the time necessary. Costs quoted can
range from $4 for a 35mm slide to $60 for a larger item. However,
some guidelines on cost savings were presented. These include:
having accurate data; organized materials; high volume; good
communication; consistency, and clearly defined project goals.
emphasized that Luna and its clients have an equal partnership,
with complimentary roles. Luna can use its experience to help
the client identify priorities and the scale of the project.
It can identify and undertake areas of work that the institution
is unable to do in-house, and can assess potential roadblocks
to project success. Luna can identify workflows and procedures
not related to digitization, such as ensuring that the creation
and editing of catalog data and tracking entries precedes
the start of production. Luna can assign project managers
to core activities.
clients role is to direct Lunas activities, to
assess, plan and schedule to projects, and to provide the
final quality control. The client will monitor progress and
accountability. To illustrate these issues, Harm referenced
some of the projects Luna is working on with clients from
the cultural heritage community, including the Brooklyn Public
Collection; the Getty Research Institute's Tapestry Project;
Indiana Universitys Cushman
Museum of Modern Art's Digital Design Collection; and
Yale University's Beinecke Library
conclusion, Harm observed that Lunas motto in determining
true costs is to invest in quality to recoup the costs over
the life of the image. She also noted that it is difficult
for institutions to effectively compare output and services
from a range of vendors without generalized points of comparison
such as bit-depth, resulting file size, and associated vendor
services. There is a constant need for more information.
Pence Ten Ways to Spend $100,000 on Digitization
slides as Powerpoint
In a presentation that was extremely detailed and open about
his companys costing processes, Dan Pence described
the work carried out by the Systems
Integration Group (SIG). SIG is a small, privately held
company with 170 employees. Its primary client base is the
federal government, and clients include the U.S. Coast Guard;
the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the U.S. Department of
State; the U.S. Department of Treasury; the Pension Benefit
Guaranty Carp; the Environmental Protection Agency and the
National Park Service.
of cultural heritage projects, SIG has a 10-year relationship
with the Library of Congress, including work done for the
American Memory Project and the National Digital Library Program
(total metrics of the LC work include1.5+ million pages digitized
and 1.6+ billion characters of text conversion). Other Cultural
Heritage projects include digital library projects for the
National Agricultural Library (6 years); New York University;
New York Botanical Garden; the Newseum, and the Smithsonian.
illustrated some core advantages to outsourcing:
and committed staff will already be in place, meaning that
there will be minimal start-up delay and disruption and
a high level of productivity from the beginning, and no
hiring or training concerns
tools are in already in place, so there will be no lost
or lag time to deliver high quality images, and production
staff are already familiar with format and handling
need for capital investment no equipment maintenance
headaches, and no technology refreshment/upgrade issues
outlined some guidelines for working with vendors. Prior to
starting the project, the vendor will need to know:
Nature of the Project
description of the materials to be digitized
objectives for the project, i.e.: how will the products
of digitization be used?
of performance on/off site
or desired schedule
will also need to know the characteristics of the collection,
constitutes an item or a document?
many items are there to be digitized?
the items bound or unbound?
are the page dimensions?
will the documents be available?
are the handling specifications?
are the insurance requirements?
for the products of digitization will also have to be negotiated,
metrics such as: the digital imaging resolution dpi;
tonality (bitonal, grayscale, or color); the desired file
format TIFF, JPEG, PDF, etc., and whether or not compression
is acceptable; the directory and file naming requirements;
indexing or metadata requirements; and the delivery medium
(e.g., CD-ROM, WWW) and quantity.
outlined some important factors that will increase the cost
of digital imaging, including image file size, special handling
requirements, and interruptions in workflow. The factors that
determine image file size are: (1) bit depth (e.g., bitonal/grayscale/color);
resolution (e.g., 300 dpi/600 dpi); and page size (i.e., small/large).
Factors that impact the cost of handling are: (1) whether
or not items are bound and (2) whether or not items are fragile.
Interruptions in workflow may occur when (1) the scanning
operation outpaces the document preparation operation or (2)
the collection is characterized by a small number of pages
per item, resulting in high administrative, indexing, or tracking
costs relative to the total number of pages scanned.
presented his Chinese menu, a standard-price menu
that quickly illustrated how many variables are to be found
in attempting to develop cost metrics for digitization:
size (8.5x11, 11x17, 17x22)
resolution (300, 400, 600)
bit depth (1, 8, 24)
of performance (on/off site)
These choices also ignore the added factor of possible discounts;
price breaks for quantity, etc. As reality sets in, it becomes
apparent that a standard price schedule is only the starting
point for a cost estimate. Every digitization project has
a unique profile and must be priced individually.
fixed unit price is determined by the following variables:
number of pages scanned per day
cost of scanning labor
cost of post-processing & QA labor
of the cost of equipment
of pages that can be scanned per day will be a function of:
page size and binding
image format specifications
slides, Pence presented a hypothetical
case study developing a quote for digitizing scientific volumes
from the nineteenth century. The project consists of 6,300
pages, including 311 color maps. He used this to extract a
cost figure of $12 per page for text pages, and $12 per page
for maps, at a total of $16,332.
