GLAM/Case studies/Victoria & Albert Museum, web team

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by John Byrne / Johnbod

User:VAwebteam was a member of the web department at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (despite the name, the account belonged to a single individual, who was the only person to use it - one problem less, as team/corporate accounts are not permitted for legal reasons). In May 2007 he (or she) registered on the English Wikipedia and began two streams of editing activity:

a) to add links in Wikipedia articles to pages on the V&A website, which has a large range of good web articles and features. These were initially reverted as "SPAM". When it was explained to VAwebteam that the edits created SPAM and COI issues, a page was set up (also here) where VAwebteam instead listed links he proposed to add, and a number of editors commented on their suitability. This had the benefits that the links had been cleared by independent editors, and also that editors who knew the Wikipedia coverage of the subject area were often able to suggerst more appropriate. Thereafter the links had very little unfavourable comment or reverts from the rest of the community.

b) to create articles on significant items in the museum's collection. The text and images came from a V&A "highlights" book published by the museum, and were copyrighted by them. When it was explained to VAwebteam that this was a breach of copyright policies, even if done with the permission of the institution, a new way of working was devised. VAwebteam obtained an OTRS ticket and used it for the images (which were good quality and all of 3-D objects). The text was rewritten to avoid copyright issues.

See also