Importance of Open Content for GLAMs Highlighted by Horizon Report 2012

January 16, 2013 in Featured, News

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The New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Reports provide insight into the technology trends that are most likely to have significant impact over the next 5 years. Put together by a distinguished, global advisory board of experts from a variety of sectors and with over one million downloads downloads in the last ten years, it has become an invaluable resource for those wanting to know what the next big thing is going to be.

The 2012 Museum Edition has highlighted the growing importance of Open Content cultural heritage sector, focussing on the ways in which Open Content can impact exhibitions, collections and marketing within GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) as well as the interpretation of cultural artefacts themselves:

For museums, open content is a way
collections and exhibition materials
representing the world’s natural and
cultural common wealth can be more
easily shared.
of content.

It is now the mark — and social
responsibility — of world-class institutions to develop
and share free cultural and educational resources.
Potential abounds for a museum’s open content to be
dispersed, repurposed, and curated all over the web.

The report also clearly marks out the way in which the growth of open content on the web is changing our fundamental attitudes to education and the function of educational institutions:

The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way scholars in many parts of the
world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the
information conveyed in courses. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of
it. Open content embraces not only the sharing of information, but the sharing of pedagogies and
experiences as well.

The report discusses the way in which open content is challenging traditional modes of educational and academic publishing and offering a much more cost-effective alternative:

Part of the appeal of open content is that it is also a response to both the rising
costs of traditionally published resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions. It
presents a cost-effective alternative to print catalogs and other materials.

Touching on the issue of how cultural heritage institutions are having to re-think the way they license material and share it with the public, the report highlights the opportunity that exists for cultural heritage instituions to be on the forefront of the open culture movement:

New intellectual property licensing options have
resulted in some museums rethinking the dissemination
of content. Many in museums believe that they
should be at the forefront of open content modeling
— illustrating how best to share content, establish
standards, and take part in the global conversations
about policy, the Creative Commons, and open culture.

To read more about the report and the other key tech trends that will be influencing the GLAM sector in the coming years visit the NMC site.

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