background image
3. Once the profile is complete the research team conducts interviews with sites that
have been using the technology.We use these interviews to produce case study
evidence.These provide information about, for example, the process of introducing
the technology and details of the impact of the technology on the institution, its
staff and visitors.
4. Where the technology is not generally in use in the heritage sector or a sub-sector,
scenarios are drafted to show how it might be used and the kinds of benefits that it
might bring.
5. Before release, each section of the report is reviewed by DigiCULT partners, at least
one member of the steering committee and other independent experts.
6. After this initial internal review, each briefing is made available for comment on the
www.digicult.info web site. Comment on the report is actively encouraged from
members of the cultural heritage community and technology specialists.
Because we recognise that many institutions do not have access to technical support
services to help them to assess technologies the reports emphasise the quality assurance
processes in their production. At the outset, the technical sources are selected for their
relevance, the significance of their contribution, their accessibility and availability, the
clarity of their presentation, the transferability of the examples that they describe and an
assessment of the credibility of the authors and their institutional or organisational back-
ground.Where online literature is used preference has been given to that which is held
on sites with archiving strategies or that are managed by major research institutions likely
to curate their digital assets and ensure their long-term availability.
Interviews and questionnaires are used in developing technology assessments, and
therefore the necessity to involve only appropriate and credible respondents is recog-
nised. Experts are sought with the following characteristics:
- familiarity with the information and technology sectors;
- knowledge of technology and the process of its introduction into a sector for the
archives, libraries and museum arenas;
- experience-based knowledge;
- aptitude in describing the specialised role of an organisation and its policy making
frameworks; and,
- skills at explaining the role that technology can play within the heritage sector.
Scenarios are tested to ensure that they offer readers easy ways to understand how a
technology meets the needs of their community (organisation). Each scenario is checked
to ensure that it:
- is easily understandable and has an adequate contextual setting;
- is contextually real (i.e. that it is appropriate and likely);
- reports benefits of the technology that are appropriate to the category, type, and size
of institution which is the focus of the scenario; and,
- is not too temporally bound, i.e. that the problem, solution and context will still be
real in three to five years and that the solution will still be at the cutting edge in the
medium term.
Introduction
14