that cannot be quantified is that vendors will take responsibility
of a large number of potential project risk factors:
will be fully utilized over 3 years
failure will be minimal
upgrades will not cause problems
of material will not be interrupted
will show up for work
will maintain productivity
will handle material carefully
quality will meet or exceed requirements, resulting in little
or no rework.
then sated the curiosity of the audience by answering the
question in his title: The 10 ways he suggested to spend $100,000
on digitization were:
$100,000 of equipment and software and hope that you have
the budget for staff next year, or
a vendor $16,332 and use the remainder for
to your original source collection
more of your collection
fragile source materials
your web site
in digital library capabilities
question session, it was pointed out that even cheaper digitization
can be accomplished by sending materials overseas for digitization
(an approach taken by Innodata and exemplified by the Carnegie
Mellon/Internet Archive Million
Book Project). Costs can be reduced greatly if the project
will accept disbinding, shipping overseas, and lower quality.
questioner suggested that the type of costing worksheets illustrated
in this session might make a useful addition to subsequent
editions of the NINCH Guide to Good Practice.
Peter B. Kaufman
Digitizing History: University Presses and Libraries
referenced Clifford Lynchs analysis of the typical limits
of scholarly publishing in the genres in which it is disseminated,
and Lynchs vision for a time and place where the institutional
repository can serve as a complement or supplementnot
a substituteto traditional scholarly publication. Such
a repository could capture and disseminate learning and teaching
material, symposia, performances and related documentation
of the life of universities. Many collaborators could be involved
in such initiatives: libraries could join forces with local
governments, historical societies, museums and archives, and
members of the community, and public broadcasting might play
a role. Kaufman also mentioned several new licensing and media
opportunities available to libraries, universities, and museums
that are likely to generate revenue.
then presented three case studies of university projects that
have used Innodata's expertise and that illustrated such shifting
paradigms of scholarship and communication:
of Virginia requested support in transforming a rare and extensive
medical history collection, the
Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection. He
spent over fifteen years accumulating thousands of documents,
photographs, miscellaneous printed materials, and artifacts
to decipher the actual events involved in the U.S. Army Yellow
Fever Commission work in Cuba at the turn of the 20th century.
The archive consists of some 30,000 pages of manuscripts in
English, Spanish, and French; technical pamphlets and books;
newspapers; photographs; artifacts; and research. These were
converted into digital form (XML) for the purposes of preservation
of Illinois Press asked Innodata to convert digital files
from the leading historical journals in XYAscii, Adobe Frame
Maker, Pagemaker, and Quark file formats into a kind of TEI
Lite. Journals included: the American Historical Review;
the Journal of American History; Labour History; Law and
History Review; The History Teacher; Western Historical Quarterly;
and the William and Mary Quarterly.
University of North Carolina, an ongoing initiative involves
the UNC libraries, press, school of information, school of
journalism, faculty, the UNC-TV station, and WUNC, and is
developing a service center on the model of Cornells
or Reed Colleges.
Chapman Counting the Costs
of Digital Preservation: Is Repository Storage Affordable?
Presentation Slides: in Powerpoint
See Chapman's article on this research in the Journal
of Digital Information
Chapmans talk was a contribution to the debate on the
costs of digital preservation, which must be considered at
the outset of any digitization project. His presentation examined
the costs of paper versus digital repositories for managed,
long-term storage of library materials, based on case studies
Digital Archive and the Harvard
began by addressing the benefits of such long-term storage
repositories. Benefits are related to risk management: long-term
storage in a managed repository will provide an insurance
against the following risk factors:
loss or theft.
evolution of user expectations, as usage patterns change.
of preservation are contextual they will depend upon
the owners definition of content integrity, as well
as their tolerance for risk both of which may change
over time. Costs also depend upon the institutional mission
of the owners: is long-term storage necessary, (e.g., for
an agreed period of legal retention)? The attributes of original
materials will affect the cost of digital preservation: for
example, their complexity and quantity.
cost factors will depend upon the scope of services required
and the preservation obligations of the owners: will there
be a need to preserve bits (just the file) only; or to preserve
file and associated metadata (e.g., related to intellectual
property rights)? Do these need to be tracked and modified
over time? Is the intention to preserve use (behaviors, and
capability)? Or even to preserve faithful rendering? Deciding
which of these aspects need to be preserved for the long term
will affect cost.
stated that the attributes of the materials themselves should
not matter in terms of cost, and referenced Kevin Ashley of
the University of London Computer Centre, who has declared
that digital preservation costs correlate to the range of
preservation services that are on offer, not the attributes
of the materials. That is, preservation costs will not be
the same for identical materials held under different service
level agreements at different archives. (See Resources)
that the repository is the nucleus of preservation activity,
Chapman stated that repositories will be required to ensure
the longevity of digital materials. The majority of content
owners will become consumers of centralized repository services,
therefore repository storage costs independent of costs
for ingest or access must be affordable or owners will
withhold materials from deposit, running the risk of their
loss. The price for storage should be what owners can afford
to pay. He introduced his case studies: the Harvard
Depository (centralized storage in a managed environment),
and the OCLC
Digital Archive, a new commercial service, emphasizing
that an analysis of the use of existing traditional (analog)
repositories is a relevant indicator of what owners will pay
for managed storage of digital objects. Chapman presented
a snapshot cost recovery billing model for each
organization, which appears below:
unit costs that have been priced to recover operational costs
of actually managing a repository, as a repository provides
more than storage. The OAIS model for digital preservation
emphasized data management, archival storage and administration.
