== What's the best way to assess costs for digital libraries? ==
the to for
Last year, Joyce Chapman, Assessment Coordinator for Duke Universities, developed a beta version of a [http://statelibrarync.org/plstats/digitization_calculator.php Library Digitization Cost Calculator] to assist organizations in estimating the costs for digitizing collections. We would be grateful for suggestions for improvement and especially data from your institution's experiences with digitization, so that Joyce can incorporate it into the cost estimation tool.
Assessment . . in , the .
There are many potential areas for measuring costs:
* Hardware and software
* Technical support
* Content arrangement and description
* Content preparation
* Metadata creation
* Digitization, which can vary by:
** type and fragility of content
** type of capture mechanism
** expertise of staff
** amount of quality control measures implemented
* Upload processes
* Web services support and development
* Cross-departmental communications
To say nothing of the costs of preservation!
If you are interested in helping us develop best practices and guidelines for assessing costs of digital libraries, please join our
[https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/digital-library-assessment Digital Library Assessment Google Group] and speak up! :-)
Joyce is now heading up a small task force that we hope will have progress to share at the next [http://www.diglib.org/forums/2015forum/ DLF Forum]!
The Cost group’s primary task has traditionally been to collect, aggregate, and share data on the time (and money) it takes to perform various tasks involved in the digitization process to help with project planning and benchmarking. When the group formed at the 2014 DLF Forum, we found few practical resources geared towards helping the community determine the cost of digitization. To help address this gap, we built a Digitization Cost Calculator Digitization Cost Calculator that allows individuals to enter information about a project and get back an estimate of the staffing costs and time needed to complete it based on real data from the community.
Over the last few years, we have expanded our focus to work on broader tools and resources to create a more expansive toolkit that will serve a wider range of digitization programs. We currently have six active subgroups working on the following areas of interest: insourcing vs. outsourcing, a registry for vendors, assessing scans per linear feet, best practices, cost estimation (otherwise known as the feature of the cost calculator). And our final group is working on analyzing the results of our Still Image Digitization Costs Assessment Survey administered in 2021.
Working Group Membership
The Cost Assessment working group always welcomes new members. Members meet regularly to work on different projects. If you are interested in joining, please join us at one of our regular monthly meetings, or contact the co-facilitators.
Standing working meetings
2023 - 2024 working meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 3pm (eastern) / 2pm (central) / 1pm (mountain) / 12pm (pacific).
This year we will be focusing on analysis of the data produced by our surveys of current experiences and practices. We are looking forward to sharing our findings later this year and utilizing the provided insights to chart the next phase of our working group.
Take our surveys!
If you work in the field of cultural heritage digitization, we'd appreciate your input via any or all of the following surveys. Best Practices:
This survey is designed to gather and share experiences about digitization practices and standards adhered to at different institutions.
Time estimate: 15-20 minutes
This survey is designed to gather and share experiences working with digitization equipment vendors.
Time estimate: 5-10 minutes
Images per Linear Feet (aka, how many images per box did you get):
This survey is designed to gather data about how many images result from different containers, material type, and capture methodology combinations. This data will be used to help institutions during project planning.
Time estimate: 5 minutes
Reformatting Service Vendors:
This survey is designed to gather and share experiences working with reformatting service vendors.
Time estimate: 5-10 minutes
The data gathered through these surveys will assist us in our efforts to produce resources to inform our colleagues in their work around cost assessment of digitization in the cultural heritage field. The surveys do collect email addresses but will not be shared outside of the DLF Assessment Interest Group unless you agree to share your information.
In 2022, our focus was to support the work of project subgroups. In the Fall of 2022 through January 31, 2023, short surveys were administered to assist us in our efforts to produce resources to inform our colleagues in their work around cost assessment of digitization in the cultural heritage field. The survey topics were: best practices and standards, experience working with equipment vendors, the number of image captured per linear foot for different materials and container types, and experiences working with reformatting service vendors.
In 2021, building on the development of the Digitization Cost Calculator, the Cost Group is shifting directions to create a more expansive toolkit that will serve a wider range of digitization labs. Beginning with a survey in early 2021, the Cost group sought information from a variety of digitization stakeholders from across the Digital Library Federation to inform new initiatives. The data collected will be used to help create resources for calculating and assessing institutional commitments necessary for successful digitization projects or starting a digitization program. The group has since formed 6 project subgroups to work on various resources and issues: insourcing vs. outsourcing, a registry for vendors, assessing scans per linear feet, best practices, cost estimation (otherwise known as the feature of the cost calculator), and a survey subgroup to analyze the results of our Still Image Digitization Costs Assessment Survey.
Beginning in 2020, the DLF Cost group began to imagine different ways to assess costs. Much of the year has centered on discussions of how, in addition to the cost calculator, the group can facilitate access to useful tools to organizations who want to plan digitization projects. The group drafted a survey to seek information from a variety of digitization stakeholders from across the field to inform new cost assessment initiatives for the group.
The group’s initial goal for 2018 is to survey the community and conduct user interviews and user testing of the calculator. We plan to use the information captured from the community to help plan and prioritize our future work.
2017 focused on making improvements to the Calculator. We organized the second annual Day of Data II in July to collect additional community data. We also added a number of [calculator enhancements calculator enhancements], including the addition of new fields and new features.
The data definitions authored by the cost assessment working group informed a modified structure of the calculator with expanded capabilities that was completed in 2016 with the assistance of Wayne Graham, Technical Director at CLIR and DLF. 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 to support the modified structure. We gathered 85 data submissions in summer of 2016 with a Day of Data campaign, spent the fall reviewing and normalizing submissions, and released the 2.0 version of the calculator on November 7, 2016.
In 2014 a beta version of a Library Digitization Cost Calculator was developed 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.
The Cost Assessment Working Group's primary project has been to build and maintain the Digitization Cost Calculator. The source code for the calculator is available via the Calculator's GitHub repository. Starting in 2020, we explored different possible outputs that move beyond the cost calculator, but with the same emphasis on helping practitioners and managers better estimate the costs of digital projects going forward.