Module A1: What is the scope of your project?

Module Status: Drafting in Progress | Ready for Testing | Tested
Current Module Downloads: Module A1 Activity Worksheet

Before getting started with the Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap, you will first want to define the precise scope of the project currently under consideration. While this may seem a simple request, determining the shape and parameters of your project can be quite complicated. Digital projects can be superbly multi-faceted, and can manifest themselves via any number of creative outputs, which we call sites of production. These sites could include, for example:

  • A user-facing WordPress website
  • Project code stored in GitHub
  • A digital exhibition in Omeka
  • A dataset in XML
  • Internal tools built by project staff
  • Conference presentations, slide decks, or written publications

As you go through the modules of the Roadmap, you’ll be asked to consider questions such as who your project is designed for, what parts of it are most important to sustain, who is responsible for its technologies, and how it is funded. Many of these questions can be answered differently for different parts of a large-scale digital project. In order to respond to these questions effectively, therefore, your team will need to decide–and agree on–what specific digital components of your project you are addressing as you work through this iteration of the Roadmap.

Some, or all, of your digital project’s sites of production may be fair game for your work with the Roadmap, but we highly suggest that you run this workshop on one of them at a time. Assessing multiple digital manifestations of your project in tandem might seem to allow for some efficiencies, but it often creates confusion about priorities in and among the different outputs you are discussing. It can also be quite overwhelming.

Additional Resources

Cohen, Daniel H. and Roy Rosenzweig. “Preserving Digital History.” Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

Digital Preservation Coalition. “Why Digital Preservation Matters.” Digital Preservation Handbook. 2nd edition, 2015.

Lynch, John A., et al. “Scholarly Web Design Best Practices for Sustainability.” UCLA Center for Digital Humanities Blog. June 14, 2017.

(Module last updated October 2022)

Next Module: Module A2: How long do you want your project to last?
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