packaging University museum collections information as part of open metadata provision
The online surveys were successful in reaching a wide range of UK University Museums and a smaller sample of University Museum users, thanks to the support of UMG, UMiS and Subject Specialist Networks, as well as join up with other JISC funded projects, such as OBL4HE & Cutting Edge, (http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/oblhe/ and http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/di_informationandlibraries/resourcediscovery/cuttingedge.aspx )
Similarly the support of UMG allowed the project to consult face to face with a range of University Museum professionals at the UMG conference 2012, which was also enlightening for The Great North Museum’s new displays and the conference insights into impact & evaluation issues for University Museums, esp re the Research Excellence Framework (see more on the conference at: http://www.umg.org.uk/2012/02/10/umgnccpe-event-impact-and-evaluation-learning-together/)
Some of the headline findings from the surveys include: a large volume of collection and item records from University Museums being ripe for resource discovery via the ‘Wrappers’ (contextualised aggregation) approach; with a strong indicator that ‘open’ terms & conditions, or at a minimum ‘attribution’ terms could be applied to these; plus a lot of digitisation still to be done across the sector and recognition of a range of audiences with differing needs to address through user-interfaces.
The latter was also evidenced in the consultation session findings, alongside the need to ideally align initiatives such as the ‘Wrappers’ approach with collections management standards and practices in the future; and to also try to join up with relevant research data when possible.
The findings should be of interest across the University Museum sector and to other areas of the ‘Discovery’ programme.