December 14, 2017

Just Released: “Europeana for Research: Final Policy Recommendations”

From a Europeana News Release:

Safeguarding our digital cultural heritage requires increased collaboration and greater cross-fertilisation of ideas and approaches between the culture and research sectors, ministries and funders, aimed at increasing its impact and reducing the duplication of costs, according to recommendations released today by the National Documentation Centre of Greece (EKT) and Europeana – Europe’s platform for innovation in digital cultural heritage.

The report ‘Europeana for Research’ shows that Europe’s digital cultural heritage can provide clear benefits for research, innovation and the citizens of Europe, while the recommendations call on the Research and Culture sectors to work together at the national and European level to optimise the potential gains.

Advances in information and communication technologies mean that research has become digital at every stage of the process and that researchers increasingly rely on online resources and tools to gain instant access to data, publications and content. There is an urgent need that the rich content of our public cultural heritage organisations becomes openly available for this purpose.

However, there are still challenges to face in ensuring that these benefits are available to the cultural research community. Trusted and re-usable digitised cultural heritage data and content don’t exist online to the same degree as in the science, technology and medicine disciplines, due to IPR barriers, lack of standardisation and the fragmented approach to initiatives in the field. In addition, the value of our digital cultural heritage has not been emphasised enough by relevant actors such as cultural heritage institutions and culture policymakers.

Providing the metadata and content for those objects in a way that supports the use of tools such as text and data mining opens up that data and increases research possibilities. The potential for re-use also increases as it can then be used as a basis for others to build services on, in primary and secondary education for instance. Europeana is working hard to achieve this. In practice that means providing clear licensing and provenance information and making sure a strong copyright framework is in place for digitised cultural heritage.

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The report outlines a number of key recommendations to policymakers in the culture and research sector:

  • work together at the national and European level for coordinated policies, strategies and practices that support the greatest possible openness and reuse of  Europe’s digital cultural heritage,
  • collaborate at the national and European level, using Europeana where possible, to meet the increasing demand for digitised cultural content for research,
  • promote the use of Europeana as a resource for research and capitalise on existing investment by encouraging synergies among related initiatives, infrastructures and stakeholders.
  • take active and coordinated measures to enable the widest possible access to Europe’s digitised cultural heritage.
  • develop policies and agree instruments at EU level that enable and promote synergies among initiatives and e-infrastructures of similar scope to capitalise on investments already committed for the promotion of research and digital culture, and support the European dialogue of relevant stakeholders.
  • develop the specific legal measures needed to allow for text and data mining.

Read the Complete Release

Read the Full Text Report (8 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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