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Addressing The Limitations Of Open Standards


Brian Kelly is a co-author of a paper on "Addressing The Limitations Of Open Standards" which was presented at the Museums and the Web 2007 conference held in San Francisco on 11-13th April 2007.



This paper is available in the University of Bath institutional repository (OPuS).

Addressing The Limitations Of Open Standards
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Citation Details

Kelly, B., et al., Addressing The Limitations of Open Standards. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 31, 2007 at <>
Also available at <>


The importance of open standards in the development of widely accessible and interoperable services in the cultural heritage sector is generally accepted. It might, therefore, be reasonable to assume that use of open standards should be mandatory in the development of networked services. However experience has shown that the use of open standards is not always straightforward and that open standards do not always succeed in gaining acceptance in the market place.

This should not, however, mean an abandonment of a commitment to seek to exploit the benefits of open standards. Rather there is a need to be honest about possible limitations and to ensure that there is sufficient flexibility within the approaches taken in development work to accommodate limitations and deficiencies.

This paper outlines a contextual model for the selection and use of open standards, which was developed initially to support JISC's development programmes within the UK higher and further education community. The paper provides background to this work and reviews the current status of the implementation of this approach. Finally it conclude by describing how this community-based approach to open standards can benefit from a wider acceptance of the contextual model and a collaborative approach to both using existing resources and support materials and in the maintenance and development of new resources.

Keywords: Open Standards, Polices; Digital Library

Biographical Details

Brian Kelly works for UKOLN, a centre of expertise in digital information funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Further and Higher Education Funding Councils and Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). Brian's job title is UK Web Focus - a national Web coordination and advisory post. His areas of work include Web standards, Web accessibility and quality assurance for digital library development activities. A current key area of work is in describing what Web 2.0 is and developing strategies for exploiting the benefits which Web 2.0 can provide whilst minimising potential risks.

Marieke Guy works for UKOLN, a centre of expertise in digital information management, as a member of the Interoperability Focus team. Interoperability Focus is a national activity, jointly funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Further and Higher Education Funding Councils and Museums, Libraries a nd Archives Council (MLA). Marieke is currently responsibility for the JISC Standards Catalogue, a list of technical standards relevant to the JISC's development work. She is also chair of the annual Institutional Web Management Workshop. This event provides an opportunity for those involved in the provision of institutional Web services to hear about and discuss institutional case studies, national initiatives and emerging technologies.

Alastair Dunning is the Communications Manager at the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS). AHDS is a is a UK national service funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to collect, preserve and promote the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the arts and humanities. Alastair's role includes organising AHDS Workshops to help inform data creators, producing case studies on examples of good practice in data creation, giving initial advice to AHRC applicants and administrating the Web site.

Citations Of The Paper

On 25 July 2012 there was 1 citation of this paper according to Google Scholar Citations.