Toward a definition of digital object reuse
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present conceptual definitions for digital object use and reuse. Typically, assessment of digital repository content struggles to go beyond traditional usage metrics such as clicks, views or downloads. This is problematic for galleries, libraries, archives, museums and repositories (GLAMR) practitioners because use assessment does not tell a nuanced story of how users engage with digital content and objects. Design/methodology/approach: This paper reviews prior research and literature aimed at defining use and reuse of digital content in GLAMR contexts and builds off of this group’s previous research to devise a new model for defining use and reuse called the use-reuse matrix. Findings: This paper presents the use-reuse matrix, which visually represents eight categories and numerous examples of use and reuse. Additionally, the paper explores the concept of “permeability” and its bearing on the matrix. It concludes with the next steps for future research and application in the development of the Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT). Practical implications: The authors developed this model and definitions to inform D-CRAFT, an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant project. This toolkit is being developed to help practitioners assess reuse at their own institutions. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is one of the first to propose distinct definitions that describe and differentiate between digital object use and reuse in the context of assessing digital collections and data.