New Report—Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase

Ithaka S+R: Sustaining the Digital HumanitiesIthaka S+R has two new publications of interest for DH and all digital scholarship research for sustainability:

The implementation toolkit includes many great and short handouts for folks who are or are considering creating digital humanities projects, like the Briefing Paper for Digital Project Leaders which covers a variety of concerns, including:

  • Needs for the Future
  • Succession Plans
  • Possible Partners within Your Institution
  • Project Alignment with Institutional Priorities and Supports Already in Place

Other resources in the toolkit include the Intake Questionnaire for New Digital Projects and resources attached to steps:

Step 1 will help you evaluate who on your campus is creating digital projects, the problems they are facing, and where they are finding help now. Step 2 offers a framework to analyze where there are overlaps and gaps in the services offered by various units on campus, for all stages of the digital project lifecycle. Step 3 provides tools to facilitate meetings with key stakeholders to develop plans to support faculty and their digital research projects in a way that is in line with campus mission and priorities.

These are great resources, and ready for implementation and customization.  The resources also help inform the overall process. For instance, Hosting a Stakeholder Roundtable is both a useful guide for holding a roundtable on DH needs, and for the general process/project need to involve stakeholders from the start with digital humanities projects. At UF, our grant process includes a stakeholder and participant feasibility meeting, which serves as an early stage information sharing, brainstorming, and commitment discussion to get buy-in from the start and to ensure all projects are the best they can be. The feasibility meetings initially began for commitment and resource evaluation, with the role growing to reflect the needs to support collaborative projects. We’re also using project charters more frequently, which support some of the related goals.

Overall, I love that the resources from Ithaka S+R include a template survey and a template presentation slide deck for the survey results. These are awesome resources for each institution internally, and could lead to an extremely incredible data set for comparison across institutions, including for identifying opportunities for collaboration. I look forward to discussing this at UF for possible use. I look forward to learning about what others are doing with these new resources!

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