INFO 284-02
Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Topic: Digital Curation
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Dorothy F. Waugh
Other contact information: Contact via email or Canvas. I will endeavor to respond to all messages within one business day.
Office Hours: By email and by appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st at 6 am PDT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to issues related to the management of digital objects throughout their lifecycle, from appraisal and acquisition to preservation, description, and access. Students will be introduced to the principles governing digital curation and will examine examples of digital curation in practice as applied to a range of digital object types and formats.

Course Requirements


Assignment CLOs Percentage of grade

Weekly discussions

Postings due by 11:59 pm PT on Thursday of each week.

At least one response to another student's posting due by 11:59 pm PT on Sunday of each week.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 20%

Personal digital archives evaluation

Analyze and evaluate your own personal digital archives from a curatorial perspective.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on September 30.

1, 6, 7 15%

Digital curation case study: Donor/client interview

Based on a supplied scenario, prepare for the acquisition of a digital collection through an information gathering exercise.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on October 21.

1, 2, 4 10%

Digital curation case study: Digital curation proposal

Review the information gathered during the previous assignment and develop a digital curation plan for the digital collection outlined in the supplied scenario.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on November 4. 

1, 2, 3, 6, 7 15%

Group project

Identify a potential digital curation project. Determine the project challenges and requirements. Develop a functional plan and work agreement designed to guide the project. Complete the project as described in the work agreement. Submit a project report describing your work and evaluating the success of the project.

Project proposal due by 11:59 pm PT on October 7.

Project due by 11:59 pm PT on December 5.

Project report due by 11:59 pm PT on December 9.

1, 2, 3, 7 40% (30% for the project, 10% for the project report)

Course Calendar

This schedule is subject to change with fair notice to students. Any changes will be announced via email and Canvas.

Module Date Description
1 Aug 21 - 26 Introductions to the course and each other
2 Aug 27 - Sept 2 Introduction to digital curation
3 Sept 3 - 9 Models of digital curation
4 Sept 10 - 16 OAIS Reference Model
5 Sept 17 - 23 Defining data
6 Sept 24 - 30 Description and representation
7 Oct 1 - 7

Designing data

Digitized assets

8 Oct 8 - 14

Creating and receiving data

Personal digital archiving

9 Oct 15 - 21

Appraisal and selection

Research data 

10 Oct 22 - 28

Digital preservation

Web archives

11 Oct 29 - Nov 4

Methods of preservation

Born-digital archives 

12 Nov 5 - 11

Storing data for long-term preservation

Scholarly communication

13 Nov 12 - 18

Digital repositories

  Nov 19 - 25 Thanksgiving break
14 Nov 26 - Dec 2

Access, use, and reuse


15 Dec 3 - Dec 9 Course wrap-up 

Weekly readings will be posted on the Canvas course site. Any readings assigned in addition to chapters from the required textbook will be available via Canvas or through openly available Websites.


There is a 10% penalty per day for assignments turned in up to one week late. No assignments will be accepted if more than one week late.

Should you need to request an extension, please do so at least one week prior to the due date. No extensions will be granted for weekly discussion posts or the group project, as both are collaborative assignments and students are dependent on each other's work.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 284 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the decision making process behind selection for preservation.
  2. Describe the evolution of digital curation theory and practice.
  3. Summarize the causes of deterioration of various types of information objects.
  4. Identify key concepts and standards in digital preservation, including the OAIS model and repository development.
  5. Define the principles of a workable preservation policy in libraries, archives, and corporate DAM settings.
  6. Identify and apply disaster planning, prevention, response, and recovery strategies.
  7. Locate and evaluate tools, research and other resources on preservation.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Oliver, G., & Harvey, R. (2016). Digital curation (2nd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 0838913857arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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