At the Digitisation Days, a round table meeting was organized, on 20 May, to obtain input from stakeholders regarding future research to further the development of the digital library. In addition, stakeholders were asked to give their view on the role of Centres of Competence in this. The discussion was structured around the topics USERS, ACCESS and DATA.
Some 30 librarians and researchers joined this workshop, and discussed the following topics:
1) The current state of affairs.
2) What stops us from making progress.
3) What would help to make progress.
4) What roles CoCs can play to move the issues forward.
The outcomes to date are, on the one hand, that “users” is not a generic term, but there are various groups of users with different needs. CoCs should try to liaise with the different groups and understand their needs. For instance, digital humanities scholars want better OCR, but researchers who develop OCR correction tools want good ground truth and standards for testing their tools. On the other hand, another outcome is that users and memory institutions should interact more: “From conservation to conversation.”
In addition, participants have discoved that IPR issues are still huge boundaries as regards they also believe that it is important that data should originate from trusted repositories and be available for the long term.
To sum up, CoCs can play a role by showcasing good practice, organizing the evaluation of tools and standards, coordinating initiatives for new research proposals, networking and teaching.
The outcomes will be input for a roadmap document on the role of Centres of Competence in future work programmes, one of the deliverables of the SUCCEED project. This document will contain stakeholders recommendations with their future vision for the period 2015-2025, discussing the long-term sustainability of the CoCs and exploring the possible combinations of funding in work programmes, business opportunities and public-private partnerships.