PurposeThis paper proposes a new perspective on the enormous and unresolved challenge to existing practices of publication and documentation posed by the outputs of digital research projects in the humanities, where much good work is being lost due to resource or technical challenges.Design/methodology/approachThe paper documents and analyses both the existing literature on promoting sustainability for the outputs of digital humanities projects and the innovative approach of a single large-scale project.FindingsThe findings of the research presented show that sustainability planning for large-scale research projects needs to consider data and technology but also community, communications and process knowledge simultaneously. In addition, it should focus not only on a project as a collection of tangible and intangible assets, but also on the potential user base for these assets and what these users consider valuable about them.Research limitations/implicationsThe conclusions of the paper have been formulated in the context of one specific project. As such, it may amplify the specificities of this project in its results.Practical implicationsAn approach to project sustainability following the recommendations outlined in this paper would include a number of uncommon features, such as a longer development horizon, wider perspective on project results, and an audit of tacit and explicit knowledge.Social ImplicationsThese results can ultimately preserve public investment in projects.Originality/valueThis paper supplements more reductive models for project sustainability with a more holistic approach that others may learn from in mapping and sustaining user value for their projects for the medium to long terms.
Fields of Science and Technology classification (FOS)
05 social sciences, 0501 psychology and cognitive sciences, 0509 other social sciences, 050904 information & library sciences, 060201 languages & linguistics
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
free text keywords: Library and Information Sciences, Information Systems, Digital Humanities, sustainability, project documentation, Audit, Sustainability, Business, Work (electrical), Resource (project management), Project management, business.industry, Context (language use), Knowledge management, Value (ethics), Documentation