From portals to platforms – building new frameworks for user engagement

Tim Sherratt

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paperpeer-review


Presented at the LIANZA 2013 Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand, 21 October 2013.

The recent launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has highlighted the continuing importance of metadata aggregation services as a way of overcoming institutional and disciplinary divides and providing customised discovery services. But the DPLA’s catchy slogan of ‘portal, platform, public’ points beyond web pages and search boxes towards a more complex stream of user engagement, innovation and advocacy.

Trove, the National Library of Australia’s discovery service, provides access to a wide range of cultural heritage collections drawn from libraries, museums, archives, universities and elsewhere. Best known is the collection of digitised newspapers -- a vast resource that currently includes more than 100 million articles. But Trove has always been about more than discovery. Integral to the system’s success and growth has been its capacity to provide a platform for user engagement. Trove’s annotation and organisation features allow users to customise their experience while, at the same time, enriching discovery metadata.

In addition to existing facilities for user engagement, Trove, like the DPLA, Europeana and DigitalNZ, provides machine-readable access to its aggregated collections through an API. The provision of an API enables the creation not only of new content, but the creation of new applications and interfaces – new ways of using, visualizing, analyzing and enriching the existing metadata.

Based on the experience of developing and maintaining Trove, this paper will critically examine the shift from portal to platform represented by the increasing importance of user annotations and the opportunities provided by the provision of metadata in machine- readable forms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2013
EventLIANZA 2013 - Hamilton, Hamilton, New Zealand
Duration: 21 Oct 201323 Oct 2013


ConferenceLIANZA 2013
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


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