A great deal of infrastructure is involved in managing data,
and there are a lot of costs to recover.
billing model for both: in each case, size is the metric of
$3.91 per billable square foot (standard)
$9.85 per billable square foot (film vault)
Digital Archive (bit preservation)
$60.00 per GB (1,024 MB), if < 100 GB
$32.00 per GB, if 101-1,000 GB
$15.00 per GB, if > 1,000 GB
of such resources, we are aware that there will be a real
price but that the cost to the end
user is what interests us most.
the cost gaps between analog and digital, Chapman looked at
some additional factors, and illustrated them with a series
of slides. The costs examined are the costs of storing high-resolution
master copies. The relatively low cost of storing ASCII files
suggests that digital storage may become affordable.
reasons for the cost gap will include key institutional decisions
made by each organization related to their business model,
and pricing model. These policies will have an impact on business
models, including decisions related to where the materials
are actually stored for example, to retain materials
in uncontrolled local storage environments, such as library
stacks, or to deposit them to managed repositories. Production
choices will also affect business models for example,
preservation microfilming produces two copies that will have
to be stored. Storage of uncompressed digital images of book
pages can be up to 10 times more expensive then microfilm
at current HD and OCLC prices. These costs do not factor in
OCLCs volume discount, whereas methods do exist to close
the cost gap by negotiating and collaborating.
Chapman stressed that the most important issue is that there
are many variables and contexts that will affect costs. The
quality of the files, for example, will greatly affect the
cost of digital storage: uncompressed, 24-bit images will
be much more expensive to store. Developers should work to
close all cost gaps to make repository storage affordable.
The cost gap for audio and video is much higher and therefore
are other significant costs not included in the pricing model.
Key curatorial decisions also matter, as does the issue of
integrity of data how much material can you afford
not to keep? What quality is required, and what format (vis-à-vis
use requirements). A level of risk must be assessed (e.g.,
is compression acceptable?), as will the extent of technical
and administrative metadata required.
are still some open questions related to the issue. The decisions
taken by an institution are the key to determining costs.
Can institutions afford to digitize at the highest quality
technology allows, then keep the digital objects that result
from this strategy?
afford to keep all versions? Can they afford not to?
PROJECTS TO FULL PROGRAMS: INSTITUTIONAL COST ISSUES
York Public Library Visual Archives
Bickner discussed the NYPLs Digital Libraries program,
and some of the pay-offs from which the institution has benefited
as it has made the transition from individual digital projects
to more structured digital programs. Most significantly, the
infrastructure that has been developed now supports new projects
the process of building a team to support digitization initiatives,
emphasizing the broad scope of expertise necessary. The Digital
Libraries team has 23 staff, with a metadata team of 5 full-time
and some interns. The NYPL projects require a team well versed
in all aspects of digitization and technology infrastructure,
including support for systems such as Oracle databases and
ColdFusion delivery mechanisms. NYPL has elected to use MRSid
software to pan and zoom on high-resolution images, a system
that can show a great deal of detail in the images. The digital
imaging unit is in the NYPL, and most digitization is done
locally. The Library also uses vendors for some initiatives,
for example JJT has worked
with NYPL both on- and offsite.
emphasized that the technology development should actively
reflect and support library standards, and reiterated that
metadata specialists were of key importance to the success
of such initiatives. Now that the team is in place, and fully
equipped, it is using the infrastructure that has been created
to do projects that were not originally within the scope of
this initiative. For example, equipment and staff are supporting
a number of curatorial projects.
project is the NYPL Visual
Archive, which was formerly known as ImageGate. The project
dealt with over 600,000 images from the four research collections
of the NYPL. The collection is comprised of many different
types of visual materials, including printed ephemera, maps,
postcards and woodprints. The project is moving from the Central
Building to the Library for Performing Arts and the Schomburg
Center. Bickner noted that it is often easier to move people
than the materials. In this case, the project is working with
glass-plate negatives of images from the performing arts -
photos of actors, actresses, set designs, etc. from the 1920s
to the 1960s. As glass plates cant be used in the reading
room, this will be the first opportunity for the public to
view much of this content.
and team in place, the Digital Library team is starting work
on other projects (see <http://digital.nypl.org/forthcoming.html>),
which will include: American
Shores - Maps of the Middle Atlantic Region to 1850 and
The African American Migration Experience, which will include
both images from the archives and specially commissioned essays
on each of 13 phases of the African Diaspora from the
early slave trade to recent Haitian experiences. This project
will include materials (some still in copyright) from other
repositories (e.g., Associate Press photo archive for the
1980s on the Haitian migration). The Library is still developing
rights management methodologies for such materials and a half-time
staff position is dedicated to clearing and managing copyright
for these materials.
raised an important aspect that similar projects will have
to face in the future. She showed a page of Whitman's own
copy of the 1860 Leaves of Grass, with his annotations
for changes for the next edition. Writers today do the same
- but with Microsoft Word, deleting previous versions. How
will we electronically display the creative process?
