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Planning a Digital Scholarship Project

A library guide to guide you through project planning 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?

Activities

Infrastructure

  • 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?

Content

  • 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?

Funding

  • 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 the Project Proposal Template at the Boston College Digital Scholarship Group with ideas from the Digital Project Proposal Brief at Columbia University Libraries.

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