Re: Ann Okerson on institutional archives

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 07:32:29 +0100

On 29 Mar 2005, at 06:09, Leif Laaksonen wrote:

> Working for an IT organisation (CSC) that is supporting (computational)
> research work and the Finnish university library computer system, it
> always makes me smile when when someone makes the claim that an IT
> service does not need more than a cheap computer and somebody looking
> after it once in a while.
The technical costs are not significant.

> The labour through hardware and
> software maintenance are the most significant. Then you should add
> the infrastructure for long time backup and user support.
The service that Stevan described is just one service/server that forms
a small part of the technical infrastructure of our School/University.
Compared to providing web servers/maintaining the Web site/running a
compute service it is a fairly insignficant operation. The backup
requirements are real, but almost trivial - and just form an overall
part of the institution's backup strategy. Similarly for hardware
support - buy a new machine every ?3 years.

> There are a
> lot of organizations like CNRS and CSC that can give you all an
> accurate picture of the costs involved.
CNRS have various economies of scale, but many more resposnisbilities,
which is why I posted a request for information from them.

> We see a lot of ad hoc services popping up in the academia, created
> just as Stevan Harnad described. These services are mostly supported
> by one or two scientists.
I can imagine the kind of services that you are thinking about, but an
Institutional repository (by definition) is not one of these.

> Long time time and well supported
> services are and will be also in the future expensive!
Duration and expense are relative terms. If you compare the expense of
running an IR with the expense of running any other business-critical
service, you should find that it compares quite favourably. At least,
that is the experience that people are reporting.

The real expense (unsurprisingly) seems to be coming from Marketing and
Managing Institutional Change.
Les Carr
SI mailing list
Received on Tue Mar 29 2005 - 07:32:29 BST

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