LIBER’s Digital Collections Working Group, the DFG-Project “Future Publications in the Humanities” and DARIAH-EU organised a workshop Opening Up the Collection – Reuse & Publishing at the ELPUB Conference 2016. Read the feedback here.

The workshop (see the programme) will focus on the reuse and dissemination aspects within the life cycle of complex digital collections serving as sources for scientific use. It aims to bring citizen scientists, researchers, publishing initiatives and collection experts together in order to discuss the organisational, socio-economic and technical aspects of the reuse scenarios ‘dissemination and publication’ of complex digital collections.

When it comes to collections, scientific use should be defined in a broad sense as “systematic and rationale-oriented interaction leading to reusable results”. It thus comprises scholarly research within a disciplinary framework or across disciplines such as Digital Humanities and crowd-sourced science or Citizen Science.
Collections with a potential for scientific use are usually curated at national or research libraries, archives or museums and consist of different objects from the realm of cultural heritage (images, texts, artefacts etc.) as well as cultural records such as mass media objects or scholarly publications.

What they have in common is their nature as being available in digital format, either as retro-digitised or born digital objects and their potential to be analysed, processed and represented in new formats freed from most physical constraints.

Opening up those collections for scientific use and the respective dissemination and publishing in new digital contexts, we see five fields that call for discussion:

  • standards, object definition and data modelling;
  • ownership and responsibility over time;
  • presentation and access;
  • enriching collections by user-generated content;
  • publishing formats and publishing entities.