The DiSCmap project

Duncan Birrell (Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Milena Dobreva (Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Gordon Dunsire (Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Jillian R. Griffiths (Centre for Research in Library and Information Management, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Richard J. Hartley (Centre for Research in Library and Information Management, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Kathleen Menzies (Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 11 January 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the outcomes of digitisation of special collections: mapping, assessment, prioritisation (DiSCmap), a JISC and RIN‐funded project which studied users' priorities for the digitisation of special collections within the context of UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Design/methodology/approach

The project produced a list of 945 collections nominated for digitisation by intermediaries and end users and a user‐driven prioritisation framework. Data were gathered via web questionnaires. Focus groups and telephone interviews with end users provided additional insights on the views of those working within particular domains or disciplines. Over 1,000 intermediaries and end users contributed by nominating collections for the “long list” and providing opinions about digitisation priorities.

Findings

The long list of collections nominated for digitisation provides evidence of identified user interest and is not merely a “snapshot” but a significant outcome. A user‐driven framework for prioritising digitisation was also produced. The project suggests a flexible approach for prioritising collections for digitisation based on the use of the framework in combination with the long list of collections.

Research limitations/implications

The project did not undertake a representative study; the participation of intermediaries and end users was a matter of goodwill. Yet 44 per cent of HEIs in the UK nominated special collections to the long list.

Originality/value

The paper provides new insights and evidence on user priorities for the digitisation of special collections. It also suggests a user‐driven digitisation prioritisation framework of benefit in future decision making, both locally and nationally.

Keywords

Citation

Birrell, D., Dobreva, M., Dunsire, G., Griffiths, J., Hartley, R. and Menzies, K. (2011), "The DiSCmap project", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 1/2, pp. 19-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074801111100436

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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