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Is digitisation on topic?

+3 votes

There have already been a couple of questions focused on digitisation rather than digital preservation. I would assume that these are actually off topic and should be closed? The boundary is of course a little fuzzy.

I would propose that this community should be involved in decisions related to the results of a digitisation initiative. For example, the file formats and metadata schemas used, where/how the results are stored, and so on. However, questions focused on how to engage in digitisation, what types of scanners should be used or resolution to digitise at, will be off topic.

This question is about OCR, although is phrased in the title as a more general digitisation question. Is this in scope? Its a tough call.

As many of us in the digitisation community are well aware, confusing digital preservation for digitisation is a common mistake. I'd suggest adding some clear scoping detail on this to the "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" section of the FAQ. Examples may well be necessary to keep things clear.

Paul Wheatley

(from ZDPSE)

asked Dec 2, 2013 by anjackson (2,950 points)
Late to the party, but just wanted to say that I think we should not be surprised at the confusion. That Digital Preservation means Preserving Things Digital rather than Preserving Things Digitally is pretty confusing, and we should expect to help newcomers disambiguate the two.
Paul Wheatley: We could definitely use a migration path to Libraries and Information Science stack exchange, so any questions closed due to scope can be pushed in that direction.

1 Answer

+4 votes
Having worked on a few digitization projects and seen some bad preservation choices derail workflows, I would include all digitization questions here. Librarians managing these processes may have had little exposure to digital preservation and shouldn't be expected to write a digital preservation focused question like "What is the best way to preserve my OCR data?"

I also don't think we should be worried about being flooded by too many questions about best scanners, best resolutions, etc. Once these questions are asked and answered, their answers will remain valid for some length of time, and moderators should close duplicates and direct askers to those questions. When tech or standards change and a new question is valid, we can let a question pass through or even stage a question.

Topics like staffing and content selection might be off-topic, but anything about the production workflow seems relevant to our purpose.
answered Dec 3, 2013 by nkrabben (1,990 points)