Good digital projects are based on standards (where established) and best practices (where standards have not yet been established) or as an application of a standard in a workflow.
They are necessary for a number of reasons:
- • the use of standards allows for interoperability with other data
- • most accepted standards, whether for a file format or metadata, are open, in contrast to proprietary formats and standards which can "hold data hostage," assuring continued access to a resource
- • the consistent application of standards and best practices in digital projects enhances the efficient management of digital assets, making development more cost-effective, and improving access
Adherence to minimal standards (with respect to file format, metadata and other criteria) is also necessary for a digital project created at Washington University to be included in the digital library. The purpose of establishing base criteria is both to increase functionality in and assure a baseline of quality in the materials in the digital library, and to promote use of these standards in all digital projects undertaken in the University community.