As I only joined the initial OAB discussion yesterday, I apologize if
some of this was already discussed and resolved, or I misunderstood
something - I am writing about the idea of characterizing organizational
membership in the RDA as a "subscription." If I understood Larry
correctly, this would be intended to appeal in part to libraries; I
think it might actually backfire for that purpose, based on the following:
Academic/research libraries are often also institutional members (often
along with other types of institutions) of other organizations that
further developments in a critical area for them; for example, NISO
, or DDI Alliance
. I had no
trouble convincing our University Librarian that organizational
membership in RDA would be worthwhile, based on the argument that
"academic libraries have long been at the forefront of promoting access
to, and interoperability of, digital information assets, and research
data is a type of digital information that, while relatively new to them
to deal with, equally warrants the support of research libraries." - and
that the RDA is an important emerging player in this domain.
However, if organizational membership is "packaged" as subscribing to
something, the focus is easily drawn to what "product(s)" it is that an
institution subscribes to (newsletters? databases with proprietary
information? standards? etc.), whether there are alternatives to that,
how the cost and the logic for its calculation compares to competitors',
etc. An institutional "subscription" may well also compete for the same
pot of funding with established and other potential new subscriptions to
information sources, at least in academic libraries. Lastly, there may
be an expectation of stability and development in the particular
products, which are not easily predicted or described in RDA for the
future. So that's my EUR0.02 worth on calling a membership a
membership, and not a subscription.
Yesterday's online discussion also touched upon what the benefits of
organizational membership should be. One thought: being allowed to
dispatch /one /person to any RDA Plenary at /no registration cost/ for
the "< than 50 employees" tier; /two /persons for the "50 and <250
employees" tier; and /three (or more?)/ for the ">250 employees" tier.
That would make org. membership also an easier sell in that the costs of
plenary attendance are controlled/predictable insofar as they are
included in membership cost.
One final thought - on the RDA Organisational Membership page
spelling of "organi...ation" should be consistently with an s or a z.
If RDA become a legal entity in the UK, that would be an (additional)
argument for the British English spelling, I think.
Research Data Librarian
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016, USA
Org. membership in the RDA as a "subscription" / benefits of org. membership
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