Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2017 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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Replicating Processes: Testing the Project Points System at UNT Digital Projects Lab
Marcia McIntosh, Shannon Willis

Last modified: 2017-03-22


The question of “how long would it take?” is one that is often a challenge to answer with digital collections development. To try and provide verified answers to these questions, the University of North Texas’ Digital Projects Lab embarked on a new statistics gathering and reporting method called the points system. This system was developed and presented on at the 2016 Digital Library Federation Forum by staff members from Northwestern University’s Digital Media Services Department. The system’s goal and result is to accurately gauge a lab’s capacity to digitize materials, and, therefore, commit to projects and partners at the beginning of each year only as much as fits the resources and capacity of that lab. Although UNT’s and Northwestern’s labs differ in many ways, the idea of having units in which to communicate the Digital Projects Lab’s capacity was worth attempting. In the Spring of 2017, staff at UNT began replicating the points system.

This experiment builds upon the Digitization Rubric presented on in 2015 at TCDL. That project provided data on how long it took to scan very formatted and controlled materials by timing student workers. The points system is similar in that it also collects timing data of scanning items, but considers whole projects over several months. It is also able to update past data as new more efficient methods of scanning are developed.

Attendees of this presentation will be able to learn about the points system and how its replication has affected the Digital Projects Lab, as well as how to apply the system in their home institutions.


Project Management; Digitization; Points System; Digital Libraries