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Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Produce, Curate, or Preserve Digital Content

The Libraries welcomes proposals for projects involving the production, stewardship, and/or preservation of digital content. Consideration will be given to projects that relate to the scholarly activities of members of the University community and that can be made available to the widest possible audience.  Projects should have a discrete digital product(s) of academic value or community significance.

The following criteria are intended to help reviewers, potential partners, and content managers evaluate the viability of proposed digital projects. Criteria in bold are required for approving a digital project proposal; normal items are for consideration.  In addition, copyright and intellectual property considerations may affect our ability to preserve and provide access to digital content. The value of the anticipated product should justify the effort expended to develop it.

  • For digitization projects: The condition of the materials will be considered. Digitization may serve either a preservation or access need and most projects address both of these aspects. Digitization may protect fragile items, but they must be able to withstand handling necessary for digitization.
  • For born digital content: The format of project materials will not restrict consideration.

Related files: Digital Project Proposal Form; Collection Development Policy

Project Title:  
Submitted By:  
Fit with Library/University
  • Fits into the mission and strategic goals of the Libraries and University (please specify).
  • Aligns with the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy.
  • Increases library visibility on the UMass campus.
  • Increases national or international visibility for UMass.
Significance of the Project
  •  Project has product of academic value or community significance.
  • Collecting and preserving the material will enhance the intellectual value of the material.
  • Complements existing collection strengths or fills gap in existing virtual collection.
  • Contributes to the development of critical subject mass of digital materials in areas of strong demand.
  • Content is unique, rare, or difficult to access.
  • Results in a reduction in handling of fragile material, or protects materials at high risk of theft or mutilation, or addresses material that is deteriorating.
  • Incorporates value-added services that enhance usability (e.g., through new search capabilities, integration of formats, links to other materials, the ability to manipulate images and texts, or study materials in new ways).
  • Reduces costs and/or generates efficiencies (e.g., by eliminating the need to acquire resources, freeing up staff time, etc.).
  • The Libraries participation contributes to compliance with funder requirements.
  • Enhances access to materials previously unavailable to the public.
  • Other (please specify).
Source Materials and Metadata
  • The Libraries have access to all the source materials required to execute the project.
  • The project has been organized and processed (please specify).
  • Is there existing metadata? Yes/No
  • Is there a finding aid? Yes/No
  • Structured content and/or value standards were used to create the metadata.
  • The source materials will produce good quality digital output.
Resources and Technical Considerations
  • The Libraries have the technical infrastructure to support the project.
  • The Libraries have the knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish the project alone or with a partner, or capacity to develop them.
  • There are other librarians, archivists and/or faculty who would be willing to partner on the project.


Approved by SMG: April 10, 2013