A 10-category typology has been collaboratively developed within the framework of the Digital Community Heritage Working Group, to categorise digital community heritage initiatives:
citizen science: participation by non-professionals in scholarly research, citizen humanities, citizen social science: “Sometimes also referred to as volunteer monitoring, amateur science, community or crowdsourced science, increases the impact and reach of research projects by inviting the public to participate in data collection, analysis, or reporting. By allowing any curious or concerned person to join in, researchers gain the additional eyes, ears, or helping hands they need to make important scientific discoveries.”1
crowdsourcing: the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project from a large number of people, individuals or communities, either paid or unpaid.2 In the context of memory institutions it is often understood as a request to the general public to help contribute to shared goals. It is more than just new content generation or provision of data enrichment. It is seen as a form of mutually beneficial engagement with the collections and research for all the involved stakeholders.3
community science: defined as scientific research and monitoring, based on scientific modes of inquiry, which are (i) community-driven and community-controlled, (ii) characterized by place-based knowledge and social learning, collective action and empowerment, and (iii) with the normative aim to negotiate, improve and/or transform governance for stewardship and social-ecological sustainability.4
community-based participatory research (CBPR): “joining with the community as full and equal partners in all phases of the research process, makes it an appealing model for research with vulnerable populations. However, the CBPR approach is not without special challenges relating to ethical, cultural, and scientific issues.” Synonyms: action research, participatory research, participatory action research, community-based research, action science, action inquiry, and cooperative inquiry.5
community engaged research: An umbrella term for all kinds of community-oriented engagement with knowledge production. Perhaps the best way to understand community-engaged research (CER) is through the handbook created in 2021 by the SFI, which defines CER as a partnership between academics (but also GLAM institutions) and community members. “By allowing communities to co-create knowledge, community-engaged research can build capacity for imagination, and enhance the capacity of communities to advocate for their own well-being.”6
commons-based peer production: when large numbers of people collaborate online in a productive, even virtuous way towards the greater good. The term was coined by Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum in 2006 in their discussion of digitally networked environments.7 Commons-based peer production involves the use of resources that are owned by everyone and no one. Synonyms: consumer co-production and collaborative media production. See also “crowdsourcing.”
folksonomy: peer-to-peer type of classification / organization of content and information with the use of online tags; usually not structured. Folksonomy is extremely helpful in searching for content online, since the user-generated tags are keywords most people use to identify and categorize content and information. Can also refer to “crowd-sourced tagging”; also social tagging, collaborative tagging, social classification and social bookmarking.8
joint curation: when multiple interested parties (e.g., museum curators, scientists, researchers) from different institutions collaboratively curate a collection, often guided by a joint memorandum of understanding.9 Alternatively, when community members meaningfully participate in the curating, licensing, metadata documentation, contextualization, and interpretation of cultural heritage materials in a collection. For example, joint curation can support Indigenous cultural interests and values, whereby “experts from the communities of origin” collaborate with GLAM staff from the countries where such cultural property is held.10 In this way, metadata descriptions emanate from community members’ own communities and perspectives; community members use the tools and platforms11 made available from cultural heritage institutions.
social art practice: when artists engage their public in the process of artistic creation. Also called “interactive art” or “participatory art,” social art practice involves community engagement and public interaction. Sometimes the main purpose of the art is to inspire a public participant’s physical actions or sensory manipulation–the art becomes the public’s reaction. Other times community members actively install the artwork alongside the artist. The resulting work then becomes a co-creation, and can have the power to comment on the nature of art itself (the collaboration becomes a rejection of “modern art’s obsession with individual expression”) or on the necessity of human interaction and social discourse to make meaning.12 Social practice art often happens outside of the studio, and its aesthetic aspect is downplayed. Furthermore, it can be indistinguishable from museum outreach.13
participatory data governance (in relation to cultural heritage)14: when an institution actively involves community members (e.g., “relevant stakeholders” such as government representatives, private citizens/volunteers, civic organizations, NGOs) in a publicly-oriented project. These stakeholders would help make planning and implementation decisions, as well as assist in guiding the project to increase its public accountability to the public and overall transparency, actively building trust with public entities. In other words, participatory data governance means “active involvement” with every stage of the whole project.15
digital action/activism16: refers to instances of social and political campaigning practice that use digital network infrastructure.17 The term encompasses the digital technology that is used in a given activism movement, the economic, social, and political context in which such technology is used, and the self- or group motivation that triggers action.18 Digital activism will be used as an umbrella term including multiple forms of digitally supported social action, where technological choices, modes of participation, degrees of engagement, organisation and scope can vary and can include forms such as hacktivism and the maker movement.
community archiving: when independent efforts emerging from within communities collect, preserve and make accessible records documenting localized histories, often outside of mainstream archival institutions, and without traditional intervention of formally trained archivists, historians or librarians.19 These efforts arise out of a desire to document cultural heritage through collective decision making, involving various stakeholders who share experiences, interests and/or identities.20