Research report: Rutten, Kris, Peter Mechant, Eveline Vlassenroot, Tamar Cachet, Fien Danniau, and Christophe Verbruggen. 2018. “De Digitale Transitie Is Mensenwerk : Onderzoek Naar de Noden Op Het Vlak van (Her)Gebruik van Digitale Culturele Content in de Samenleving.” De Digitale Transitie Is Mensenwerk : Onderzoek Naar de Noden Op Het Vlak van (Her)Gebruik van Digitale Culturele Content in de Samenleving. Brussel: Departement Cultuur, Jeugd en Media.
More and more cultural organisations and institutions are making their information, including digital cultural content, available digitally. This data creates opportunities to develop new applications through which certain target groups can participate in culture in innovative ways. Today, however, the content that institutions have at their disposal is insufficiently accessible according to the needs of the potential (re)user. Content is sometimes poorly accessible or can only be (re)used in a limited way. Institutions sometimes manage data that they themselves do not know is of value. Nevertheless, stimulating the use and reuse of digital cultural content in various sectors can contribute to the mission of a cultural institution by increasing both its social relevance as an institution and its reach.
This report is a deliverable of the research project 'ECulture' that was executed by the UGent research groups MICT, GhentCDH and Culture & Education for the Department of Culture, Youth and Media. The research project departs from the central question concerning the conditions that need to be met to be able to speak of a fully-fledged digital ecosystem for the creation, distribution, use and reuse of digital cultural content. All too often, this analysis is reduced to the technical conditions (from metadata and other standards to repositories). We also see a number of other important conditions that need to be met in order to reap the full benefits of the opportunities that the digital revolution brings: knowledge, skills and, above all, a set of attitudes that we believe have been underdeveloped so far.
This research project wishes to gain insight into the needs in the field of (1) on the one hand, offering digital cultural content to sectors other than the cultural sector and (2) on the other hand, the use of digital cultural content by organisations from these sectors. The general research question of the project is: "What conditions should the cultural sector fulfil in order to satisfy the needs of re-users of digital cultural content?".
In the first phase of the project, a landscape drawing was developed. The existing international literature and reports about the needs in the field of digital cultural content outside the cultural and heritage sector were mapped out and a critical reading of the vision paper 'a Flemish cultural policy in the digital age' was offered.1 All literature and reports were brought together in a shared full text Zotero library that is made available to the client together with this report. This first phase of the project was concluded with a workshop in which the landscape drawing was checked with the steering committee. The PowerPoint presentation of this workshop is also made available in the appendices of this report. In the second phase of the project, through case studies, we focused on two sectors that inherently also have interfaces with other social domains: education and research. This report describes the results of these case studies. In particular, it elaborates on the results and conclusions of a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews in which we explored with interlocutors the conditions that the cultural sector needs to fulfil in order for digital cultural content to be used and reused in the world of research and education. In addition, the results of two focus groups with researchers on the one hand and teachers on the other hand are discussed in which propositions were discussed about the needs in the use of digital cultural content. These propositions were formulated on the basis of the in-depth interviews. In the third phase of the project, the results of the case studies were tested with stakeholders from the cultural field during a validation workshop.