HathiTrust Commitment to Quality
June 16, 2016
HathiTrust is committed to providing a high quality digitized corpus for all its stakeholders. These include a range of users, library communities, and related member organizations:
online end users
print retention and shared print programs
users with print disabilities
print and digital preservation communities
computational research communities
Quality as a concept may be defined differently by these stakeholder communities (and are detailed in the appendix below). Additionally, quality control measures may vary among the multiple digitization partners and automated methods through which HathiTrust acquires content. Recognizing these factors, HathiTrust focuses on addressing quality issues at multiple levels and at a macro scale that includes the digital objects as well as their metadata. The HathiTrust commitment thus includes a range of assessment approaches that aspire to ensure and improve quality over time as issues are identified.
In all cases, HathiTrust materials are subject to quality review as a fundamental step in the digitization process. Materials digitized by partner institutions or those made available through entities such as the Internet Archive are subject to formal quality review processes prior to the digital content entering the HathiTrust Digital Library. In the case of materials digitized by Google, HathiTrust devotes significant resources to ensuring the highest possible quality content, despite the extraordinarily high volume of material. This work is in addition to the substantial quality assurance processes Google undertakes.
HathiTrust partners have devoted attention to giving better definition to a shared sense of quality. Individual partners commit resources to externally verifying the quality of the materials, and document systemic problems in the digitization process. Partners work with Google to address specific quality issues and problems raised by the user community. HathiTrust partners that collaborate with Google have worked collectively to refine quality indicators and even processes.
HathiTrust’s processes rely on partner-contributed descriptive cataloging, ensuring that discovery is based on the highest standards of bibliographic data. HathiTrust has not to date relied on automated approaches to gather information about the works or infer information about the identity of the work from the metadata. Such methods are considered as opportunities arise and resources permit.
In order to address and prioritize quality issues, HathiTrust works directly with partners and through the Program Steering Committee and related groups to measure and document the current quality state of items and support an ongoing process of quality improvement.
Stakeholder Communities: Use Cases, Quality Issues and Improvement Strategies
HathiTrust is committed to an ongoing process of quality improvement for digital objects and metadata for all use cases. These stakeholder groups, use cases, quality issues and assessment strategies include:
Use Cases, Issues, and Strategies
Online end users
Print retention and shared print programs (e.g., HathiTrust’s Federal Documents program; Shared Print; National-/consortial- level shared print/digital programs)
Users with print disabilities
Print and digital preservation communities
Scholars of languages using non-roman alphabets/scripts
Computational research community (e.g., HTRC)