Quality criteria have their genesis in the Lund Principles adopted on 4 April 2001, where the European Commission was invited to collaborate with the Member States, in particular, to "Optimise the value and develop shared visions of European content, by developing criteria and a framework for an EU collaboration plan for digital cultural and scientific content, together with an appropriate implementation means...( ) through identifying added value conditions for European content…."
The Brussels Quality Framework appears in the conclusions of the experts' meeting "The digisation of European cultural heritage on the web", organised in Brussels on 17 July 2001 by the European Commission (DG Information Society) and the Belgian Presidency of the European Union.
These conclusions are incorporated into the document "Coordination of national digitisation policies & programmes" (September 2001) which was distributed as background to the European Seminar "Culture & Internet" organised under the Belgian Presidency in Mons on 22 September 2001.
The Brussels Quality Framework is also embedded in the Resolution on "Culture & the knowledge society" adopted at the European Council of the Ministers of Culture, on 5 November 2001. The Resolution invites the Commission and the Member States to address a number of issues in support of digitisation of cultural content and its accessibility, making specific reference to the importance and added-value of the common European heritage, to encouraging its visibility and diversity, to supporting multilingualism and to providing access for all citizens to this heritage through use of new technologies. The Resolution more specifically invites Commission and Member States to
- encourage "quality-initiatives" in cultural web sites;
Quality criteria for sites delivering cultural content via the Web is a core issue. There is an increasing need for widely adopted criteria that can be used to characterise high-quality cultural Web sites and for systematic evaluation methods. Quality criteria enable the institutions to express the work undertaken in the development of their sites and the high quality of their content. They also make it possible for a development team to take quality issues into account from the beginning of a project.
The objective is not to regulate cultural content on the Web, but to provide a framework (tableau de bord) that describes quality in terms of a set of more objective, measurable factors. The framework should benefit from case studies, from experiences, from standards and models available from EC initiatives and projects, and the state of the art worldwide, adapting and enhancing existing approaches to the specific requirements of cultural web sites.
The Brussels Quality Framework has produced a basis document during the first NRG meeting held in Brussel on the 11 december 2001.
This document was produced after a meeting of experts held in Luxembourg on the 15 november 2001.
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