Research papers for Open GLAM: informing the Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage

Published in
3 min readMar 6, 2020


If you’ve been following our Twitter account, engaging in our monthly calls, or following our website, you already know that we are in the process of revising the Open GLAM Principles.

Looking into the library. “Interieur van Doopsgezinde Kerk Bij ‘t Lam, Amsterdam, Daniël Veelwaard (I), 1794” by Daniël Veelwaard (I) is licensed under CC0 1.0, Rijksmuseum collection.

This process is informed by a survey we did in late 2018, where the majority of respondents identified the need to make the Principles acknowledge more of the complex cultural nuances that cultural heritage institutions face. Another important aspect of the survey highlighted the need for more practical guidance: as one respondent of the survey put it:

“What does it mean in practical words some of these principles? They could give some examples on how to get it done. Would love some guidance!”

Creative Commons and the Wikimedia Foundation are stepping up to move these revisions forward, supporting the work around a White Paper that will inform a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage.

The purpose of the White Paper is to provide arguments and aid understanding on the relevance of going open access. It also aims to create a workable framework that can inform decision makers in creating a safer copyright environment for institutions to share their collections. The White Paper will also be accompanied by more guidance on how to actually implement open access at your institution.

With this in mind, an important aspect of the White Paper is researching and collecting resources around Open Access for cultural heritage, from theoretical insights to practical aspects of implementation. Andrea Wallace has already been collecting some of that knowledge (especially around copyright issues) in the great Copyright Cortex website, but the scope of the Declaration will include other aspects, as you can see in the structure that has been proposed.

To inform this ongoing work and make some of the research available, as a first step we are now publishing the Zotero folder. This is just a first step — we plan to organize the research in a searchable format after more progress is made with our website, which we expect to have fully online by October 2020.

Some of the research we are currently collecting in Zotero.

However, we know that there are countless resources out there, and especially resources that we haven’t come across, so that’s where we’d like your help. We have put together a form so you can submit the resources that you find inspiring. These might include: articles that have made you rethink the way you manage traditional knowledge; videos that help you formulate arguments to convince your institution to adopt Open Access policies; talks that raise awareness about releasing collections portraying people; or papers that help you build a case inside your institution of the value added to interoperable collections. It can even be slideshows!

Whatever you’ve found useful, we’ll be happy to make it part of our folder. You can either send resources that you produced or that others have produced — we welcome them all!

The form is short and sweet, and we have divided the resources into the areas that will be covered by the Declaration. But if there’s anything that you feel doesn’t fit within those criteria, we’re more than happy to take a look and consider adding.

You can also complete the form here.

And if you have more than one resource and you would like to share these directly, please just send us an email at info [at]

We especially welcome resources in languages other than English! We expect to have the Declaration prepared in at least five other languages, so any supporting documents in other languages to help make the case would be very beneficial.

You can complete the form here. If you’d like to stay updated, subscribe to our mailing list.




openglam, digitization, open licensing stuff