Session 3

Managing a Digital Project: A How-To Guide, Liz Bishoff, OCLC

A “good” digital project is one which

In other words a “good” digital project is comprised of much more than “good” content.

Project managers should, at all times, make decisions with their project audience and project purpose in mind. Projects must likewise conform to standards and best practices which increase the longevity, portability and interoperability of one’s data.

One-third of the cost of digitization goes to purchasing equipment, storage and scanning, and two-thirds of the cost (at least) is attributed to metadata creation. The cost of metadata creation is perhaps increasing at even greater rates given that users increasingly want item-level descriptions of digital objects.

In terms of workflow, the rule of thumb to cite above all else is the “principle of scan once” – take a good quality scan the first time to avoid handling original objects more than once. It is also key that managers note the importance of building agreement between all parties involved in a digitization project (IT administrators, project managers, metadata creators, curators, etc.) before commencing with any actual scanning. Copyright clearance is likewise a major concern when planning a digitization project.

As with Conway before her, Bishoff discussed sustainability and preservation as critical issues. A post-project sustainability plan would include administrative and technical metadata detailing the processes by which a project was created (which may evolve into a project manual) and the maintenance of the website on which digital information has been posted. Similarly, the sustainability of one’s project upon its completion will rely upon maintenance of the metadata associated with digital assets, the maintenance of digital assets themselves (be they TIFF images, digital audio/video) and the development of migration and/or emulation plans for preserving digital information.