Technical Resources Required for a Successful P.E. Project

What are the technical requirements of a P.E. project?

Hardware & Software

A project needs to be aware of the kinds of hardware and software it will need. At one level, a project has to consider the devices and software packages required to develop the project, but also the devices and software platforms on which the project will be used (i.e. what the intended users already own)

A project has to consider the material that it will present. If it is already digitised, it has to be uploaded to the system; if it is not, the project will require digitising systems to transform the objects.

N.B. If there is an existing service, only devices are required.

Requirements (software)

[software requirements will determine hardware]

It is important for a project to know what its requirements are. This is divided into two broad categories:

Use existing software packages/services

Open source

Financial implications

Limits of service/package (how well can they be extended/tailored?)

Develop own software

Need for GOOD documentation

Sticking to standards

Data model that suits the requirements of the project

Software (and data) should be reusable

Software should be scalable (adding new features/handling increasing content/handling traffic)

Shared development language



Group 3: Challenges

Software Development Companies

  • Negotiating permissions to access and reuse data (including time investment)
  • Ethics of using public data for profit
  • In the humanities, attributing information is an iterative process. Data in the humanities is not ‘certain’ or ‘perfect.’ Finding value in data which is not concrete.
  • Compatibility of business model
  • Different standards of data, different formats of artefacts; adjusting to them within a business model

Aggregating institutions

  • No common standards between institutions
  • Negotiating copyright laws
  • Ethical issues of collection
  • Sustainability (technical, economic, human)
  • Acknowledging contributions of the public


  • Working knowledge of subject and technology
  • Level of expertise might be barrier to participation
  • Design for student participation
  • Assess students’ learning
  • Assess quality of work

Disadvantaged communities

  • Access to technology
  • Awareness and reach
  • Understanding value in P.E. projects
  • No good examples of Universal Design in databases

Institutional mediators

  • Management of all stakeholders
  • Mediating heavily conflicting opinions (specifically through technology)
  • For the mediator, managing time; constantly monitoring work
  • Managing quality and authority of the work

Group 3 | Benefits & Agents

Software development companies 

  • Access to new data
  • New working opportunities
  • PR
  • Ideas from experimental projects in CH and academia

Aggregating Institutions

  • Reusability of data
  • Collecting structured data
  • Fosters partnerships
  • Shared standards
  • Sharable policies and Procedures


  • Working with peers but also stakeholders
  • Using a medium they are (apparently) comfortable with
  • Valuing humanities
  • Learning from primary sources (also being critical of sources)
  • Learning methodological approaches
  • Cross disciplinary learning

Disadvantages Communities 

  • Universal design + accessibility
  • Being represented
  • Participating in their own representations (agency)
  • Social justice
  • Financial implications of access (economically disadvantaged)

Institutional mediators

  • Self organised content creation
  • Contact with new leaders
  • Space for encouraging dialogue