Bickner clarified that most of this work is done by staff
funded by soft money, i.e. grant funded positions.
This is a concern as the team attempts to develop sustainable
Moritz Toward Sustainability - Margin and Mission in
the Natural History Setting
Slides: in Powerpoint
(21 MB file); in
began by observing that natural history museums have unique
challenges in creating digital collections. The American
Museum of Natural History (AMNH) contains over 34 million
natural history specimens and these objects, in turn, may
have many associated pieces of information in various formats:
how do we devise optimal, strategic solutions for the development
of efficient, accessible digital programs, with such a mass
and range of materials, especially when faced with the constraints
on open access to information, dictated by the market, technology,
law and norms (using Lawrence Lessigs terms).
the now (presumptively) mature stage of digital
library development, he questioned the common opposition
between start-up project and sustainable development.
Are we not placing expectations on the digital library
that we do not on traditional libraries? We know that
academics require robust analog libraries for research,
and that institutions are required to sustain them for
accreditation do they have the same expectations
of digital materials? Are we trying to do too much with
too little at this time, indirect costs and overhead
don't support digital initiatives, and too many programs
are funded entirely by soft money.
continuing with his theme of sustainability, Moritz briefly
digressed into further consideration of what James Boyle has
labeled "The Second Enclosure Movement," with graphs
developed by Lessig in The Future of Ideas that show
increased use of the term intellectual property
and rampant growth in the concept of ownership
of information. The Flexplay DVD, that self-destructs 36 hours
after opening, is a graphic example of technology enabling
this land grab.
one response to this threat, Moritz described an open access,
common knowledge project: Building the Biodiversity
Commons, about which he had written in Dlib magazine.
For more information about this project, see <http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june02/moritz/06moritz.html>.
again to Lessigs ideas on the constraints on open access
(the market, technology, law and norm), Moritz raised the
concepts of "Mission" and "Margin" as
they relate to an organization like AMNH. While it is clear
how all four Lessigian elements apply to commercial enterprises,
how do they apply to a nonprofit, driven by a non-commercial
mission? How does digital fit into a mission that was developed
for an analog world? The mission of AMNH, as stated by the
New York State Legislature in 1869, is to furnish popular
instruction. This endorses the notion of freely available
information. However, in difficult financial times there is
pressure to generate revenue for all organizations and projects,
and more objections to open and free access to digital content.
AMNH explores ideas for mission-consistent revenue generation
options, there are presently several potential and actual
sources of revenue that are generating funds for different
sectors of the organization:
of images to the luxury market and photo sales
of print (subscriptions/ single issues)
from value added databases (e.g.,BioOne)
support from funders (with its attendant hamster wheel
of constant, grant-seeking activity).
moved towards a conclusion by asking what the core of natural
history is and what are the discipline-specific objectives
that can be supported by the digital library, and that will
facilitate scholarship in this field? Strategic developments
should be informed by close analysis of the requirements of
academic research, and should provide a conceptual framework
to provide integrated access to publications, archival records,
field notes and specimens. Content should be both widely distributed,
and strongly integrated. A 1998 article in Nature suggests
that there are 3 billion specimens in 6,500 Natural History
museums around the world. This variety of content not
merely specimens and artifacts, but also field notes, images,
formal publications, exhibit labels, etc., requires careful
Core (DwC) has been developed as a "discipline-based
profile describing the minimum set of standards for search
and retrieval of natural history collections and observation
databases". But such solutions need to be efficient and
parsimonious. The Semantic Web makes possible an ontologically-based
solution applying formal, explicit specifications of a shared
conceptualization of natural history. Projects
such as the AMNH digital collections related to the Congo
begin to illustrate these ideas. See <http://diglib1.amnh.org>
question raised a very important issue, inspired by the emphasis
on the need for shared developments, natural history registries,
protocols, etc. The community requires collaborative initiatives,
but instead we are all in competition for private funding.
The collaborative potential of our shared skills and talents
needs to be addressed at the community level.
slides: as pdf
presentation firmly focused on actual costs, and updated some
of the data presented in his 1999 article: The Cost
of Digital Imaging <http://www.rlg.org/preserv/diginews/diginews3-5.html#feature>.
that there are many costs involved in digital imaging projects,
of which scanning is only a part. Costs will be related to:
the selection and preparation of originals; cataloging, description
and indexing; preservation and conservation; production of
intermediates; digitization; quality control of images &
data; network infrastructure; on-going maintenance of images
and of data.
