ECDS Project Process

All ECDS projects go through a standard process of evaluation, planning, and execution that is outlined below. If you are considering proposing a project to the center, be sure to see our Guidelines for Proposing a Project with ECDS.


During this stage, the Project Owner discusses their project idea with ECDS staff. During the course of this conversation, we discuss items covered in the Guidelines for Proposing a Project with ECDS to prepare the Project Owner to submit a formal project proposal. Is the proposed idea:

  • A project within the scope of ECDS mission?
  • Achievable with the current staff and resources available to ECDS and Project Owner? With the help of additional partners on or off of campus?
  • Achievable with the Project Owner’s current research and teaching load?
  • One that is enhanced through digital intervention, and if so, why?
  • Sustainable? If not, can we build a proof of concept to pursue external funding?
  • Of significant scholarly importance to the Project Owner’s field of expertise, or to digital scholarship more generally?
  • Predicated upon the ability to secure rights to copyrighted material? Digitizing analog materials?

Proposal Vetting

Once the Project Owner has submitted a formal proposal to ECDS, it will be vetted by the ECDS staff and other relevant constituencies in LITS, the Rose Library, or the Woodruff Library. Typically, the staff will take two weeks to evaluate proposals before accepting, rejecting, or recommending them for revision. Proposals that are accepted will be assigned an ECDS staff Project Coordinator, and will move into the Project Planning stage. For projects estimated to require more than 80 hours of labor, or more than $20,000 to produce, the proposals will be presented to the Digital Scholarship and Pedagogy Governance Sub-Committee. This sub-committee, composed of faculty from across the university, will evaluate each proposal on sustainability and its alignment with Emory's mission (more info in the link above).

Project Planning

Once a proposal has been accepted by ECDS, the Project Owner and Project Coordinator will work with ECDS staff and other stakeholders to write a detailed work plan. ECDS will provide copies of previous detailed work plans upon request. In general, a project plan should include a detailed set of Project Outcomes (including digital and analog assets, plans for publication of findings/data, planned presentations, course materials, etc.), an Anticipated Timeline (including time for testing digital assets), a detailed Budget, an explanation of Resources (both tools and methods) upon which the project will draw, and the Core Project Team Members and their responsibilities.

Development and Testing

During this stage, the Project Owner and Core Project Team Members will execute the project plan submitted as a part of the Memorandum of Understanding. For projects that involve building websites or resources, this portion of the process includes testing and other pre-launch activities. We understand that digital projects at this scale often require pivots and shifts in scope or functionality, and the ECDS staff and Project Owner will work to be as agile as possible in the pursuit of innovative digital scholarly work.

Launch and Sustainability Plan

During this stage, ECDS works with the Project Owner to launch the project, publicize it, and evaluate its success. The Project Owner will work with the Core Project Team Members to ensure the project is ready to move into the sustainability phase outlined in the project plan, and assess whether or not there are additional possibilities for the project.