Citation and Download: Members of the RDA/WDS Publishing Data Cost Recovery for Data Centres IG (2016): Income Streams for Data Repositories. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.46693.
Basic funding of data infrastructure may not keep pace with increasing costs. There is a need, therefore, to consider alternative cost recovery options and a diversification of revenue streams. In short: who will pay for public access to research data? The RDA/WDS Interest Group Publishing Data Cost Recovery for Data Centres aims to contribute to strategic thinking on cost recovery by conducting research to understand current and possible cost recovery strategies for data centres.
As the main body of work, the Interest Group has conducted a survey of over twenty data centres around the globe, and in different domains. The survey consisted of structured in-depth interviews with high-level representatives of these organisations and was focused on identifying various existing approaches to cost recovery, the range of income streams available and current and possible business models.
The central questions in the survey were:
Which cost recovery models are currently being employed by data repositories?
What trends are perceived by data repositories with regard to the vulnerability of funding?
What are the possible responses to diversify income streams? What new options are funders and data repositories considering to diversify data repositories’ income in the future?
Have any of these alternative funding models been tried out?
How have they been justified and ‘sold’ to stakeholders?
To what extent are available models compatible with a commitment to Open Access to research data?
The principal beneficiaries of this work will be data centre managers on the one hand and research infrastructures on the other. Each of these stakeholders will gain a valuable insight into alternative options for cost recovery, substantiated by the survey results. Other stakeholders, including the users of data repositories and research performing organisations are also likely to value a transparent consideration of income streams and business models that can help maintain data infrastructure on a sustainable footing.