Quality standards for cultural sites accessible on the Web:

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Nov 4, 2013 (4 years and 2 days ago)

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Quality standards for cultural sites
accessible on the Web:



THE BRUSSELS QUALITY

FRAMEWORK




A DISCUSSION DOCUMENT


2

CONTENTS

QUALITY STANDARDS FO
R CULTURAL SITES ACC
ESSIBLE ON THE WEB:

....

1

THE BRUSSEL
S QUALITY FRAMEWORK
................................
................................
...

1

A DISCUSSION DOCUMEN
T

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..........................

1

I

INTRODUCTION

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.......

3

1.

Context

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..............

3

2.

Purpose of the document

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...................

4

I
I

THE BRUSSELS QUALITY

FRAMEWORK

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..........................

4

1.

Definition and outline of the framework

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...........................

4

2.

Objectives

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4

3. Users

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5

4.

Benefits

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5. Overview of the quality framework

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5

III.

QUALITY CRITERIA: C
ATEGORIES OF CRITERI
A AND CRITERIA

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1. Scope of the site

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2. Presentation of
the site

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3. Content

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4. Policy

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5. Design
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7. Interactivity

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IV.

GRID OF QUALITY CRIT
ERIA FO
R CULTURAL SITES ON
THE WEB:

.........

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QUALITY STANDARDS FO
R CULTURAL SITES
ACCESSIBLE ON THE WE
B:

THE BRUSSELS QUALITY

FRAMEWORK

I

INTRODUCTION


1.

Context

Quality criteria have their genesis in the Lund Principles adopted on 4 Apri
l 2001, where
the European Commission was invited to collaborate with the Member States, in
particular, to "Optimise the value and develop shared visions of European content
,
by
developing criteria and a framework for an EU collaboration plan for digital c
ultural and
scientific content, together with an appropriate implementation means...( ) through
identifying added value conditions for European content…."

The Brussels Quality Framework appears in the conclusions of the experts' meeting "The
digisation of
European cultural heritage on the web", organised in Brussels on 17 July
2001 by the European Commission (DG Information Society) and the Belgian
Presidency of the European Union.

These conclusions are incorporated into the document "Coordination of nat
ional
digitisation policies & programmes" (September 2001) which was distributed as
background to the European Seminar "Culture & Internet" organised under the Belgian
Presidency in Mons on 22 September 2001.

The Brussels Quality Framework is also embedd
ed in the Resolution on "Culture & the
knowledge society" adopted at the European Council of the Ministers of Culture, on 5
November 2001. The Resolution invites the Commission and the Member States to
address a number of issues in support of digitisation

of cultural content and its
accessibility, making specific reference to the importance and added
-
value of the
common European heritage, to encouraging its visibility and diversity, to supporting
multilingualism and to providing access for all citizens to
this heritage through use of
new technologies. The Resolution more specifically invites Commission and Member
States to

-

encourage "quality
-
initiatives" in cultural web sites;

Quality criteria for sites delivering cultural content via the Web is a core iss
ue. There is
an increasing need for widely adopted criteria that can be used to characterise high
-
quality cultural Web sites and for systematic evaluation methods. Quality criteria enable
the institutions to express the work undertaken in the development

of their sites and the
high quality of their content. They also make it possible for a development team to take
quality issues into account from the beginning of a project.


4

The objective is not to regulate cultural content on the Web, but to provide a

framework

(tableau de bord)
that describes quality in terms of a set of more objective, measurable
factors. The framework should benefit from case studies, from experiences, from
standards and models available from EC initiatives and projects, and the s
tate of the art
worldwide, adapting and enhancing existing approaches to the specific requirements of
cultural web sites.

2.

Purpose of the document

This document, drawn up by the Belgian Presidency with the support of the European
Commission, is itself th
e result of work started by experts who met in Luxembourg on 15
November 2001. Its principal objective is to provide the baseline for a shared vision of
the criteria which should be used for cultural sites. It constitutes the preliminary stage
towards th
e definition of a more refined quality framework for cultural web sites, for
which work will continue in the months to come through the "Quality Framework
Experts Group" under the aegis of the National Representatives Group.

II

THE

BRUSSELS

QUALITY

FRAMEWO
RK

1.

Definition and outline of the framework

Quality is a very broad, generic and subjective concept. The aim of this quality
framework is to make quality more objective, applicable and measurable within the
scope of the cultural sites on the Web.

2.

Objec
tives

Quality criteria enable institutions to express the work done in developing their sites and
the high quality of their content in a discoverable way. The objective is not to regulate
the cultural content on the Internet but to support visibility, tra
nsparency, understanding
and confidence in cultural sites on the web, whatever their size.

The development of quality can be seen from two perspectives:

the "external" final product (as it is perceived directly by the end
-
user);

and also the process of d
evelopment of the Web site, ie the "internal product"
(addressing technical and technological aspects such as the quality of the software
code and architecture, of the digitisation standards, of metadata, etc.)

