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In 2014, Joyce Chapman, Assessment Coordinator for Duke Universities, 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. In spring of 2014, the Cost Assessment working group of the DLF Assessment Interest Group was founded. This group was tasked with drafting best practices and guidelines for the collection of time data for various digitization processes, which will be 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:

  • 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, the group released a call for data submissions using the new guidelines and a new data submission form. The Digitization Cost Calculator 2.0 cannot be built until at least one set of data has been contributed in each of the 20 categories listed in the guidelines.

See the cost assessment bibliography produced by the Cost Assessment working group here:

Members of the Cost Assessment Working Group

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

Next steps

In the 2015-2016 year, the group hopes to solicit enough data contributions to build a functional digitization cost calculator 2.0. This means we need 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.

Help us by submitting data here!

If you are interested in helping us develop best practices and guidelines for assessing costs of digital libraries, please join our Digital Library Assessment Google Group and speak up!

Back to the Assessment home page