¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The community is creating and using digital resources with little guidance on best practices or the ethical issues affecting use. AIC’s Guidelines for Practice and its associated commentaries which articulate policy standards for the profession, were last updated in 2008 and do not align with current policies and practices that exist in the cultural heritage community. In particular, the Guidelines that address disclosure, confidentiality, documentation, and preservation of documentation are at odds with the principles of transparency, collaboration, and sharing necessary for effective use of information in the online environment. The process of creating and upgrading these policies also needs to be changed to be more transparent and to incorporate input and review from a broader community.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 5 But before the field addresses its own guidelines, it needs to familiarize itself with guidelines for digital practices in other communities in the cultural sector, and be aware of recent shifts in policy positions that are affecting these guidelines. For example, there is growing movement in the museum community towards more open access to collections, and many cultural heritage collaborations now require openly shareable metadata as a prerequisite to participation. Communities tightly allied with conservation also are developing practices that break with disciplinary traditions, such as the recent acceptance by artists and art historians of fair use guidelines for their profession.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 These examples signal important changes in the cultural heritage sector’s policy arena. Conservation must align its own policies and practices with these sectors, or risk being isolated from the communities of which it is a part. Doing so will mean changing long-established policies and traditions, and convincing colleagues that these changes are needed to position the field for the future.
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Restructure the Process for Revising the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice (Short-term)
The Guidelines currently are written by a single task force and approved by the AIC Board of Directors. This process worked well in the past but the expansive nature of the field and its interactions with myriad cultural sectors require a more open and fast-moving process. To achieve greater agility and transparency, the process should be restructured to:
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- Include different voices and perspectives from within the community
- Incorporate an external review component into the process
- Ensure that the Guidelines undergo review at more frequent intervals
- Incorporate a review of guidelines of practice in key allied communities
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Revise the AIC Guidelines to Incorporate Digital Components of Conservation Practice (Mid-term)
The creation and use of digital resources are now common in the profession, but the Guidelines do not reflect this reality. A systematic update is needed to:
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- Develop a new guideline whose central plank declares 1) the importance of the digital landscape to the profession and 2) the obligation of those in the profession to make that landscape serviceable for the field.
- Revise existing guidelines that are integral to the digital landscape, so they incorporate best practices that support the growth and development of this landscape.
- Ensure these guidelines align with similar guidelines in the library, archive and museum communities and with other closely allied organizations and professions.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0  AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice http://www.conservation-us.org/about-us/core-documents/code-of-ethics-and-guidelines-for-practice/code-of-ethics-and-guidelines-for-practice#.VSvLCWaBg6F
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0  The Digital Public Library of America Policy Statement on Metadata. http://dp.la/info/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/DPLAMetadataPolicy.pdf and the Council of Library and Information Resources Application Guidelines, Hidden Collections Grant Program. http://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/applicants/applicantguidelines.html
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0  See College Art Association, Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. 2015. http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/fair-use/best-practices-fair-use-visual-arts.pdf.