Are Memory Institutions Ready for Open Data and Crowdsourcing? Results of a pilot survey from Switzerland

This presentation is part of the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 program.

Beat Estermann

Since the advent of the World Wide Web, the cultural heritage sector has undergone a series of changes. In a pilot survey among memory institutions (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) in Switzerland we have focused on two recent trends – open data and crowdsourcing – asking to what extent heritage institutions are ready to adopt open data policies and to embrace crowdsourcing strategies. The results suggest that so far, only very few institutions have adopted an open data policy. There are, however, signs that this may soon change: a majority of the surveyed institutions considers open data as important and believes that the opportunities prevail over the risks. Some obstacles, however, still need to be overcome, in particular the institutions’ reservations with regard to “free” licensing and their fear of losing control. With regard to crowdsourcing the data suggest that the adoption process will be slower than for open data. Although approximately 10% of the responding institutions seem already to experiment with crowdsourcing, there is no general breakthrough in sight, as a majority of respondents remain sceptical with regard to the benefits.

A PDF file will be made available on August 5, 2013, through the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 conference proceedings.

1 thought on “Are Memory Institutions Ready for Open Data and Crowdsourcing? Results of a pilot survey from Switzerland

  1. The full study report is available online (in English and German):

    Estermann Beat (2013): Swiss Heritage Institutions in the Internet Era. Results of a pilot survey on open data and crowdsourcing, Bern University of Applied Sciences, E-Government Institute.

    Estermann Beat (2013) : Schweizer Gedächtnisinstitutionen im Internet-Zeitalter. Ergebnisse einer Pilotbefragung zu den Themenbereichen Open Data und Crowdsourcing, Berner Fachhochschule, E-Government-Institut.

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