Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources

Published May 01, 2008

Kevin Guthrie, Rebecca J. Griffiths, Nancy L. Maron

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There is no single formula that Online Academic Resources (OARs) can apply to achieve sustainability, no ‘one-size-fits-all’ plan that any organization can follow to reach a point of financial stability. There are, however, a variety of processes and approaches that can help to improve the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.  In an age when traditional content producers – including scholarly publishers and newspapers – struggle to maintain their financial footing in face of the challenges of the digital world, OARs cannot turn to lessons of the past to find their way, but must see themselves as nimble players in a quickly shifting field.

 

This report suggests that a significant change in mindset is called for among leaders of OARs, in order to better compete in the new digital environment. It sets forth a systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects, and includes a discussion of several major revenue generating methods, including philanthropic support, subscription, advertising and other models.

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