Standards for digital content such as file formats or metadata aren’t sexy. But they are crucial – without them resource discovery is impeded, functionality is diminished and long-term access is imperilled.
But implementing standards is not just a matter of a ‘Stalinist’ top-down mandate. Within in a project, service or an organisation standards impinge on all kinds of other issues – staff skills, costs of hardware, tools and software available, different end-users amongst others.
Alastair Dunning gave a talk at the Strategic Content Alliance’s event at Edinburgh, illustrating how standards need to be thought of as existing in an organic, shifting environment. Choosing to adopt an standards is not a straightforward matter – the ramifications of choosing any standards need be thought through.
It was followed up with a round table, also involving Brian Kelly from UKOLN.
The presentation is available from Slideshare. Details of the event as a whole, where along with standards, content licensing and sustainability models for digital content were discussed and debated in detail, will be available from the SCA blog.