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Birrell, D., Dobreva, M., Dunsire, G., Griffiths, JR., Hartley, RJ., Menzies, K., 2011.

The DiSCmap project: Digitisation of special collections: Mapping, assessment, prioritisation

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:New Library World
ISBN/ISSN:0307-4803
Volume/Issue:112 (1-2)
Pagination:pp. 19-44
Repository URL:e-space.mmu.ac.uk/190550

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. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.