Business models for sustainable research data repositories

Décembre 2017, No. 47, © OCDE

Publié le 12 décembre 2017, par Thérèse Hameau


There is a large variety of repositories that are responsible for providing long term access to data that is used for research. As data volumes and the demands for more open access to this data increase, these repositories are coming under increasing financial pressures that can undermine their long-term sustainability. This report explores the income streams, costs, value propositions, and business models for 48 research data repositories. It includes a set of recommendations designed to provide a framework for developing sustainable business models and to assist policy makers and funders in supporting repositories with a balance of policy regulation and incentives.

Executive Summary


Policy recommendations

The following policy recommendations primarily target science policymakers and funders in OECD member states, as well as repository operators and managers.

Recommendation 1
All stakeholders should recognise that research data repositories are an essential part of the infrastructure for open science.

Recommendation 2 :
All research data repositories should have a clearly articulated business model.

Recommendation 3 :
Policy makers, research funders, and other stakeholders need to consider the ways in which data repositories are funded, and the advantages and disadvantages of various business models in different circumstances.

Recommendation 4 :
Research data repository business models are constrained by, and need to be aligned with, policy regulation (mandates) and incentives (including funding).

Recommendation 5 :
In the context of financial sustainability, opportunities for cost optimisation should be explored in order to be able to effectively manage digital assets over time.