Building Digital Projects to Outlive Their Funding
Keywords:Digital humanities, academic funding, online databases, linguistic data, ancient astronomy
Sustainability is a well-known issue in the digital humanities, but it is rarely discussed in print. Too many valuable online research tools struggle to secure the funding to remain available indefinitely. This problem is especially pronounced in the case of short-term, grant-funded projects, which face the dual problem of limited development time and a horizon of active support. Yet these projects often produce bodies of knowledge that remain useful long after the project ends. Taking one specific case as a prototypical example, The Zodiac Glossary, this paper examines various strategies for ensuring the longevity of online digital resources. What works in extremis is easier to implement in other circumstances. This paper is, on one hand, an implicit call for better funding for digital projects. On the other, it is a brief guide to navigating the situation as it stands. Those working on digital projects may find strategies here to guide their own decision-making processes.
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