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Digital Scholarship Project Planning

Digital scholarship projects are typically complex undertakings with many interrelated components. As you plan your digital scholarship project, consider the following questions. We're available to consult with you and talk through your options and priorities. Contact Denise Hattwig, Digital Scholarship + Collections Curator, at

  • Synopsis or abstract
    How would you describe your project in three sentences? What is your "elevator speech" for potential collaborators, other researchers, or funding organizations? Outreach and engaging others can help move your project forward in productive ways.
  • Partners and collaborators
    Digital scholarship projects are usually group endeavors. Who might be potential collaborators? Can you identify peer researchers who might have similar interests? Are there institutional partners with relevant expertise, such as the Library, IT, CBLR, or your department? Are you working with community partners or engaging in public scholarship?
  • Tools and technology
    What types of tools do you need to realize your vision for your project? What is your skill and comfort level with technology? What is realistically possible given your vision, your skill level, the contributions of your collaborators, and institutional support? What is the right balance between your subject research and the role and benefits of technology?
  • Integration with teaching and student learning
    Will you be engaging students in your research? Will your research intersect with your pedagogy? What role will students play in new research, knowledge creation, and publishing? How will your project enhance student learning?
  • Audience for final product
    Who do you anticipate will be interested in your project? How will your scholarship be used by others?
  • Open Access and copyright
    Digital scholarship and open access are typically intertwined. Are you taking steps to ensure your scholarship is openly available? How are you reusing and building on others' work? Do you have questions about copyright? How are you using media, and how do you expect others will use your images, audio, or video products? Are there privacy concerns you need to consider?
  • File and media storage and archiving
    Where will you store and archive your master audio, video, and image files? Most online publishing platforms have limited storage space available. Are there archives or repositories that could store and preserve your digital files? Is your affiliation with the University a consideration, and what will happen to your files if you leave the University?
  • Metadata and description
    Robust description is essential to the discovery, understanding, and preservation of your scholarship. How will you describe your videos, images, and audio files? How will this description encourage findability? Who will do this work?
  • Website or publishing platform
    Where will you publish your work, or who will host your website? Do you need institutional affiliation, or would you like to publish independently? What are the costs involved with your choice? Are these costs ongoing, and if so, is that realistic?
  • Sustainability and persistence
    Your project is complete and you've made it available online. Who will maintain the website? Have you archived your master files? Will your scholarship persist and is it being preserved, or is it at risk of being taken down or disappearing with lapsed accounts, payments, or services? What have you done, and what do you need to do, to ensure that your final product will be preserved and will remain available?
  • Publicity
    How will you spread the word about your project? How will you make sure other interested researchers will be able to find your work?
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