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DLF Assessment Interest Group

The DLF Assessment Interest Group (AIG), founded in 2014, seeks to engage the community in developing best practices and guidelines for various kinds of digital library assessment. This wiki is a central location for documentation and collection of resources to assist those seeking to assess their digital libraries.

Research and cultural heritage institutions are, as a matter of course, providing online access to converted and born-digital scholarly and cultural content. As the amount of that content continues to grow, there is an increased need to strategically standardize our assessment efforts.

The DLF AIG is concerned with:

  • determining how to measure the impact of digital collections
  • developing areas of commonality and benchmarks in how we measure collections across various platforms
  • understanding cost and benefit of digital collections
  • exploring how can we best collect, analyze, communicate, and share such information effectively across our various stakeholders—from collection managers to scholars

Working Groups

Active Groups

Inactive Groups


The DLF AIG was born in the spring following the 2013 DLF Forum working session, “Hunting for Best Practices in Library Assessment,” which garnered over 50 volunteers to continue the discussion after the conference; a second working session on altmetrics was also met with huge interest. A Digital Library Assessment Google Group was established to provide a space for practitioners to discuss assessment efforts.

At the 2014 DLF Forum, the Moving Forward with Digital Library Assessment panel discussed a new NISO initiative to develop standards for altmetrics, a new web-based cost estimation tool for digitization, and both qualitative and quantitative results from digital library user studies. The panel, like the working group the year before, was followed by a lively discussion about how to further the development of best practices for digital library assessment. Again, many community members volunteered to continue the discussion, and four working groups formed in November 2014. These groups were tasked with developing to best practices centered in the assessment of digital libraries, in the areas of user studies, analytics, cost, and citations as outlined in the Digital Library Assessment Framework.

Each of these four groups worked to develop white papers and tools, which were presented at the 2015 DLF Forum during the Collaborative Efforts to Develop Best Practices in Assessment: A Progress Report panel and lunch sessions. For more information on these working groups and the status of AIG in 2015, see Joyce Chapman, Jody DeRidder, and Santi Thompson's article on the first year of AIG's work in "Developing Best Practices in Digital Library Assessment: Year One Update" in D-Lib Magazine's November/December 2015 issue (Volume 21, Number 11/12).

During the 2015 DLF Forum, the AIG discussed the formation of two new groups, focused on metadata and cultural assessment. These two groups were formally established in the months following the 2015 Forum and, along with the analytics, costs, and user studies groups, presented updates at the 2016 DLF Forum.

Prior to the 2018 DLF Forum, User Experience and Content Reuse became their own formal Working Groups, retiring the User Studies Working Group.

Archived Documentation

Archived documentation is available at the Open Science Framework.

Get Involved

Google Group

To take part in the conversation, join the Digital Library Assessment Google Group, which is open to anyone interested in learning about or collaborating on the improvement of digital library assessment.


The DLF AIG Slack is a space to facilitate collaboration and productivity across AIG working groups. It is also a space for discussion around various aspects of digital library assessment. The workspace is open to all who are interested in learning about or collaborating on the improvement of digital library assessment. No assessment experience is required or assumed.

DLF AIG Slack membership is available via invite. If you'd like to join the DLF AIG Slack workspace, please review and complete the sign-up form

Previous Events

2017-2018 Twitter Chats

The AIG will be hosting #DLFAIG Twitter chats over the next year seeking to engage the DLF community in developing best practices and guidelines for various kinds of digital library assessment. With these informal discussions we hope to raise awareness for AIG groups for projects/papers/content they have produced and/or working on and get feedback and insight into our current assessment related projects from the community. Stay tuned for more information!

Schedule and topics for Twitter chats using the hashtag #DLFAIG, unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming Chats
AIG Working Groups Date and Time Topic Hashtag Archived Chat URL
Metadata Assessment Working Group September 18, 2017, 3 PM EDT See Planning Document #mashcat
Available here
Cultural Assessment and
User Experience Working Groups (Joint Chat)
December 5, 2017, 9 PM EDT Developing socially inclusive user personas for digital collections and repositories #critlib
Available here
Reuse Working Group April 25, 2018, 2 PM EDT Analytics, Altmetrics, and Reuse Twitter Chat #dlfaig
Available here