Definitions of Key Concepts

Digital Image

A digital image is a collection of picture elements (pixels) that converts the original picture into a two dimensional electronic form using binary codes, ones and zeros (Association of Art Museum Directors, 2011; Helms, 1990).

Digital Image Database

A digital image database refers to a compilation of digital images maintained by a museum or its affiliates, of the objects from their collections, primarily to support education, research or interests in the collections. These images should be larger than a thumbnail. The compilation should be freely available to the public through the World Wide Web, and searchable. Each image should also provide physical information that identify the object, such as the title, creator, year of creation, material/medium, techniques, dimensions and reproduction rights. On this site, we use the term “digital collections“.

Open and Openness

The Open Knowledge Foundation (n.d.) succinctly defined open as allowing anyone to “freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose”. However, ‘open’ may be viewed not only as a “simple binary concept”, but rather, the construct of ‘openness’ as suggested by (Hilton, Wiley, Stein, & Johnson, 2010). Wiley (2010) identified the “4R activities” that are permitted in the context of OER as follows:

  • Reuse: The right to reuse the content in its unaltered/verbatim form
  • Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
  • Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
  • Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, the revisions, or the remixes with others

Check out David Wiley explaining the 4Rs and their roles in education below:

Public Domain

Works that are no longer or not protected by copyright are said to be in public domain (Bielstein, 2006). This may be because that the work is not copyrighted in the first place or protection has expired. For example, 70 years after the death of the creator. Creative Commons refer the works in the public domain as Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or where the creator waive all copyright or relating rights associated with their work (Creative Commons, n.d.).

Terms of Use

Also known as terms of service (TOS) or terms and conditions (TOC), terms of Use (TOU)refers to the conditions provided that governs the relationship between the user of the website and its operator (Frieden, 2014).