Our research

The GDD Network partners are working together to assess the feasibility of aggregating their library catalogue data for digitised texts. The aim is to produce better data by comparing the records, and also to show what had been digitised and where it is.

The idea is that a global register could make it make it easier for people to find – and therefore use – digitised books, and help organisations decide where to focus their efforts and resources when choosing what to digitise next.

Our research aims are to:

  • Answer the question of whether it is feasible and worthwhile to create a global dataset of digitised texts for digital scholars, libraries and readers.
  • Develop a stronger understanding of the impact that a global dataset of digitised texts could have.
  • Investigate models for developing a sustainable global dataset, increasing the impact from the UK and the US towards a global network.

What kinds of texts are included?

The focus is on digitised texts as objects. So we’re interested in digitised print works rather than the text contained within them, and are currently focusing on monographs.

But the scope of what could be included in a global register could be wider and more varied in the future. We’re keen to hear from people who work with digitised texts about their views of what should be in scope and why.

What is the progress of the work?

The GDD Network members are working through a set of objectives which will help to achieve the research aims.

These are:

  1. Analysing digital holdings data by taking major UK libraries through HathiTrust’s data collection process.
  2. Documenting the benefits a global dataset could bring, through a facilitated workshop of academic, non-academic and library audiences.
  3. Developing a prototype dataset of digitised texts.
  4. Investigating options and opportunities to develop a sustainable global dataset and related services.

By December 2019 we will produce:

  • A prototype dataset and the results of the overlap analysis and data matching.
  • An accompanying report into broader context for, and benefits of, a potential global dataset for digitised texts.

Follow the blog for more updates.