examination of overall average costs stemmed from his experience
on a number of grant review panels. But to make any decent
comparative study he obviously needed access to a range of
material and that has not been easy. He had access
to cost information from the National Archives Electronic
Access Project but there were virtually no published reports
on costs from other projects. Neither funders nor project
managers have access to useful metrics on the cost of digitization
to guide them. And when information is available, comparing
it is next to impossible: most cost models are not sufficiently
granular and there are lots of hidden costs, especially in
the interstices. In order to validate a particular cost model,
each step in the conversion process must be articulated in
detail. Puglia emphasized that as costs vary so much, what
is most important is their range, and he featured this in
he noted that on average, roughly one third of the costs are
related to digital conversion, one third for cataloging and
descriptive metadata, and one third for administration, quality
control, etc. In his 1999 article he quoted an average cost,
over three years of data, of $29.55 per digital image (but
with a range of between $1.85 and $96.45). Within that, itemized
average costs come to $6.50 for digitizing; $9.25 for cataloging;
and $13.40 for administration. Adjusted for unrealistically
high or low costs, the figures came to $17.65 overall (digitizing
$6.15; cataloging $7; and administration $10.10). [See presentation
of Congress National Digital Library Program originally planned
to digitize 5 million digital images over 5 years for $60M,
which would be $12/image although at one point NDL
had 85 people on staff, which would increase overall costs.
On examining the NDL annual report for 2001, we can conclude
that the project has actually produced 7.5M images, as some
25% have 2 images or versions, 25% have 3, and 25% have 4.
Thus there are about 3M unique items or images in the NDL
and the cost is really $20/image. This cost does not include
the Ameritech collections, which are about 20% of the site,
and it had $1.75M over three yrs. Partner institutions paid
the rest of the cost - so actually the numbers are low because
it doesn't include partner costs.
from the NDL annual reports, Puglia showed that of the $43M
grant for the NDL over 5 years, 46% went to personnel, 27%
for digitizing & services, and 18% on professional and
of Congress reported, in the Report of the Task Force on
the Artifact in Library Collections (CLIR, 2001), that
it spent $1,600 per book, or $5.33 per page, for base level
digitization. Enhanced digitization was $2,500, or 8.33 per
page, but this figure was based on the costs reported in Puglias
Media reportedly spent $125M to digitize 50,000 books, or
$2,500 per book. Forbes Magazine (April 2, 2001) stated
that it would take $80M, or $200-$1,000 to scan and proofread
each book. In an article on Questia in the Chicago Tribune,
the Questia CEO was quoted as saying that it took $100M and
2 years to get 40,000 books online and 20,000 in production,
at a cost of $1,700-$2,500 per book (however, a commentator
at the end of the session pointed out that Questias
costs must factor in enormous marketing and advertising costs,
which would bring down their overall cost per image).
review of other data that Puglia had surfaced included:
National Yiddish Book Center: $3.5M for 12, 000 pages, or
$292 per book.
Bettman Archive scanned at a cost of about $20 per photo
(stopping after 225,000 photos). Of its 65 million images,
Corbis has about 2.1M digital images online for licensing.
Public Library reports $18-20 to digitize & catalog
a photo, including preparation, research, cataloguing and
scanning, but not selection, curatorial decisions, equipment,
or administrative costs. The project at Denver is scanning
about 52 photos per day.
Public Library is scanning the Carnegie Historical Images
collection for $15 per image.
Lee, in a recent article on digitization costs, states that
a small manuscript with 200 sheets costs $3,000 overall
($1,000 to digitize).
Historical Inventory reported $24.45 per item (including
$7.20 to catalog one photograph and $8.16 to digitize it,
while a map costs $109 to digitize)
asserted that ongoing costs are key and must be planned for
from the beginning. Minimal maintenance of one set of master
image files and access files will be 50-100% of the initial
investment for the first ten years; larger repositories might
be able to drop this to 10-25%. Cost to install, staff and
maintain network infrastructure and digital data for 1st ten
years is 5 times the initial investment. In the IT world,
the full lifecycle cost is 10 times the development cost.
digitization initiatives can only justify the maintenance
of images that are actually used, and will need a rigorous
cost benefit analysis to assess if this is worthwhile. This
can be assessed by use for example, NARA had 6.7M hits
per month - 2.3M hits/month on the Exhibit Hall, 1/3 of all
hits. 46,000 search sessions per month, 12 searches/session.
This is compared to 6,400 onsite researchers, 35,000 oral
inquiries and 31,000 written inquiries per month for over
20 facilities nationwide.
Sledge Challenges in Storing Digital Images
Sledge's paper: download in MSWord
illustrated the importance of developing workflows and methodologies
for generating and storing high-definition images. Digital
imaging is becoming an integral part of the National
Museum of the American Indian's collection management
and outreach activities, and is used for about 85% of photographic
activities. Staff use digital cameras in their day-to-day
work to prepare condition reports, take preliminary conservation
images, prepare high definition images for exhibitions and
publications, and document public programming events or generate
images as part of public programming activities.
on a specific collections documentation project in support
of a key institutional objective: the digital imaging of NMAIs
collections as part of a move of these collections from the
Research Branch in the Bronx to the Cultural Resources Center
(CRC) in Maryland. The project created a visual documentary
record of some 800,000 objects managed by 250,000 electronic
records. If an object is lost, misplaced, stolen, or broken
in transit, NMAI has a documentary image to show the objects
condition at the time of packing and prove that it was in
the possession of the museum. The images enable staff to plan
and organize both exhibit development and interactive exhibits
planned for certain areas. Because all objects are digitally
photographed as part of the move process, the overall cost
of the imaging project - $2.5 million - is much lower than
one driven by an on demand process. These costs
include the costs of storing the images.
image, two sets of TIFF files are stored on DVD-RAM. One is
stored at the Research Branch in the Bronx in a fire-proof
safe, the second is sent to the Photo Services Department
at the Cultural Resources Center in Maryland, then loaded
to a Storage Area Network (SAN). A low resolution JPEG copy
is also made. Staff send the JPEG file over the Smithsonian
Institute network with the move system data. They also link
to the Registration Information Tracking System (RITS) application.
an image storage challenge not yet tackled by most museums.
