This is part of our reading for this week – the NISO guidelines for best practices for “good” digital collections. I wanted to put the link here for future reference; there is a pdf available of an earlier version, but it is not updated like this site is. Here is the site’s definition of the descriptor “good” as it applies to digital collections:
The use of the word “good” in this context requires some explanation. In the early days of digitization, a collection could be considered good if it provided proof of concept or resulted in new institutional capabilities—even if the resulting collection itself was short-lived or of minimal usefulness to the organization’s users
As the digital environment matured, the focus of digital collection-building efforts shifted toward the creation of useful and relevant collections that served the needs of one or more communities of users. The bar of “goodness” was raised to include levels of usability, accessibility, and fitness for use appropriate to the anticipated user group(s).
Digital collection development has now evolved and matured to a third stage, where simply serving useful digital collections effectively to a known constituency is not sufficient. Issues of cost/value, sustainability, and trust have emerged as critical success criteria for good digital collections. Objects, metadata, and collections must now be viewed not only within the context of the projects that created them, but as building blocks that others can reuse, repackage, repurpose, and build services upon. “Goodness” now demands interoperability, reusability, persistence, verification, documentation, and support for intellectual property rights.