What are some things that someone should consider when he or she is trying pick the CMS for a project they are working on?
Size of the collection
Consider metadata and digital content storage, number three on Pyrounakis and Nikolaidou’s (2009) top ten list of characteristics needed in a DL system. First, is the size of the collection 20 objects, or will the collection start with 20 objects but grow in number to 200, 2,000 or 20,000 objects? Underestimating storage needs can halt the growth of a collection. Secondly, the types of objects included in a collection will need to be addressed. Digital objects vary in size. For example, a digitized text file is usually much smaller than a video file. Finally, does the DL system support each type of digital object to be included (at present or in the future) for the collection?
Pyrounakis and Nikolaidou’s (2009) list is a good starting point, but given the scoring variances across the 10 characteristics (p.57), it might not be possible to find a system that meets all of an organization’s project needs at the highest levels. Identifying the most important elements and weighing those priorities against a number of systems should be helpful in narrowing down the possibilities. I would inquire if a system could be used on a limited, trial basis, and develop questions to be asked of other library professionals using that DL system.
Support, Maintenance and Implementation
Additionally, the availability of staff to build and maintain the collection should be evaluated. Does the organization have an IT staff? Is it large enough to handle most of the technical issues, or only available to help sporadically or in emergencies? If IT staff is not readily available how tech savvy is the staff member(s)? Should the most consideration be given to a DL system’s ease of use?
Given that tech support is going to be easier for an open source CMS that is more widely implemented do you think librarians should do more to consider non-bibliographic CMS’?
Will a non-bib CMS provide the same, or comparable, service? (i.e. would major issues arise in trying to implement a bibliographic collection in a non-bib CMS?) Would the more available tech support be needed to troubleshoot issues that arise because the CMS was not designed to maintain bibliographic data in the first place?
One reason I do think librarians should consider more popular CMS options is if a library-favored CMS becomes obsolete, or at least outdated where users are no longer updating code and other functions that are integral to open source software maintenance.