Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Life Cycle Information for E-Literature (LIFE) reports

I've just looked at the summary report from the LIFE project. Published in May 2006, the report discusses the life-cycle of e-literature and the costs associated with the life-cycle. The summary and final reports do not purport to have all of the answers, but they have used predictive work to begin to calculate costs and then ask more questions.

Page three of the final report states this information, which will make you want to read more:
LIFE established that in the first year of a digital assets existence;
  • The lifecycle cost for a hand-held e-monograph is British Pound (BP) 19
  • The lifecycle cost for a hand-held serial is BP19
  • The lifecycle cost for a non hand-held e-monograph is BP15
  • The lifecycle cost for a non hand-held e-serial is BP22
  • The lifecycle cost for a new website is BP21
  • The lifecycle cost for an e-journal is BP206
The total cost is comprised of costs in several categories which are:
  • Acquisition
  • Ingest
  • Metadata
  • Access
  • Storage
  • Preservation
The costs are not always the same, but depend on what the e-literature is.

For many projects, just seeing this information above will make them stop and think. We tend to gloss over the costs and think of some as just being time, but there is a cost to time. And everything we do with a digital asset costs us something.

To read the reports -- and access additional information -- go to the LIFE documentation page.

The project has ended, but given work being done elsewhere (e.g., iPRES), more will surely be discovered, documented, and shared.

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