Technology staff estimated that images generated by the move
project would be in the order of 250,000 on 500 DVDs. A single
NMAI TIFF image can range between 10 and 20 megabytes (MB)
in size and one DVD can store about 10 gigabytes (GB) of images.
Technology staff estimated that the TIFF images might require
about 5 terabytes of storage space in an on-line environment.
The economics of creating the images is one thing, but finding
a sustainable economic framework for storing them is another
matter. The options for holding the TIFF images in an on-line
environment and linking these to electronic collections
records to provide access were evaluated, and on the basis
of this, NMAI acquired a relatively new technology known as
a Storage Area Network (SAN) to store large volumes of data.
recounted how a sequence of errors caused a failure of the
SAN, resulting in a serious interruption to the projects
workflow. Some factors that led to the equipment failure included:
Network Administrator had training to operate the SAN in normal
situations, but had insufficient training to operate the SAN
in an emergency and had been given wrong advice on what to
do in the event of a problem.
2. Despite a significant annual maintenance contract, NMAIs
SAN was one version behind in its software updates.
3. The system is designed to provide advance warning to the
Network Administrator via email when a disk drive failure
is threatened so that preventative action can be taken. This
did not happen.
Sledge explained that the system failure was compounded by
a project workflow incorporating insufficient back up processes
for high-definition imaging projects (e.g., re-using backup
tapes). This was due to an over-reliance on the manufacturers
claim that the system had built in fail proofs. Another lesson
learned was the importance of understanding and reviewing
the back-up plans and procedures in detail (NMAI has subsequently
revised and upgraded its backup systems). Sledge noted that
there is a need for pro-active risk management and planning
at the outset of any digitization project, and that staffs
ability to deal effectively with problematic situations should
be tested regularly.
to reconstruct the data, the project looked to their archival
DVDs, only to discover that DVD technology had changed
since NMAI first began to store images on DVD-RAMS. Ultimately,
NMAI developed a workaround solution to recreate
the lost data. Michael Lesk (The Internet Archive) commented
at the end of the panel session, that unlike a fire or the
willful destruction of a library or archive, NMAI was fortunate
in that it had multiple copies of the images in a diversity
of media and could recover from this misfortune.
on their growing amount of electronic media use, NMAI will
carefully consider on-line and near-line technologies, and
consider tape storage for rarely used media. NMAI also recognizes
the important of migrating digital media storage on a diversity
of media. Photo Services staff work closely with Technology
staff to review options and select new DVD technologies to
create additional sets of Move TIFF images on DVD. NMAI has
incorporated digital media management into its collections
management policies and has established policies for the deposition
of digital media into its archives.
since applied Integrated Project Team Techniques
to its overall Media Asset Management project and has staffed
a project team with a mix of program area and IT personnel
to recognize the complementary roles of project sponsors,
managers, decision makers, end-users, IT infrastructure system
engineers, and supporting organizations. In choosing to maintain
and store high-resolution images, NMAI is committed to professional
management, on-going staff training, timely equipment renewal
and maintenance, and strong back-up procedures.
Local Programs Through Revenue Generation
slides: in Powerpoint
described the efforts at the University of Michigan Library
to support and expand local conversion efforts by supplementing
base funding with revenue generating activity. Revenue generation
methods range from straightforward fee-based services to some
creative multi-institutional funding models for large projects.
Conversion Services (DCS) is one of four units of the Digital
Library Production Service (DLPS) in the Digital Library
Services Division of the Library. It provides a variety of
conversion services, including bitonal scanning, OCR, continuous
tone image scanning and photography, and text encoding. Staff
size varies according to the volume of work, with additional
staff hired if grant funds are available.
core work is digitization of the Librarys own collections.
During lulls in its internal workload, DCS services (such
as the provision of a full-time photographer/digital imaging
technician) are available to other University units and non-profits,
on a fee for service basis. These clients can take advantage
of the groups expertise and avoid the acquisition of
costly equipment, and DCS can leverage its investment in staff,
training and equipment. In many cases, DCS will also host
content for clients and provide access through the DLPS federated
image delivery system.
continued to grow its program around the assumptions that
they can utilize excess capacity during slack times, leverage
investments in specialized and expensive hardware and software,
and offer the services of highly skilled technicians to their
own and other institutions. In addition, they have been able
to respond to special opportunities by adding staff tied directly
to the revenue potential of those projects.
clients have included Early Canadiana Online, the Library
of Congress, Harvard, Northwestern, the ACLS History E-Book
Project and the University of Chicago Presss Bibliovault
Project. DLPS is about to embark on a ten year project where
it will provide OCR conversion for a projected 100-million
page images from the Law Library Microform Consortium, to
be put online using Michigans digital library software,
DLXS. The target throughput is over 800,000 pages a month.
