Assessment:Costs

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Click here for instructions on collecting/contributing data to the Digitization Cost Calculator

The Cost Assessment working group's tasks are to aggregate and make freely available a large set of data on the time it takes to perform various tasks involved in the digitization process, in order to assist organizations in digitization project planning and benchmarking. To that end, we are building a Digitization Cost Calculator that takes advantage of the contributed data set to provide digitization cost estimates based on various input parameters. Founded in 2014, the Cost Assessment working group of the DLF Assessment Interest Group was tasked with drafting best practices and guidelines for the collection of time data for various digitization processes, which are now in use, with the goal of standardizing collection of such data in the field as well as to guide data submissions to the Digitization Cost Calculator.

Current Projects

Digitization Cost Calculator and associated data set

Digitization Cost Calculator -- current status: The data definitions authored by the cost assessment working group have now informed a modified structure of the calculator with expanded capabilities that we are completing in 2016 with the assistance of Wayne Graham, Technical Director at CLIR and DLF. We gathered 85 data submissions in summer of 2016 with a Day of Data campaign, spent the fall reviewing and normalizing submissions, and are now close to having a new version of the calculator complete. The new Digitization Cost Calculator will be available here on November 7th 2016.

Digitization Cost Calculator -- what's been completed: In 2014 the Cost Assessment working group developed a beta version of a Library Digitization Cost Calculator to assist organizations in estimating the costs for digitizing collections and initiate a conversation at the 2014 DLF Forum around cost assessment in digital libraries. The original Digitization Cost Calculator was built as a proof of concept and contains data from only a handful of institutions. In spring of 2014, the Cost Assessment working group of the DLF Assessment Interest Group was subsequently founded. This group was tasked with drafting best practices and guidelines for the collection of time data for various digitization processes, which are used to standardize collection of such data in the field as well as to guide data submissions to the Digital Cost Calculator. The guidelines and definitions are organized according to some of the typical stages of a library project.

Processes for which the new calculator will provide data

  • Preparation of original materials
    • Condition review
    • Disbinding
    • Fastener removal
    • Flattening
    • Rights review
    • Sorting materials into items
    • Supporting
    • Unique identifier assignment
  • Image capture
    • Film or transparency scanner
    • Flatbed scanner
    • Manual DSLR camera
    • Medium format camera
    • Overhead scanner
    • Sheet feeding scanner
  • Quality control
    • Level 1, 2, and 3
  • Descriptive metadata creation
    • Level 1, 2, and 3
  • Post-processing
    • Alignment/rotation
    • Background removal
    • Clean up / dust removal
    • Color correction and tonal adjustments
    • Cropping images
    • Stitching
  • Post-preparation
    • De-sorting
    • Re-binding
    • Re-fastening

In August 2015, the group produced wire frames showing the planned interface and functionality of the Digitization Cost Calculator 2.0, as well as wireframes of how results would appear.

In September 2015, the group released a call for data submissions using the new guidelines and a new data submission form.

In 2016, the group solicited enough data contributions to build a functional digitization cost calculator 2.0. We needed at least one set of data in each of the 20 categories, as well as for each type of image capture device and for each level of metadata creation and quality control. In order to further this goal, we held a Day of Data campaign. We currently have the minimum necessary; the calculator will be vastly improved if we have more! Help us by submitting data here.

Publication Information

Get Involved

The Cost Assessment working group welcomes new members. Ongoing member duties include quarterly review of recent Cost Calculator data submissions. Those who would like to work on new projects or expansions of existing projects are welcome. If you are interested in helping us collect data for the Digitization Cost Calculator, please join our Digital Library Assessment Google Group and speak up!

2015-2016 Membership

  • Joyce Chapman, Duke University, (coordinator)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • Jane Davis, Saint Louis Federal Reserve Bank
  • Ann Hanlon, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Kinza Masood, University of Utah
  • Genya O'Gara, VIVA
  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Sarah Severson, McGill University Library
  • Emily Shaw, Ohio State University Libraries
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

2014-2015 Membership

  • Joyce Chapman, Duke University, (coordinator)
  • Kinza Masood, University of Utah
  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

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