The quality criteria have therefore a double

objective. On the one hand, they represent
the quality factors for evaluating the quality of a cultural site on the Web. On the other
hand, they direct and support the process of design and of development of a cultural web
site. However, any framework

has to provide certain evaluation methods to make it
possible for institutions and for the users to measure the level of quality achieved by a
given "product".

The work carried out up to now has focused on the quality of the "external product" of
the

WEB cultural sites, particularly since there are guidelines and good practice for

5

improving technical design emerging from other domains and sectors which should
eventually be taken into account.

3. Users

The user is at the centre of this initiative whi
ch aims to give him access to readable,
ergonomic sites, with certified content.

The principal users for the quality evaluation framework are the following "entities":

-

cultural institutions

-

end
-
users

-

political and ministerial institutions which are

responsible for promoting quality
standards and for co
-
ordinating digitisation efforts in the field of cultural heritage

-

developers and evaluators of cultural sites on the Web

4.

Benefits

Quality marking for digital content creates confidence in the user
. The aim is not to
sanction those Internet sites which do not meet the quality criteria, but to identify
positively high quality cultural information. This will help guide users in their search for
high quality content.

The expected benefits of a qualit
y framework, targetted at the "external product" include
the following:

-

the framework can represent a reference model

-

the framework can promote standardisation and interoperability of cultural sites on
the web

-

if quality criteria are also made availa
ble to end
-
users (for example, in the form of
on
-
line questionnaires), the framework can encourage a more critical attitude among
end
-
users towards cultural sites on the Web, and can increase the maturity web site
market

5. Overview of the quality framewo
rk

A framework is an evolving entity, which will be extended and improved. Moreover, it
is intended to be defined as the result of cooperative efforts at European level. The
evolutionary and co
-
operative nature of the definition process provides the fra
mework of
quality with additional benefits:

-

the framework can encourage cooperation between Member States and can promote
the establishment of networks focused on quality issues

-

it can emphasise the common cultural heritage of Europe


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III.


QUALITY CR
ITERIA: CATEGORIES
OF CRITERIA AND CRIT
ERIA


1. Scope of the site

The users' motivation to use and trust in a web site is an important aspect of quality. To
achieve this goal, a site on the web has to make clear and visible to its users its scope in
t
erms of resources and of services available, of target audience, of languages available,
and of any information which improves the credibility of the content.

The proposed criteria are:

5.3


scope statement

-

target audience

-

subject and types of resources
(data and services)

1.2


authority

-

identification and letters of accreditation of the institution

-

site "history"

1.3.

language

2. Presentation of the site

2.1.

aim of the site

2.2.

mission of the site

3. Content

If the content is an essential criterion of
the quality of a cultural site on the web, it is
important to recall that the aim of this quality framework is not to regulate cultural
content on Internet.

The quality of the contents can be analysed from two main perspectives:

-

the quality of cultu
ral information transmitted to the user, and

-

the logical organisation of information

3.1.

The quality of cultural information transmitted to the user can be communicated
by making explicit the sources of information, their uniqueness, the credibility

of
its actors, the temporal validity of the data, the extent of coverage of the subjects
given in the scope.

-

content of the resources

-

identification and authority of sources

-

currency

-

coverage of information, comprehensiveness

-

uniqueness


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3.2.


The

content made available by a site on the web must be properly organised, and
the semantic relations have to be clear.

-

content structure

-

clustering effectiveness

4. Policy

This category covers criteria which address the site's policy in two areas: wit
h respect to
legal issues (such copyright, privacy); and with respect to the institution's policy
regarding sustainability and maintenance (such as frequency, update time, editorial
policy).

4.1.

legal policy

-

data protection

-

IPR

4.2.

maintenance polic
y

-

publication date

-

update date

-

maintenance

-

site duration

-

editorial committee

5. Design

The design of a site is defined by images, by the text, by the links. Its objective is to
improve the delivery of information, the effectiveness of its use.

T
hree criteria make it possible to evaluate the design of cultural sites on the web.

5.1. accessibility

5.2. navigability (logical organisation)

5.3

links (relevance
-

selection, content; back links; regular verification)

7. Interactivity

This possibilit
y, with options interactive response, is a unique advantage of the technique
of the Internet.



8

IV.


GRID

OF

QUALITY

CRITERIA

FOR

CULTURAL

SITES

ON

THE

WEB:



Scope

1.

statement


2. Authority

3.

language


Presentation of the site

1. Aim of the site

2. Mission of the site

Contents

1.
Contents of the resource
: identification
and authority; currency; uniqueness;
comprehensiveness


2.

content structure:

clustering effectiveness

Policy

1.

policy on legal issues

2.

maintenance policy

Design

1.

accessib
ility

2.

navigability (logical organisation)

3.

Links (relevance, back linking,
verification)

Interactivity

response mechanisms