DLPS also provides some project support for the Early English
Books Online Text Creation Partnership or EEBO TCP, a collaboration
between ProQuest, the University Libraries of Michigan and
Oxford, and the partnership members.
Conversion Services uses a variety of pricing models across
these projects. The fee-based services are firmly grounded
in the cost of doing business. For each service, DCS has an
established recharge rate, based on a relatively standard
labor costs (salary + benefits) are added to the amortized
cost of equipment and specialized hardware and software. This
produces an annual cost for the digitization method. They
then use an average hourly throughput figure (based on either
a sample or actual data) multiplied by 1600 hours (the DCS
figure for the number of working hours per year) to establish
an annual throughput. By dividing the annual cost by the throughput,
they arrive at a per-unit cost for each conversion method.
For external customers, 30% overhead is added to the unit
cost. Rates are refigured each year and submitted to the Universitys
Office of Financial Analysis for approval.
also exploring volume-sensitive pricing schemes for larger
projects, and other pricing models, such as the partnership
structure currently used to fund the EEBO-TCP.
listed some of the challenges faced by Michigan in its efforts
to explore new funding models for digital conversion, and
as they learn to be a vendor:
internal conversion methods are highly standardized and
tied to its own delivery system. This requires negotiations
with clients to ensure that the framework will support what
they want to do.
the academic sector, it is difficult to find adequate support
for the business processes necessary to support such initiatives.
Billing, tracking payments and negotiations with clients
are time consuming.
the biggest drawbacks to organizing around even partial dependence
on revenue is the uncertainty that comes with it, and the
insecurity this can create for staff on short-term contracts.
other hand, providing conversion services for external customers
can be rewarding, and there is a potential for real collaborative
opportunities. Stevenson concluded by looking to models such
as the UKs Higher Education Digitization Service (HEDS),
which has shown that the presence of a community mandate,
the provision of adequate business support and the removal
of at least some of the uncertainty might result in a more
viable modeland certainly a learning model
where customer and service provider might explore new methods
together to achieve a better result. How such service centers
might emerge in our decentralized environment and how they
would be managed remains an open question.
Models for Online Scholarly Publishing
slides: see Powerpoint
focused on the issues involved in creating and sustaining
a stable and effective scholarly publication.
she introduced some basic questions related to sustainability:
much does it cost to develop the editorial and technical
basis for such a publication? This will require a great
deal of contributed skill and time.
much will it cost to maintain a stable and effective publication?
soon will funds be needed for the publication to be stable
and continue to be available to users on a regular basis?
Often, we neglect this issue until it is too late.
then listed four potential sources of revenue, and the implications
subscriptions this can be a good source of revenue,
as long as a project is specific about the resource that is
being charged for, and who should be charged. No-one will
want to be seen charging third graders for electronic content,
but it may be acceptable to charge their school, or school
district. This model will require the support of marketing,
billing and accounting staff.
sales in scholarly publication, this is not an
easy route. Individual book sales are poor, and will not sustain
a resource, so this should be seen a supplementary source
of revenue only.
support it is getting harder and harder to attract
grant support, and relying on this source leads to what Tom
Moritz identified as the hamster wheel syndrome
never being able to step off the grant writing treadmill
for long enough to do anything else. Grant writing staff will
be required to support this model.
support from the host institution - whether universities,
schools, museums, etc. Projects will be strengthened if they
are supported as a core part of the organizational infrastructure.
This is becoming difficult given the present financial situation,
and such arrangements usually have to be made at the very
start of a project. Staff will be required for negotiation,
billing, and accounting. Unfortunately, many institutions
are rigidly organized and there is little connection between
various programs and departments. It is extremely hard to
get interdisciplinary projects under way, especially
given the complex decision-making processes and necessary
buy-in at libraries and universities. The key managers who
are empowered to make these decisions often do not talk to
issues concern the timing or launch of such resources
when can they be judged to be ready for release, sale, or
new funding? What work has to be done before a business model
can be developed? What editorial and technical development
must be completed? No part of the project should be in an
experimental phase when resources are launched. Furthermore,
how will any project partners be involved in matters relating
to revenues, collaboration, IP protection? Again, this will
have to be thought out very early on in the project life cycle.
that must be made before a product can be launched include
kind of staff are needed, and at what phase in the project
marketing people may be required at launch and during
the first year. Thereafter different types of staff will
and with whom do we discuss needs for creating a revenue
stream? How much of the project will require continual support?
will also be several long-term questions. How will the business
models suggested above affect a projects technical or
editorial development (for example, are advertisements acceptable
within the resource? If so, from whom and where should they
appear?) How will success be measured? How can you change
the business model if required? Can the project lower the
overall costs of doing business, such as by merging with another
partner, or by outsourcing some aspects of the business plan
to other places or people? The situation is constantly changing,
and developing sustainable business models is an important
and ongoing activity.
