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University of Texas Libraries

University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life

Digital Projects

Continued excellence in UT Library's Digital Contributions

What is a DPOC Project?

A digital project is any activity with a start date, specific goals, and an end date that requires the resources of Digitization, Digital Access Services (metadata analysis and specification), Library Systems, or Technology Integration Services.

Projects typically fall into one of two categories: Operational or Collections. An Operational project is one that does not involve content from UTL collections. These projects are typically for improving or enhancing UTL operations. Collections projects include projects such as digitization projects involving web design, development, metadata, and graphic design.

Grant Proposals

The digital project proposal process precedes the grant application process for projects involving the resources of Digitization, Digital Access Services, Library Systems, or Technology Integration Services. Obtaining approval for the digital project before preparing and submitting the grant application ensures commitment from the UT Libraries for technical resource allocations as well as more detailed and accurate grant application information.

Who Can Propose a Digital Project?

Any UT Libraries staff member (student, classified, or professional) may propose a project provided their supervisor(s) and the Associate Director for their division approve the idea. Faculty and staff outside the UT Libraries may work with a library staff member to develop a proposal, but the UT Libraries staff member must submit the proposal.

DPOC Roles and Responsibilities

Project Proposer:

The UT Libraries staff member with an idea for a project and the support of their supervisor(s) and Associate Director.

Project Owner:

The UT Libraries staff member with ownership of the digital project, responsible for oversight, communication and liaising with technical team. In some cases, but not all, the project owner may be the project proposer.

Supervisor:

The supervisor(s) of the UT Libraries staff member proposing a digital project.

AD:

The Associate Director over the reporting line for the UT Libraries staff member proposing the project.

Digital Projects Oversight Committee (DPOC):

DPOC is comprised of the unit heads of the four areas that bear a large share of the work involved in producing, maintaining, hosting, and preserving digital projects for the Libraries: Digital Access Services, Library Systems, Preservation and Digitization Services, and Technology Integration Services. This group is responsible for evaluating the technical feasibility of a digital project and forwarding technical requirements to the Digital Projects Review Committee (DPRC). In addition to elected members, DPOC members are standing committee members of the Digital Projects Review Committee.

Digital Projects Review Committee (DPRC):

The DPRC is convened by a rotating Associate Director (AD). The committee is comprised of the four chairs of the Collections Stewardship and Assessment (CSA) groups and the members of DPOC. This group is responsible for evaluating the research value of a digital project and forwarding review to the AD Council.

AD Council:

The library leadership group comprised of the Vice Provost and the Associate Directors. The AD Council selects and prioritizes projects based on the technical review and content evaluation.

The Proposal and Selection Process

Project proposers must complete a Digital Project Proposal Form and have it reviewed and signed by their supervisor and Associate Director (AD) before submission. Completed proposals are routed to DPOC and evaluated for technical requirements. The results of DPOC's technical review for Collections projects are passed to the Digital Projects Review Committee for a content review. The DPRC evaluates proposals based on the content evaluation criteria and forwards evaluations for all proposals to the AD Council. The technical review for Operational projects will not go to the DPRC because a content review is not necessary; those evaluations will go directly to the AD Council. The AD Council will determine which projects should be approved for implementation and will rank them in priority order.

Project Management

Each project proposer must designate a project owner to assist with the management of the project. Coordinating with the Digital Projects Oversight Committee (DPOC), the unit project owner engages in project planning; documentation; coordinating unit staff, activities and scheduling; and oversight and reporting. See the Project Roles and Responsibilities document for more information of the roles of Project Owner, Project Lead, and Project Team.

Proposal Timeline

Proposals will be accepted twice a year as part of a formal call for project proposals in the Fall and Spring. Projects selected during the proposal process may be scheduled to start during the following long semester. For example, projects selected in the Spring proposal process may be scheduled to start in the Fall. DPOC will release the proposal schedule at the beginning of each academic year (Fall semester).

Fast Tracking

Fast tracking projects creates delays in other projects. In the rare cases where fast tracking is necessary, the AD giving approval for submission of a project proposal may route the proposal for fast tracking anytime throughout the year. DPOC members will evaluate the technical requirements of the project and detail the negative impact on the scheduling of other approved projects. This report from DPOC is submitted directly to the AD Council rather than passing through the DPRC for evaluation of research value. The AD Council gives final approval and prioritization for fast track projects, determining which existing projects will be delayed to focus on the fast track project.

Reviewing Digital Projects

All digital projects are subject to an annual review. Even once complete, most digital projects entail care and maintenance which require ongoing technical resources. The purpose of the annual reviews is to ensure that digital projects remain in scope, within the allocated resources, and relevant to the priorities of the UT Libraries. Digital project reviews assess whether the library should continue to devote resources to a project. Reviews take place in the Summer and follow Steps 3, 4 and 5 of the DPOC Proposal Process.