Principles Guiding Our Work

The following principles guide our digital scholarship work and align with our larger mission and values and diversity strategic plan.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion. We endeavor to make labor practices, research methods, and distribution of time and resources equitable and inclusive. We commit to prioritizing, as within our power, initiatives that work toward ensuring just, equitable, and inclusive outcomes. We believe digital scholarship should not cause harm, but understand that is not always possible. When harm is unavoidable, we commit to mitigating the harm caused.

Antiracism. We commit to supporting the institution’s goals related to antiracism, and aim to support research that uses ethical approaches that do not further perpetuate harm on communities disproportionately affected by historic and systemic racism and neglect.

Accessibility. We are committed to accessibility — according to best practices and relevant standards including WCAG 2.1 AA — in our services, our programming, and the projects we support, in terms of both products and processes.

Openness. We believe access to digital scholarship should be made as open as possible, though in some cases it should be closed to protect sensitive information or vulnerable communities. Where possible, we will use open standards, tools, and review processes to promote responsible long-term sustainability and access.

Transparency. We endeavor to make our processes transparent and legible, and to provide proper attribution and compensation. This will be accomplished by adhering to best practices for collaboration and hiring in digital scholarship, by sharing our documentation, and providing opportunities for feedback. 

Care and consent. We prioritize the consent of involved parties and believe it is central to our service model. Informed by the Consentful Tech project, we employ an opt-in model, where staff may choose to work on projects, and are empowered to decline if they don't have the capacity. We prioritize projects that have mechanisms for community accountability. Our goal is to center human needs throughout the research process.

Connection. We leverage the resources of the U-M Library and the University of Michigan to provide our digital scholarship service, while also recognizing that there are limits to individual and organizational capacity.

Partnership. We strive to be a partner in the research, learning, and teaching processes.

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