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NINCH >> NINCH Programs >> Guide to Good Practice

HEADLINE: WHY DOES THE CULTURAL COMMUNITY
NEED BEST PRACTICES?

Why We Want to Create Digital Resources
Useful to All the Humanities

Creating and Managing Content:

ENABLE CONTENT CREATION

LEVERAGE INVESTMENT

Providing Access to Content:

FACILITATE USE

IMPROVE RESEARCH RESULTS

IMPLICATIONS FOR THIS PROJECT


Creating and Managing Content

Best Practices...

ENABLE CONTENT CREATION

  • create a body of digital material to support advanced research in the humanities;
  • enable the combination of source materials from multiple repositories or digitization projects (with some kind of hope for comparability);
  • produce comparable results from projects in different circumstances;
  • support preservation efforts by creating standardized products that can be managed in a consistent and therefore economical and predicatable way;
  • ensure predicatability in digital source material made available for study;
  • make assumptions of digitization explicit, to enable the evaluation of the results;
  • assist in the preservation and longevity of information, by developing coherence in "digital archives."

LEVERAGE INVESTMENT

  • best practices reduce redundancy of effort;
  • add value efficiently;
  • ensure investment in digitization creates content of broadest use (biggest bang for the buck);
  • produce economies of scale;
  • maximize the benefit of digitization projects (greatest good);
  • give best results for least investment (through tested methods and processes).

     

Providing Access to Content

Best Practices...

FACILITATE USE

  • ensure the reuse of primary materials beyond the context within which they were first digitized;
  • encourage interdisciplinarity (e.g.William Blake Archive, where art history and literature intersect), reuse and interchange of information across disciplines, methodological boundaries and institutional types;

IMPROVE RESEARCH RESULTS

  • enable scholars to focus on the research questions rather than on the technology;
  • develop technological literacy among the academy essential to ensure validity of results that rely on technology;
  • support scholarship, by reducing the possibility that technological artefacts will influence research results;
  • ensure that research results are replicable, and that future research can build on past discoveries.

IMPLICATIONS FOR THIS PROJECT

  • articulating our own assumptions of what is "best" will further our understanding of the digital resources the cultural community is creating;
  • developing a rigorous and self-conscious methodology is essential for evaluating existing practices;
  • well articulated guidelines must be tested beyond the domains in which they were created;
  • neutral recommendations whenever possibe will enable the broadest possible use.

    ========================================================

  • methods and perspectives embodied in content need to be expressed explicitly;
  • data must have broad or documented tolerances to be used beyond the domain of its creation;

     


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