Collections Trust (2015)
|Collections Trust (2015)|
|Title:||Striking the Balance: How NMDC members are balancing public access and commercial reuse of digital content|
|Citation:||Collections Trust (2015) Striking the Balance: How NMDC members are balancing public access and commercial reuse of digital content. A report by the Collections Trust commissioned by the NMDC <https://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/media/documents/publications/striking_the_balance.pdf> (accessed 6 January 2022)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from interviews with members of NMDC institutions. Responses are categorised thematically, with mini ‘case studies’ of particular institutions.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“This report commissioned by the NMDC from the Collections Trust examines how museums are balancing the twin aims of maximising public access to their digital content and promoting their own financial sustainability. Striking the Balance sets out the findings and recommendations from an 18 month study of the different methods and approaches employed by NMDC member institutions. Key findings include:
• No two museums are the same, and their approach to the balance between open access and commercial reuse is highly sensitive to their specific circumstances, capabilities, leadership, collections, audience, location and prior business model.
• There is an overall lack of clarity in the definition of the different approaches to open content licensing and commercial reuse, and a lack of concerted policy in this area.
• There are significant opportunities to develop hybrid models which combine open access and commercial reuse.
• There is a growing body of evidence that open access to digital content for both commercial and non-commercial reuse drives value back to the existing business model or revenue streams of the institution.
• There is a need for greater clarity in relation to expectations of commercial revenue generation.
• There is a significant investment gap reported between the aspiration either to promote open access or commercial reuse and the extent to which participating institutions are able to invest in capacity, infrastructure and promotion to realise these ambitions.
The report contains case studies from across NMDC's membership and explores a range of issues including current trends, developing policies on access and reuse, understanding return on investment and different models for open access and commercial reuse.”
Main Results of the Study
• Most museums are considering adopting an open access policy, but only a minority have actually implemented this. Instead, external factors are more influential, such as the policies of funders.
• Decision-making factors influencing whether to adopt an open access policy include: the mission and governance of the organisation; the value to the intangible brand of the institution; the complexity of the collections to be licensed (including copyright status); the anticipated value and benefit on the return of implementation; the spectrum of possible uses of the content; the associated costs of implementing an open access policy, and; the broader legal, economic and political environment.
• All museums in the study agree that diversion of income to existing business models through an open access policy results in higher revenues than an image licensing system. Such licensing systems are consider unstable and variable depending on the market and status of the digital object (e.g., as culturally iconic or high quality).
• Many museums cite the benefits of open access policies, including improved awareness and discoverability of the institution, and increased participation and use of the content.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study does not make any explicit policy recommendations.
Coverage of Study