Note: as of July 2015, this document is no longer editable. Please find a static version here:

ABSTRACT: This Best Practices document responds to a perceived need for clear, actionable recommendations for humanities scholars beginning a collaborative digital project who want to know: “what questions should I ask if I am interested in starting a digital humanities project?” Because scholars are rarely trained in project management, it aims to provide a series of questions applicable to a wide range of projects; questions that are not written in prose, don’t require significant digging to find, aren’t tethered to a specific group’s experience, and aren’t behind a paywall. This document focuses specifically on the initial stages of a digital humanities project: engaging a collaborator and setting expectations.


Digital Humanities Best Practices: Engaging a Collaborator

Before Collaboration:

Scope of Project:

        Resource: Bethany Nowviskie’s “Ten Rules for Humanities Scholars New to Project


Consider a Written Agreement:

      ➜  Resources: The Praxis Program’s 2014-15 Project Charter

                               Tito Sierra’s “The Project One-Pager”

                               Stan Ruecker and Milena Radzikowska’s “The Iterative Design of a

Project Charter for Interdisciplinary Research”

                               Industry University Cooperative Centers’ 2014 Membership Agreement  

With Your Collaborator: Discuss, Agree, and Put in Writing:


      ➜  Resources: Collaborators’ Bill of Rights

                       UCLA’s A Student Collaborator’s Bill of Rights

       Elijah Meeks’ “How Collaboration Works and How It Can Fail”

Output / Deliverables Expectations:

Project Management Basics:

         Resources: Sharon M. Leon’s “Project Management for Humanists”

                                Tom Scheinfeldt’s “Intro to Project Planning and Management”

Communication Expectations:

Speaking the Same Language:


Project Maintenance, Longevity, and Ownership:

            Resources: Info on licensing code: Choosing An OSS License

                                  Creative Commons Licenses

Best Practices author: Elizabeth Buhe; contributors: Jessica Backus, Liz Lastra, Alice Lynn McMichael, Bethany Nowviskie, Miriam Posner, Emily Pugh, Lynne Siemens, Orta Theorx, CAA THATCamp 2015 participants

earlier draft and bibliography archived here

last updated 6/10/2015