Research Materials and Outputs in Museums and Galleries

   Endangered large

Digital material used in, or resulting from, research carried out on materials, digital or otherwise, held in galleries, museums, or similar. Research outcomes may not be formally published, and supporting datasets may not be formally accessioned or archived by an organization or a related organization. Access to these research materials and outcomes may only be made available for internal use, to inform other public outcomes, or for individual researchers.

Digital Species: Museum and Gallery, Research Outputs

New Rescoped Entry

Consensus Decision

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.


Unpublished or published research papers, datasets, databases and other supplementary materials.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of documentation; lack of clarity with respect to intellectual property; unstable funding for repository; external dependencies.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Strong data management planning; preservation capability; good documentation; deposit into trusted repository.

2023 Review

This entry was added in 2019 under ‘Digital Materials in Museums and Galleries’ and previously rescoped in 2021 to ‘Supporting Digital Materials for Museums and Galleries’.

The 2023 Bit List Council superseded the entry, splitting it into six discrete entries as the scope of the single entry was too broad to provide the guidance needed. The recommendation to break this entry down was also made by the 2021 Jury, as the types of digital collections content in museums can be vast and offer particular risks in museum and gallery contexts. This entry on Research Materials and Outputs within the scope of Museums and Galleries differs from the ones found in Research Outputs, with the latter focus around institutional supporting higher education institutions but lacking for museums and gallery contexts.

Additional Comments

The 2023 Council agrees with the 2021 Jury Review recommendations that Museum & Gallery entries require further rescoping. In regards to this entry, the 2023 Council recommends that a future review should further rescope of Oral Histories and Research Materials and Outputs due to overlaps/cross referencing which, due to time constraints, was unable to be done for the 2023 review cycle.

This research may be publicly or philanthropically funded. While research materials - used and/or developed in the course or research - and research outputs may not be made publicly available, they may be used to inform other outputs e.g. exhibition, interpretation, conservation, etc.

Exhibition catalogues and interpretation of collections are often published online in research papers.

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