Digital Marine LibrariesInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: April 26, 2016
End Date: April 27, 2016
Venue: Plymouth (UK)
Contact: Nicolas Pade
E-mail: nipa [at]
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2015 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €7,500
Funds Granted: €4,000

Manager(s): Barbara Bultmann, Nicolas Pade

This foresight workshop will devise a strategy for digitising marine information to meet the needs of library users in the 21st Century. Designing new services of interest to the Marine research community could facilitate the information flow in blue growth.

The 40 participants will explore current facilities to make historical information available and searchable online, identify important historical literature collections to be digitised and work towards an understanding of how relevant information could be extracted and submitted to overarching initiatives. The foresight workshop will explore the potential for collaboration and pooling of resources with invited speakers from international projects and world-renown institutions such as the Biodiversity Heritage Library, EURASLIC, EMODnet Biology, WoRMS/WiRMS, Plazi and EMBRC.

The aim is to highlight where the marine knowledge component fits into the existing network of projects on knowledge management, leading to the production of a synthesis paper outlining a new forward thinking role for marine libraries in the 21st century. The paper will form the basis for creating an EMBRC information portal and allow digitisation of selected unique records. This adds value by providing new insight and access to valuable archives, records and information of real benefit to the international marine scientific research community and the wider public.

Bringing together the marine biological libraries in Europe will foster collaborative relationships leading to new long term services for the marine scientific community. It will continue libraries’ role in securing and providing long term access to information and data. With the possibility of linking new services in EMBRC, the group will have further opportunities to identify suitable H2020 funding to make the project a reality.

The workshop was attended by 27 delegates from seven countries, representing 22 organisations, covering research organisations, universities, libraries and museums, and private companies. Three main questions were the base for discussion: Models for co-operation, formulating project ideas, and sources of potential funding and funding strategies. The DIGIMAR participants felt that there were many advantages in pooling efforts and expertise to improve the services provided by libraries. A number of potential projects and funding organisations were identified during the workshop. It was agreed that to create a shared on-line space for the DIGIMAR community which would include a list of potential projects and funders that could be shared amongst the community for future applications.

Based on the two days of discussion, the DIGIMAR partners have defined the following purpose for this newly formed community:

“To form an international community of marine librarians, archivists and data analysts who will strive to increase accessibility of relevant historical information and data. The community will seek to establish guidelines and methodologies, based on existing formats and standards, for digitisation and presenting digitally in uniform ways information currently held in non-digital formats. Pilot projects will provide proof of concept and feasibility of methodologies.

The final aim is to establish a framework for ensuring continuity in the digitisation effort, to maximise searchablily and harvestability in order to establish long term access to marine science material for a diverse community of users, ranging from research scientists to policy makers and social scientists."