Ideal set of criteria…

“Based on both Harvard’s guide and the examples of organizations’ selection criteria linked above, do you think there is an “ideal” set of criteria?  How might this vary by organization type?”

I felt like this week’s readings kind of came back to ideas we have touched upon in recent weeks with our discussions on metadata and digitization standards… After doing the readings, it is apparent that an “ideal” set of digitization selection criteria will certainly change from organization to organization because certain elements will inevitably be more important to some than they will be to others. Similarly, something that works for one organization won’t necessarily work for another. It is essential that different organizations assess and design selection criteria for digitization projects that will best meet their needs and/or goals.

Related to this point are issues that surround the overall planning process. This includes many things, such as knowing what you have in your collection, what needs to be digitized, who in your organization has abilities best suited for different parts of the project, what it will cost, user needs, etc. Furthermore (and according to the NINCH reading we had this week), knowing what resources you have available to you can make all the difference in a project, especially when it comes to cost. In fact, the NINCH recommends the following: “A clear statement of objectives (preferably in a formal document that can be shared with staff), combined with the resource inventory, will enable you to assess the suitability of your local resources.” Even though this seems like a simple/obvious part of the planning process, it is definitely an important thing to consider when in the planning stages of a digitization project.


10 responses to “Ideal set of criteria…

  1. Agree. Digitization criteria depends on organizational aims and project needs. My posting tried to explain information retrieval type desired will influence the digitization planning and process.

  2. Really great insights here. Whenever we do a digital project at work, we create what we call a Project Charter, where we state our goal, our requirements for the project, what is in our scope, who the stakeholders are, and who gives final approval on a project. It’s shared with everyone who works on it, and it really helps, as you say, recognize what resources are available and what needs to be done with them.

  3. Stevie – Yep, this is a great practice for PM, in general, and runs the gamut from digital and non-digital projects (e.g., facilities projects). I will post a link I’ve been meaning to share with you to the Project Management Institute. They are a not-for-profit entity that does a great deal of training and certification in the PM world, and are generally highly regarded.

  4. Thanks for your comments! A project charter is definitely key when thinking about selection criteria. As previously mentioned, this helps all parties of the selection process get on the same page.
    PBworks ( is a project sharing website/resource that I’ve found helpful during my own work with project management. It allows you to upload documents (such as the project charter, marketing strategy, inventory, etc), and easily allows for comments and revisions.

    • ah- thanks for that link! i don’t have much experience with project management, but I will definitely keep that in mind when it comes up. that’s a nice way to keep everyone informed that is working on a project…

  5. “…certain elements will inevitably be more important to some than they will be to others” is an important point. Selection criteria will depend on goals-those specific to the project as well as the broader institutional goals. An “ideal” set of criteria may best mean that all criteria selection possibilities have been carefully explored and decided upon to best meet the purpose of each digital project. Because of the diversity of digital projects and the organizations who build and maintain them, an “ideal” set of selection criteria is not a universal concept but one that is created for each digital project or library. “Ideal” will certainly be different for a major university digital collection than for a small public library’s local digital history project.

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