Abuhoff A Final
of the organization that co-sponsored the event, Jack Abuhoff
offered some observations on the days presentations,
and gave the audience his sense of some of the critically
important points that had been made by earlier speakers:
Bonns warning to watch out for ramping-up
costs, which have the potential to derail budget predictions.
We tend to base pricing estimates on steady state
models, when what we need are more dynamic models that predict
costs accurately. By paying attention to this issue at the
start of a project (even if this will delay the actual project
starting point) by document analysis and observing business
processes, it will be possible to keep costs and workflows
under control and prevent ramp-up costs.
Harms acknowledgement that Luna Imaging had made mistakes,
which indicates that we should want to work with Luna or other
vendors who acknowledge and learn from mistakes
from Harms presentation was the message that clearly
defined project goals are critical. Project managers should
not compromise or accelerate early planning processes.
Steve Chapman pointed out, the community must adopt preservation
strategies to enable subsequent users to work with digital
resources in the same way that they would be able to continue
to work with older, analog materials. This begs the question
of whether or not we can afford to scan at a low resolution,
or to make other compromises in the digitization life-cycle.
point made by Chapman was the need to guard against obsolescence
the need for future proofing. As technology
develops, and costs for bandwidth, for example, decrease,
we will see an increase in user demands of electronic information.
Much of this will be driven by the emergence of new technologies
like the semantic web, which will require changes in the structure
of information. We will need our repositories to work in this
new environment, and should not feel constrained by the limitations
Abuhoff explored the metaphor of home heating costs.
In doing an internet search for this term, Abuhoff had come
up with several hits from "99% efficient
vent-free gas burners to oil burners. To
the consumer, the only concern when shopping for home heating
is cost - seventy degrees of heat, from whatever source, will
be good enough for the consumer. Digitization is not like
this. There are qualitative considerations and benefits to
the end user. Digital resources are not consumed immediately,
so they will have to be future proofed. We should not approach
digitization as buying fuel oil, where the cheapest is the
most desirable. Vendors can help the client evaluate what
they really want, and what quality they can truly afford.
Future is a Foreign Country
the question of how to pay for digital libraries, Lesk invoked
Voltaire: the best is the enemy of the good. Doing
some things really well makes then too expensive for many
institutions. Lesk observed that in discussing prices, speakers
at the symposium had presented a huge variety of prices for
digitization. While it may seem reasonable to spend thousands
of dollars to digitize an important cultural artifact like
the Beowulf manuscript, how much should we expect to pay to
digitize the books used for the Making of America project
books which, Lesk pointed out, would be of no interest
to many used book stores. There has been little research on
what users really need from digital resources, but some work
has been done Lesk cited some research by Michael Ester
of Luna Imaging into the image resolution that is acceptable
to users, and it is less than one would expect (see Michael
Ester, "Image Quality and Viewer Perception," Leonardo,
vol 23, no. 1, pp 51-63 (1990)).
cited the work of the Carnegie Mellon/Internet Archive's Million
Book project, established with the mission of digitizing
a very large body of content. Scanning is outsourced to India
and China, where inexpensive scanning techniques will be used
to produce a very low cost per page. The goal
of this project is quantity, not quality, and this raises
the issue of what users really need from digital resources.
Lesk referenced the commonly held opinion that, after investing
resources into a digitization project, one shouldnt
have to scan again in 5 years. He argued, however, that if
there is a demand for higher quality scanning, the demand
itself should help facilitate the necessary funding, and newer
technology should makeit easier and cheaper (assuming the
copyright situation hasn't deteriorated in the interim).
to an earlier theme, introduced by Don Waters, of being able
to assess the benefit of doing something, as well
as its cost. Having built the best analog libraries in the
world, how can we now develop the best digital library systems?
How will it be possible to make the systems work, and work
with each other? And what will be the cost to smaller libraries
if large research universities are able to digitize their
entire library collection and put them online? Will a smaller
institution still need to have a library to become accredited?
Will it be worth maintaining small libraries if large research
collections are available online in their entirety? And what
are the economics of this? We are now able to have services
on the desktop that, until very recently, were only obtained
by physically going into a library. What is the cost to the
library of offering this sort of service online at no charge
to the user? And what is the saving to the institution of
no longer having to provide other traditional services?
to questions of this nature can be found in addressing the
way people work with analog resources, and the benefits of
traditional libraries. Overall, we need to understand users
and the patterns of use in order to gain the greatest benefits
from our future electronic resources.
though with a demonstration of the critical importance of
the library, Lesk cited the story of Sir Alexander Fleming
and the discovery of penicillin. Fleming (a doctor) first
discovered that some substance from the mould Penicillium
killed bacteria in 1928, and wrote a paper about the substance,
hoping for help from a biochemist. But little happened for
over a decade. Prompted by the Second World War to look for
antibacterial agents, Sir Ernst Chain, a researcher at Oxford,
found Fleming's 10-year-old paper in the British Journal of
Experimental Pathology. This discovery in the stacks led Chain
and Lord Howard Florey to test and then exploit the first
modern antibiotic, to the great benefit of medicine and humanity;
Chain, Florey, and Fleming shared the 1945 Nobel Prize. Libraries
let us accumulate wisdom for later use; this must be preserved
in the digital library of the future.