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Cost Reduction In Digitisation


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Cost Reduction In Digitisation

  1. 1. Human Factors in Reducing the Cost of Digitisation Simon Tanner Director King’s Digital Consultancy Services Email: Web:
  2. 2. Introducing KDCS <ul><li>Part of Centre for Computing in the Humanities </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>More than 30 staff in CCH </li></ul><ul><li>We seek to foster awareness, understanding and skill in the scholarly applications of computing </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for own teaching programmes, U/G + MA </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Futures Academy with OCLC in UK and USA </li></ul><ul><li>Research centre – developing innovative approaches to digital resources & scholarly communication/research </li></ul><ul><li>More than 30 collaborative projects in Europe, Africa & USA </li></ul><ul><li>Over 20 million Euro in research income over 5 years </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Cost factors in digitisation projects </li></ul><ul><li>Human intervention and digitisation costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing costs = optimising the human factor </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of the human factor </li></ul>
  4. 4. Cost factors <ul><li>Effective utilisation of resources in developing digital content and establishing digital collections equals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start up costs of creating or purchasing digital content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation costs for establishing access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implicit costs in managing and maintaining digital resources in the future </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digitisation cost – the key factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of the original item to be digitised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digitisation processes possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information, content and delivery objectives </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Human cost factors – central thesis <ul><li>The higher the human intervention in any process the greater the likely cost of the process. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection for digitisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handling original artefacts for imaging/scanning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing digital objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describing digital resources and other metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In other words – consider where humans may provide optimal performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Durham Libae Vitae Penny Illustrated Paper, October 1868 Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Lambeth Palace, church plan of St. James Sheldwich
  7. 7. Cost matrix of potential factors
  8. 8. Example 1: glass plate photographs
  9. 9. Example 2: low value financial records
  10. 10. Example 3: newspaper content Penny Illustrated, October 1861 News of the World, June 1918
  11. 14. Reducing human cost factors <ul><li>Reduce cost of labour: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsource – e.g. offshore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deskill activity through better tools and guidance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer alternate opportunities to low cost labour </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optimise productivity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve workflow – remove inefficiencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value and reward ability and reliability </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. Reducing human cost factors <ul><li>Quality Assurance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure is focussed and systematic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal of QA is to find errors in process, workflow or human errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use QA to optimise activity - make QA proactive and pervasive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Handling originals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for alternative originals but understand the image quality trade-offs – e.g. microfilm, disbound copies or existing photography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robotic handling of bound volumes now possible </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. The continuing importance of humans! <ul><li>Management and vision </li></ul><ul><li>User needs </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual activities are not easily replaced, for example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection of content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The ends of information are human ends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digitised information exists because humans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>create it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>consume it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>desire it </li></ul></ul></ul>