DRAFT: response to Museums Association code of ethics

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Please note that this page is a working draft. There has not yet been a firm commitment for Wikimedia UK to formally respond to this draft code of ethics but this is a place to collectively draft one in readiness for such a decision.

From the Museums Association mailing[edit | edit source]

The Museums Association has been working for over a year with museums professionals, sector bodies, volunteers and other interested parties to produce an updated Code of Ethics for the sector. The last full update of the Code took place in 2002, while a partial update on financially motivated disposal took place in 2007. Following a year of consultation activities and events, the MA has recently published a draft Code of Ethics for a further period of consultation with the sector.

We welcome any comments on this by Friday 7th August via the MA website: http://www.museumsassociation.org/forms/draft-code-of-ethics-consultation"

Thoughts on particular sections[edit | edit source]

Section 3 - Digital and Online Engagement[edit | edit source]

It would be good to see something in here about digital content being openly licensed (either PD or CC0 if possible, CC BY-SA also fine). Could become element 3.6. There is also the potential to add something appropriate in the self-evaluation questions regarding considering the use of open licenses.

Section 5 - Safeguarding Collections[edit | edit source]

There's an explicit mention of public domain in 5.2: "Retain items in the public domain at whichever location provides the best balance of care, context and access." If we define the internet as a location, which we can, then this is a persuader for museums to work with the Wikimedia projects. Helps that it is not an either / or proposition.

Section 7 - Research[edit | edit source]

7.3 commits to making results and outputs from research publicly accessible. How can our movement make use of this commitment and content in a systematic way?

Section 13 - Digital Collections[edit | edit source]

There's nothing in here about sharing of content more widely. We could draft something collaboratively here that's Wikimedia- / open-friendly. If it's pitched correctly they may include in an updated draft.

Section 19 - Institutional Conduct[edit | edit source]

19.1 stresses the need to act in the public interest. Something that I speak about often is that sharing knowledge as widely as possible, through Wikimedia projects or elsewhere, is about public benefit. Widest possible access to educational material and collections is clearly in the public interest.

Draft response[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK welcomes the work of the Museums Association on this code of ethics and congratulates them for taking their practice seriously. etc