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FIU Digital Project Guidelines and Help Materials

The internal standard operating procedures for FIU Libraries' digital collections



Initial Questions:


  1. Is the content unique (not available in any other format for free or for purchase)?

◦If the content is not unique, is the cost of digitization (personnel and materials) less than the cost of purchase?

  1. Is there a demand for this content?
  2. What is the benefit of having this material digitized?


The purpose for digitization will guide many of the decisions made in the following sections. For example, digitization for preservation can mean that you may not need to worry about the same types of access files you would need for distribution online, and that there may be fewer copyright and intellectual property limitations. Each case will be different, depending on a number of factors.


Some examples of purpose are:

  1. Access
  2. Preservation
  3. Special event
  4. Publication
  5. Others ?

Copyright Clearance

The answer to one or more of these questions does not necessarily preclude digitization. However, they should be answered in every case.


  1. Is the material under copyright?
  2. How will it be used?/What is the purpose for digitization?
  3. Has sufficient due diligence been performed to make sure FIU libraries are operating within the law?

Access Restrictions

  1. Can these materials be accessed openly or do restrictions need to be in place?
  2. If materials need to be restricted, what type of restriction do they need?
    1. IP (location based)
    2. Authentication

i.What types of authentication are possible? Does authentication need to be tied in to any other system?

  1. Do the current systems allow for access restrictions, and if not, does the Systems department or another group need to be involved in possible development conversations?


  1. How are the digitized items tracked through the process?
  2. Are you using unique identifiers to name your objects and digital files?
  3. Are there multiple identifiers?
  4. Is it important to be able to run reports and/or statistics for these files?


  1. Are the items born digital or will they need to be digitized?
  2. If items are born digital, are transformations needed (e.g. OCR, cleanup, file format changes)?
  3. What are the standard preservation and dissemination file types for the particular material you are digitizing? The Florida Digital Archive has a set of requirements for preservation file types. This should be considered before digitization or format changes.
  4. What will be the structure for your digital object? (e.g. a single photograph, a group of photographs, audio and associated text, a book with many pages…)?
  5. What type of equipment will be needed to digitize?

Metadata Creation

  1. Are there existing metadata records in one form or another?
  2. What is the appropriate metadata schema(s) for this item?
  3. What metadata schemas are supported by the system you plan to use?
  4. If there is existing metadata but it does not fit the schema needed, will a crosswalk be needed?


  1. Which is the best system(s) for hosting your digital material to maximize user discover and access?
  2. Are you creating PURLs for your digital material, or that handled by the system you are using?
  3. What are the possible mechanisms for getting metadata from the system you are using into the catalog?


Preservation includes the storage of digital media along with a mode of identification and access. Without proper information about a digital artifact, and an easy way to retrieve it, the item is not truly preserved.

  1. What level of preservation is most appropriate?
    1. Minimum (very risky)

i.Gold CD/DVD and/or single computer workstation

  1. Medium (pretty risky)

ii.Network storage and computer workstation

  1. High (safe)

iii. Multi-site network storage and Florida Digital Archive (FDA)