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The LAIRAH Digital Humanities checklist

The following list of features is a result of the research of the LAIRAH project. It is based on a study of good practice and of well-used projects in the digital humanities domain. The following is a list of features that the ideal digital humanities project ought to include. To find out more about why we make these recommendations, please consult the LAIRAH report.

The ideal digital humanities project would:


  • Have an unambiguous name that indicates its purpose or content.
  • Concern a subject that is either popular in a wide community or essential for a smaller expert one.
  • Retain its server logs, and make them available to their funding agency and researchers, subject to confidentiality agreements.
  • Keep documentation and make it available from the project web site, making clear the extent, provenance and selection methods of materials for the resource.


  • Have a clear idea of whom the expected users might be; consult them as soon as possible and maintain contact through the project via a dedicated email list or website feedback.
  • Carry out formal user surveys and software and interface tests and integrate the results into project design.
  • Be designed for a wide variety of users, and include information to help the non-expert to understand the resource and use its contents.


  • Have access to good technical support, ideally from a centre of excellence in digital humanities.
  • Recruit staff who have both subject expertise and knowledge of digital humanities techniques, then train them in other specialist techniques as necessary.
  • Have access to short term funds to allow it to retain expert staff between projects.


  • Have an attractive, usable interface, from which all material for the project may be accessed without the need to download further data or software.
  • Maintain and actively update the interface, content and functionality of the resource, and not simply archive it with the AHDS.
  • Disseminate information about itself widely, both within its own subject domain and in digital humanities.

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