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Plan a Digital Scholarship Project

A library guide to guide you through project planning for digital scholarship.

Project Management for Digital Scholarship

A Checklist for Planning a Digital Scholarship Project

Interested in beginning a digital scholarship project? This checklist/questionnaire is useful to facilitate effective planning.

Describe the Project

  • Name and brief description of the project
  • Who are the project sponsors/partners?
  • Does the project have funding?
    • If yes, what are the funding sources and for how long? Do you need funding?
  • What is the anticipated timeframe for the project?
  • Can you provide examples of existing projects that might be used as a model in terms of content, design, or both?

Project Goals

  • What are the research and/or teaching goals of the project?
  • Who are the audiences for this project?
  • What impact do you want your project to have?
  • How does this project contribute to or complement existing projects?
  • How does the project further diversity and inclusion and/or include marginalized voices?
  • How will the success of the project be measured or identified?



  • What is the proposed software for this project?
  • What is the proposed hardware for this project?
  • What is the underlying infrastructure for this project?  (i.e. WordPress, Drupal, etc.)
  • What is the proposed repository or data storage for project objects?
  • Where will the project be hosted, if applicable?
  • How will you test for usability and accessibility?


  • What is the content of the resource?
  • Who is creating the content or in the case of primary sources, from where is it being drawn?
  • When and how often will new content be added?
  • What metadata needs to be captured, and what is the preferred metadata schema?
  • Will project data be reusable by others?

Access and Discovery

  • How long will the project be available online?
  • How will users find the resource?
  • How will the resource be promoted?
  • How will the project be preserved or archived?
  • What kind of copyright or licensing will be used for the project?
  • Do any rights need to be negotiated before moving forward with the project?

Project Staff and Management

  • Who will be the project manager and/or lead?
  • Who will be the project staff?
  • Identify roles and activities of all staff.
  • What is the timeframe for the staff to work on the resource?
  • What other departments or external partners will be part of the project?
  • Will students be employed for the project?
  • Are you looking for staffing support from the libraries to complete the project?
  • How do you plan to acknowledge the labor of those involved in the project?


  • What is your budget overview?
  • How will activities for this project be paid for?
  • How long will the project and activities be funded for short-term and long-term?
  • What alternatives are there once the funding ends?
  • What might be provided by your institution?
  • What might come from a grant agency or partner?

Assessment and Outreach

  • How will you assess the quality and impact of the project? At which stages?
  • What is your outreach plan to engaged your targeted audience?

This checklist content has been modified from a Project Proposal Template at the Boston College Digital Scholarship Group with ideas from a Digital Project Proposal Brief at Columbia University Libraries.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.