Technical sustainability is an important consideration for all DH projects. Project directors should be able to answer the following questions about their project.  These questions might be posed by funding agencies, peer-reviewed journals, or library and IT staff that will eventually be responsible for the project’s maintenance or archiving.  While a PI may not be able to answer all of these questions at the beginning of a project, this is an opportunity to proactively consult with staff and share the responsibility of building and sustaining successful DH projects.  Get in touch with a digital humanities consultant (dh-consult@berkeley.edu) to begin discussing your project’s technical requirements.

As researchers investigate resources for their project, they are encouraged to make use of resources like DiRT Directory and resource guides on the DH at Berkeley site, which discuss campus-specific resources and communities.  

Platform

For a more detailed discussion on choosing a platform for your project website, see this resource guide

  • how often will software updates need to be applied?  Who will be responsible for applying updates?
  • how often will new content be added and who will be in charge of doing it? Will that person need technical skills? (e.g. entering information in a web form vs. hand coding new pages)
  • where will the project be hosted and for how long? How much will hosting cost and who will be providing those resources? Who will be the project contact when hosting must be renewed?

Sustainability

Does the project...

  • make use of existing campus resources? e.g. hardware, software licenses, technical expertise
  • use software and/or languages that are widely supported on campus?
  • utilize open source software?
  • connect or contribute to other projects in the field? Does it make contributions to a larger open-source project?
  • require extensive custom programming?
  • require extensive resources for computation or processing? e.g. rendering 3D environment simulations, using text analysis software on a collection of thousands of tweets
  • make its data available for reuse? Can the data be exported to common formats (e.g. CSV, JSON)? Will the data be available via API?
  • provide documentation for its technical upkeep? Where will that documentation be posted? Who will be responsible for keeping it current?

*Some of these questions have been adapted from Ithaka S+R’s Intake Questionnaire for New Digital Projects

Resources:

Resource Type
Last updated: Dec 9, 2015