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material. In cases where the publishing
organisation does run into financial diffi-
culties or the limited-life programme
comes to an end, it was considered highly
likely that the service will migrate to
another server and/or supporting organisa-
tion, a practice of which there are already
examples.
FOR THE FUTURE
I
n order to improve working practices,
the principal UK funding bodies such as
the Heritage Lottery Fund (http://www.
hlf.org.uk/), Resource (http://www.resour
ce.gov.uk), the Arts and Humanities
Research Council (http://www.ahrb.
ac.uk/), and the Joint Information Systems
Committee (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/), need
to agree on a set of attributes which
should form part of the Website of any
organisation in receipt of funding.Why, if
the HLF insists, as it does, on strategy doc-
uments and business plans, are these not
available online? There needs to be a rea-
sonable amount of prototyping, support
and an appreciation of the unique facilities
of the Web in order to create quality
exemplars which can provide these valu-
able resources into the future.
the content on offer was free. Stewardship
Websites often featured the most up-to-
date sources, some of which were work-
in-progress or will not be printed by
traditional means for some time to come
(if at all).
T
here was also a very positive move
towards greater openness about what
we do and how we do it, particularly in
the public sector.This is a result of both
changing political attitudes and the new
opportunities that communications media
such as the Web have provided. In many
areas, stewardship being one of them, there
is a much greater tendency to share prac-
tice and experience that would not, a gen-
eration ago, have resulted in writing a
book or even a journal article.
S
tewardship on the Web will remain a
rapidly evolving subject. New sites will
continue to appear and the Best selection
of this study will inevitably lose some of its
currency. However, against this background
of change, sites recommended in this study
are expected to have a long future life, as
we assumed that, in most cases, the host
organisation will continue to update their
O
ne lesson that could be drawn from
this exercise was that perhaps it is
time for many stewardship professionals to
re-evaluate how they approach the presen-
tation of their work, particularly on the
Web. It has already been noted that the
audience for this work is now much more
broad-based than it has been in the past
and it is important that all potential users
are catered for. Broadening, simplifying and
clarifying sites will impress the funders of
the Websites and their attendant pro-
grammes, as they look for ways to increase
the potential and visibility of their invest-
ments.
SOME CONCLUSIONS
I
t was confirmed that the Web is an
excellent place to look for resources to
support stewardship at all levels, from the
interested amateur to the professional seek-
ing any type of advice.When the top 42
sites found in this study were considered,
the volume and quality of resources avail-
able on the Web were currently greater
than can be found in all but a handful of
the world's most lavishly equipped libraries
and research institutes.There were enor-
mous advantages in the fact that most of
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S
EMANTIC
W
EB
C
HALLENGE
performing specific tasks."The challenge
lasts for at least five years and each year, as
the knowledge and development of
semantic applications increases, a new goal
is added to the challenge. In 2003, submis-
sions must incorporate two external data
sources which follow different schemata,
although the data sets are not specified due
to the potentially very wide applicability
of the Semantic Web.
I
n 2003, the challenge invited submission
of Semantic Web applications from
industry and academia which adhere to a
D
igiCULT's recent publication
Thematic Issue 3 "Towards a
Semantic Web for Heritage Resources"
considers issues relating to the basis, devel-
opment and usage of Semantic Web tech-
nology by the cultural heritage sector.
Prior to the 2nd International Semantic
Web Conference in October, the Semantic
Web Challenge (http://challenge.seman-
ticweb.org/) aims to highlight new appli-
cations which use Semantic Web
techniques to create applications which
"integrate, combine and deduce informa-
tion from various sources to assist users in
set of minimum criteria and aim to satisfy
an additional list of desired functionality.
Minimum requirements were as follows:
information sources should be geographi-
cally distributed, structurally and semanti-
cally diverse, have diverse ownership and
contain real-world data. It was also
required that the applications assume that
information is never fully complete and
that some formal description of the mean-
ing of data was included.
R
egistration closed on 15 August and
applicants have until 15 September