Editorial note for special issue on the evaluation of digital cultural resources

Economou, Maria and Ruthven, Ian and Galani, Areti and de Niet, Marco (2019) Editorial note for special issue on the evaluation of digital cultural resources. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH), 12 (1). 1e. ISSN 1556-4673 (https://doi.org/10.1145/3307313)

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Digital technologies have a significant impact on all areas of operation of cultural heritage organisations, from documenting, interpreting, and exhibiting the collections to communicating and interacting with diverse audience groups. As the cultural heritage sector is gaining substantial experience in communicating collections information in multiple digital forms—whether an online catalogue, virtual exhibition, mobile app, museum interactive, or social media exchange—the focus of both practitioners and researchers working in this area has started shifting to user engagement, which increasingly affects cultural encounters and shapes users’ perception of cultural organisations. Cultural and educational institutions around the world are heavily investing into digitisation and the development and use of various digital tools to make their collections accessible both online and onsite. Yet, we still know relatively little about who uses these digital collections and applications, how they interact with the associated data, how they value these cultural services, and what the impacts of these digital resources are, both on the users and the organisations themselves.