Universal design is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics.
At the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, a group of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental design researchers established the following set of principles of universal design to provide guidance in the design of environments, communications, and products (Connell et al., 1997). They can be applied to academic environments, communications, and products.
When designing your digital project, consider these ethical principles in your choices and design.
When creating digital questions, you must consider both what you put in your digital project (e.g. the content) and what happens when you're finished creating it and are preparing to publish it online.
If you're using materials created by other people in your online scholarship (e.g. including paragraphs of a novel, using someone else's photographs or drawings), you need to consider whether you need permission from the copyright owner of those materials to include them in your own work. The following questions will guide you on whether you have permission to use the content.
Consult this spreadsheet for free music and other resources that you may use for your project.
Are You the Author, Copyright Holder or Creator?
Has a License Already Been Granted?
Has copyright holder already granted a license for you to include their work. Sometimes authors have already provided permission through grants such as Creative Commons licenses. The license, itself, will identify the terms of what uses can be made without needing to get the author's permission first.
If a copyright holder has not already applied a Creative Commons license, he or she may be willing (often for a fee) to grant publication permission under specific terms and conditions.
Is the Work in the Public Domain?
Public domain works are open for use with no permission needed. Just because material is online, however, does not mean it's in the "public domain." Public domain instead refers to works for which copyright protections have expired, or works that were ineligible for protection.
Does Your Use of the Content Fall Under Fair Use? (Note: Fair Use is a Defense for Copyright Infringement)
The Four Fair Use Factors
Before beginning your project, consider what digitization technology you will need, and make arrangements to access it. While Davidson has some scanning technology available in the library depending your digitization needs you may need to rely on entities outside the college to meet your digitization needs. If you are planning to archive your project, make sure you have touched base with the Davidson Archives about compatible file types.
Both machines have the capability to scan in color or black and white. They produce either PDFs or JPEGs that can be sent to a smartphone (via QR reader), a USB drive, Dropbox, Gmail, Google Docs, or Office365.
It's important to double-check the file format, image resolution, and file naming of your scans. Correct specifications can save you from accessibility issues later on. Several organizations provide scanning checklists you can borrow for your own scanning work, including the University of Melbourne and the University of Connecticut.
Digital A/V files can eat up a lot of storage space, so estimate your storage needs, and make sure you'll be able to accommodate those, before beginning the digitization process. See the Sustainable Heritage Network document, Estimating Storage Requirements for Digital Audio.
See UCF Libraries Basic Metadata Fields for other common fields.
See the Wisconsin Historical Society Best Practices for Organizing Electronic Records for tips. While geared towards bigger projects, even smaller projects would benefit from the practices outlined in here, such as: