Toolkit | Tutorials | Ethical guidelines | Telling stories of impact | Takedown policies | Use and reuse | Related resources | Glossary


“A person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.”

Taken from Library Accessibility Alliance (2020).

Alert services

A tool that automates the detection of keywords and URLs shared on websites and social media.  Alert Services may be considered a subset of altmetrics as they may be used to measure discussion and sharing of scholarly content  outside of “traditional” scholarly publications.

Learn more about alert services.


A type of data that is used to measure the online influence and reach of digital resources.

Learn more about altmetrics.

Biocultural labels (BC Labels)

“The BC Labels define community expectations about appropriate use of biocultural collections and data. [They] focus on accurate provenance, transparency and integrity in research engagements with Indigenous communities…[and] ensure Indigenous people are represented in the metadata and create opportunities for future researchers to connect and support appropriate benefit sharing.” 

Taken from Local Contexts (2022). BC Labels.

Citation analysis

Bibliometric method of analysis that measures the impact of an item (typically a journal article or a book) by counting how frequently the item is cited in other articles, books and resources.

Learn more about citation analysis

Core values

Concepts put forward in the Ethical Considerations and Guidelines for the Assessment of Use and Reuse of Digital Content that must be considered when ethically assessing the use and reuse of digital objects.

Creative Commons licenses

Easy-to-understand licenses that creators can assign to their work that describe how their works can be used under copyright law. 

Fair Use

A concept in United States copyright law that allows for use of copyrighted materials without receiving permission in certain situations.

Focus Groups

Qualitative research method involving a small, guided group discussion to elicit in-depth information with users who meet certain demographic or experiential criteria.

Learn more about focus groups.


The General Data Protection Regulation is a European Union (EU) data privacy law that went into effect in 2018. The law regulates the collection, retention, and management of personal data of EU residents by companies, including higher education and GLAMR institutions.


Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Repositories. This acronym is commonly used to refer to cultural heritage organizations whose missions include freely providing access to knowledge. 


A qualitative research method involving one-on-one conversations with users.

Learn more about interviews.

Levels of Engagement

The extent to which a user interacts with and uses a digital object. These levels, represented from the simplest engagement to the most complex, are:

  • Access: To come into contact with a digital object.
  • Consumption: To view, read or listen to the intellectual content of a digital object.
  • Reformatting: To change the medium or delivery of a digital object.
  • Enhancement: To add functionality or accessibility to a digital object.
  • Sharing: To propagate the intellectual content of a digital object by distributing a means of access.
  • Reproducibility: To draw upon a digital object or data set to validate or verify a previous study’s method and/or results.
  • Recontextualization: To alter the surroundings or space that affect the meaning, purpose or intent of a digital object.
  • Transformation: To alter or change a digital object in such a way that results in the creation of a new, distinct entity.”

Taken from Kenfield, (2022).


An individual who curates, maintains, and/or preserves digital objects in a digital environment such as a digital library, digital repository, digital museum collection, digital exhibit, data repository, or digital archive.

While often a formal professional position, enthusiastic citizens, novices, hobbyists, and self-taught individuals are also practitioners, especially for community archives, citizen science, and eco-museum collections.

Point-of-use survey

An online survey triggered by specific user actions on a website, such as loading a web page or interacting with an element on a web page (e.g., downloading a digital object). A type of intercept survey, this research method is used when the members of a population are unknown (Toepel, 2016). 

Learn more about point-of-use surveys.


The concept of “the right to be let alone,” privacy refers to the freedom from intrusion or interference from others. Privacy also refers to the ability to control one’s personal data that is collected, used, shared, and retained by others.

A lack of privacy can lead to serious negative consequences for the person whose data is involved, ranging from emotional and reputational harms to physical and discrimination harms.

Taken from International Association of Privacy Professionals (2022).

Responsibility of the practitioner

Pragmatic approaches for practitioners to realize the Ethical Considerations and Guidelines for the Assessment of Use and Reuse of Digital Content when planning and engaging in use and reuse assessment, including analysis and distribution of results.

Reverse image search

Also called “reverse image lookup,” this method uses search tools to query and identify instances of the exact image or similar images found on publicly indexed websites based on the original image’s attributes and underlying metadata.

Learn more about reverse image search.


See Use and reuse below.


Structured questionnaires that can be completed on paper or online, typically through a form created by specialized software.

Learn more about surveys.

Traditional knowledge

“Knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities around the world.

Developed from experience gained over the centuries and adapted to the local culture and environment, traditional knowledge is transmitted orally from generation to generation.

It tends to be collectively owned and takes the form of stories, songs, folklore, proverbs, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, local language and agricultural practices, including the development of plant species and animal breeds.”

Taken from Convention on Biological Diversity (2022).

Traditional knowledge intellectual property (TKIP)

“Knowledge, know-how, skills and practices that are developed, sustained and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity.” 

Taken from World Intellectual Property Organization (n.d.).

Traditional Knowledge labels (TK labels)

A Local Contexts initiative by and for indigenous communities, “the TK Labels support the inclusion of local protocols for access and use to cultural heritage that is digitally circulating outside community contexts. The TK Labels identify and clarify community-specific rules and responsibilities regarding access and future use of traditional knowledge.” 

Taken from Local Contexts (2022). TK Labels.


An ongoing, iterative method to maintain responsible, inclusive, and accessible forms of communication to community stakeholders including creators, individuals and communities who may be depicted in collection materials, patrons, and curators.   

Use and reuse

Use is “passive interaction with a digital object that indicates potential interest and/or value to an external user,” while reuse is “active interaction with a digital object that indicates potential interest and/or value to an external user.”

Taken from Kenfield, (2022).

Learn more about use and reuse.

Web analytics

The collection and analysis of website usage data facilitated through proprietary or open-source tracking software or tools to parse web server logs.

Learn more about web analytics.


Convention on Biological Diversity. (2022). Introduction. Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Creative Commons. (n.d.). About CC Licenses. CC Creative Commons. 

International Association of Privacy Professionals. (2022).  What is privacy? IAPP.  

European Parliament and the Council of European Union. (n.d.). General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Intersoft Consulting. 

Kenfield, A.S., Woolcott, L., Thompson, S., Kelly, E.J., Shiri, A., Muglia, C., Masood, K., Chapman, J., Jefferson, D. and Morales, M.E. (2022), “Toward a definition of digital object reuse“, Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 378-394. 

Library Accessibility Alliance. (2020). Library Accessibility Toolkit

Local Contexts. (2022). BC Labels. Local Contexts.  

Local Contexts. (2022). TK Labels. Local Contexts. 

Toepoel, V. (2016). Introduction to online surveys. In Doing Surveys Online, pp. 1-18. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. 

U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index. 

World Intellectual Property Organization. (n.d.). Traditional Knowledge. WIPO. 

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