Title: Type of Resource (Dimension 4 of Matrix of Digital Curation Knowledge and Competencies)
Author: Christopher (Cal) Lee, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Draft: June 17, 2009 (Version 18)
Project: DigCCurr (IMLS Grant # RE-05-06-0044)

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 License

The table below summarizes various ways of characterizing types of digital resources. This is the fourth dimension of the DigCCurr Matrix. The categories are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. They are intended to highlight "differences that make a difference" for digital curation professional education, e.g.

Resource Type Categories and Elements Elaboration or Examples
Level of Aggregation
  • Component
  • Object
  • Package
  • Collection
Level of Abstraction
  • Work
  • Expression
  • Manifestation
  • Item [1]
Medium The physical carrier of the bits that constitute the digital resources. Examples include:
  • Magnetic
    • Floppy disk
    • Hard drive
    • Magnetic tape
    • Zip disk
  • Optical
    • CD-ROM
    • DVD
    • Laser disk
Format A particular way of encoding digital information (often at the file level), which conveys an associated set of behaviors and means of interpreting the content.
Genre "Socially recognized types of communicative actions…that are habitually enacted by members of a community to realize particular social purposes" [2]. Examples include:
  • Personal correspondence
  • Family photo album
  • Annual report
  • Social science data set


[1] IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Final Report. Edited by Marie-France Plassard. Vol. 19. München: Saur, 1998. http://www.ifla.org/en/publications/functional-requirements-for-bibliographic-records

[2] Yates, JoAnne, and Wanda Orlikowski. "Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media." Academy of Management Review 17, no. 2 (1992): 299-326.