Assessment:Costs

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DLF Cost Working Group

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.

The last two 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 early 2021.

Get Involved

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 our Digital Library AIG Cost Assessment google group and speak up!

Standing working meetings

2021 working meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 3pm (eastern) / 2pm (central) / 1pm (mountain) / 12pm (pacific).

See current meeting minutes at Meeting Agendas & Notes 2021.

Meeting Connection Information:

Email DLF at info@diglib.org for call-in information.

Group Work

2021 Work

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.

2020 Work

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.

2019 Work

2019 was a year of reflection and transition for the Cost Working Group. Members talked about the future directions of the group and how it would continue to proceed with the cost calculator.

2018 Work

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 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.

2016 Work

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.

2015 Work

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.

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.

Digitization Cost Calculator

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. 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.

Publication Information

Project Team

2021

  • Shannon Willis, University of North Texas (co-facilitator)
  • Suzanne Preate, Syracuse University (co-facilitator)
  • Christina M. Deane, University of Virginia
  • Roberta Dupuis-Devlin, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Laura Gentry, University of Alabama
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • Chrissy Huhn, University of California, Berkeley
  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University
  • Marissa Kings, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Elizabeth La Beaud, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Barbara Laufersweiler, University of Oklahoma (coordinator of the Cost Calculator subgroup)
  • Roel Munoz, Princeton University
  • Zvi Muskal, United Nations
  • Timothy Provenzano, University of Arizona (coordinator of the Registry for Vendors subgroup)
  • Kelly Riddle, LA County Library
  • Kathryn Ruddock, University of Calgary
  • Rachel Senese, Georgia State University
  • Julia Simic, University of Oregon
  • Emma Stanford, Stanford University (coordinator of the Best Practices subgroup)
  • Michael Stasiak, New York University
  • Emily Weirich, University of Arizona (coordinator of the Survey subgroup)
  • Larry Wentzel, University of Michigan (coordinator of the Insourcing v. Outsourcing subgroup)
  • Lisa Wright, University of Rochester
  • Your name, your institution - Join us today!


2020

  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University (co-facilitator)
  • Shannon Willis, University of North Texas (co-facilitator)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • Christina M. Deane, University of Virginia
  • Laura Gentry, University of Alabama
  • Roel Munoz, Princeton University
  • Suzanne Preate, Syracuse University
  • Emily Weirich, University of Arizona
  • Lisa Wright, University of Rochester

2019

  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara (co-facilitator)
  • Sarah Severson, University of Alberta Libraries, (co-facilitator)
  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University (co-facilitator)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • David Bliss, University of Texas at Austin
  • Greg Davis, Iowa State University
  • Shannon Willis, University of North Texas Libraries
  • Gabriella Williams, University of Miami
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

2018

  • Joyce Chapman, Duke University (co-coordinator)
  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara (co-coordinator)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • David Bliss, University of Texas at Austin
  • Greg Davis, Iowa State University
  • Ann Hanlon, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University
  • Sarah Severson, McGill University Library
  • Gabriella Williams, University of Miami
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

2017

  • Joyce Chapman, Duke University (coordinator)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead on Cost Calculator)
  • Ann Hanlon, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University
  • Genya O'Gara, VIVA
  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Sarah Severson, McGill University Library
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

2016

  • 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

2015

  • 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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