Project Proposal Criteria Checklist

Updated: ewb on May, 2021

The following criteria will assist faculty and staff in developing and evaluating digital initiatives project proposals, help in prioritizing activities, and establish a strong rationale when requesting support from internal or external sources. The criteria, organized by broad category, will help document the merits of project proposals and promote an analytical approach to project selection.  Criteria are not listed in order of importance; depending on the project, some will be more important and others may not apply.


  • The project addresses one or more of the University’s strategic goals.
  • The project provides significant support for student learning and engagement.
  • The project provides measurable support for faculty teaching and/or research efforts.
  • The project promotes the University in a manner that may generate further digital library projects and funding.
  • The project has local or regional importance.
  • The project represents an effort that is unique to St. Lawrence University. 


  • Source materials are in the public domain.
  • St. Lawrence University owns or has intellectual property rights to the content. 
  • The copyright holder will transfer applicable rights to St. Lawrence University.
  • Use of material can be justified under fair use and St. Lawrence University can control access.
  • Creators are willing to provide Open Access/Creative Commons type access to resources.


  • The project has faculty, student, alumni, community, or other advocates. 
  • The project creates or enhances a collaborative partnership.


  • The project will complement existing collection strengths, become part of an existing virtual collection, or contribute to the development of a critical mass of digital materials in a subject area.
  • The current use of source material indicates the potential of enduring value in digital form.
  • Source materials have value as artifacts.
  • The project includes material that is unique or rare.
  • The project addresses material that is deteriorating. 
  • The project provides integration of a variety of formats or related material scattered among a number of locations.
  • The project is likely to generate new or increased use of the material.
  • The project will create new or expanded modes of teaching.
  • The project will provide significant opportunities for student learning and inquiry.


  • The project will receive sustained use by an identifiable audience.
  • The project has the potential to increase the usefulness of and/or enhance access to the material, e.g., through new search capabilities, links to other materials, the ability to manipulate images and text, or study material in new ways.
  • The project will provide support for high-priority activities or areas of interest.
  • Source materials are being used in their current form.
  • The project is likely to generate new or increased use of the material.
  • Digitization will create new modes of teaching.

Intellectual access:

  • The source material has a coherent organizational scheme.
  • Cataloging and/or descriptive metadata work is complete. 
  • The project will require descriptive cataloging/metadata work.


  • The project can be completed with available funding resources.
  • The project can be completed using existing staff resources.
  • Libraries and Information Technology has sufficient staff and resources to support programming, user interface design, or other technology-intensive tasks.
  • The project has the potential to generate funding through grants, donors, or other external fund sources.
  • The project has the potential to save money over the long term, e.g., by eliminating the need to acquire resources, freeing up staff time, etc.

Technical feasibility:

  • The digital version can sufficiently represent the full content of the original.
  • Access and authentication can be provided using current institutionally supported technologies.
  • The Library has sufficient knowledge and expertise required for project development and ongoing maintenance – or access to such knowledge and expertise.
  • The project will capitalize on existing technical infrastructure and capabilities.
  • The project will adhere to or contribute to the development of national and international digital library standards. 
  • The project has the potential to expand our technical knowledge and expertise.


  • The project will result in a reduction in the handling of fragile material.
  • The project provides access to materials that cannot otherwise be easily used.
  • The project protects materials at high risk of theft or mutilation.
  • Condition of materials allows them to be safely digitized.
  • Condition of originals requires conservation. 
  • Possibility of scanning photographic intermediaries rather than originals.


  • Student, faculty, and community use of the project is measurable.
  • The project includes a plan for assessment.
Last updated
June 07, 2021