Hidden Costs and Hidden Hours in Digitisation

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A perspective from the UK funding body JISC on digitization, looking both at common pitfalls in writing applications and also some of the hidden issues, both in terms of cost and time, in digitisation projects for cultural heritage.

Transcript of Hidden Costs and Hidden Hours in Digitisation

  • 1.Hidden Costs and Hidden Hours: A Funders Perspective on Digitisation Cilip Executive Briefing 26th March 2009 Alastair Dunning, JISC Programme Manager a.dunning @AT@ jisc.ac.uk 0203 006 6065 http://digitisation.jiscinvolve.org/


  • What funding bodies look for
  • Breaking down some project costs
  • Examples drawn from JISC Digitisation Programme
    • Three strands, totalling >50 projects and 22m worth of funding, from 2004 to present


  • Speaking in capacity as working for JISC, HE focussed, but hopefully generic
  • Equally, this is not just relevant for digitisation
  • Peer-reviewers do the marking; ofteninterpret criteria differently
  • You can be unlucky with a good bid;expect to fail before succeeding .
  • Winning teams show evidence ofbroader strategic thinking


  • Evidence of Impact and Use
    • Testimonies from potential users
    • Embedding in national curriculum and elsewhere
    • Break down your audiences and target them
    • Good dissemination and marketing
    • Do not rely on historical significance what makes your project special ?
    • JISC DiscmapandImpact AnalysisProjects


  • Linking up with Others
    • Ensuringgood resource discovery(e.g. RLUK 19 th -century pamphlets project )
    • Improve Your Online Presenceworkshop
    • Economies of scale in terms of equipment, software tools, delivery mechanisms
    • Avoid creating isolated resources


  • Organisation
    • Strong leadershipwhere necessary
    • Advisory and Steering Boards obligatory for larger projects
  • Considered approach towards IPR
    • Recognition of risksand work to be done
    • Understanding of licensing beyond copyright clearance


  • Workflows and Standards
    • Not the same emphasis as 5 years ago, but still important
    • Use of existing standards, but also need formetadata manipulation
  • Integrating Web 2.0
    • Innovative interfaces becoming a must
    • User-generated datato contextualise your content?


  • Practical Matters
    • Do what you are asked for not what you blindly want use your strategy in imaginative ways.
    • Preparation before bids partners, strategies, pilot studies proactive not reactive
    • JISC has paid for servers and capture equipment, but do not exaggerate
    • Other sources of funding show value for money


  • JISC e-Content Call Closes 1 stJune 2009
    • Strand A Developing Institutional Skills
      • Economies of Scale for Digitisation and Delivery; new strategies for institutional digitisation
    • Strand B Enhancing Digital Content
      • Improving metadata, resource discovery, usability etc.
    • Only open to English and Welsh HEIs but partnerships are possible
  • Future for digitisation is a little unclear
  • Often some overlap in other JISC calls

10. Approximate figures end of projects reports will finalise numbers Freeze Frame Polar Images British Cartoon Archive John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera East London Theatre Archive Mixture of photos, negatives, glass plates Prints & sketches of newspaper cartoons in various media Huge range or textual and printed material, playbills to cigarette cards Mainly theatre posters 523,490 project cost 946,770 1.764m 628,987 c.20,000 images c.15,000 images c.65,000 images c.15,000 images Largely done in-house Cost included significant metadata & hardware costs Mixed public private investment Many posters in fragile state 11. But each project had different scope so differences are to be expected! 12.

  • Problems in digitisation often incur not extra costs, but take up more time, and involve more people within an institution
  • Unclear lines of communication or weak management slow down projects with partners
  • In theJISC Digitisation Programme ,Transport, Licensing, Copyright Clearance, Metadata Creation, Metadata Manipulation, Quality Controlall caused more problems than antcipated

13. This is a subjective approximation of project costs and time spent on theEast London Theatre ArchiveProject 14. This is a subjective approximation of project costs and time spent on phase 2 of theArchival Sound RecordingsProject 15.

  • If you have serious ambitions for digitisation, a broader strategy is required
  • Think about audiences and impact
  • Build your metadata and reuse it
  • Data capture will be the least of your problems, unless doing it for first time.