Introduction:

The Digital Humanities Liaison (Rafia Mirza), Director of Scholarly Communication (Brett Currier), and The Research Data Librarian (Peace Ossom Williamson) have developed a workbook for the use of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in Libraries. We have developed a MOU template to apply to large scale collaborative projects. We have found that this workflow and management has assisted the library with organizational commitment, identifying hiccups and limitations before starting the project, and priority evaluation with competing projects. Because the shift from transactional work to long term projects is happening in many libraries, The MOU team has created a workbook available through ResearchCommons. This collection includes a general MOU template, templates for particular projects, a workflow, and instructions for each.


Background for this collection:

As the library has collaborated on more and more projects we have found that the process goes more smoothly for all parties when expectations are discussed beforehand and pre-planning is done. We think of the Memorandum of Understanding as a blueprint for projects. Of course, projects may change as you begin work on them, but a blueprint helps all parties be aware of what to expect on the way. We have found that collaboration thrives on transparency, communication and understanding.


This endeavor began when Rafia Mirza identified MOUs as a potential tool for project management and collaboration between the Libraries and outside parties. She found that in collaborating on digital projects which have multiple interdepartmental and intradepartmental participants, it was helpful to have an organizing document that laid out the project plan and timeline.


Many of the projects we collaborate and consult on have a copyright component, so Mirza begin collaborating with the Director of Scholarly Communication (Currier). In conversations with Currier, Mirza realized that many other librarians were partnering on long-term projects like she is, and they felt this tool would be beneficial to the library as a whole. The two began this undertaking, adding the Research Data Librarian (Williamson) to the MOU team as she completed an MOU template she’d been using for systematic review projects. As we continued discussing this intradepartmentally, we found a Digital Project Librarian (Faedra Wills) had also created a MOU for use in establishing journals using MOU for Open Access e-Journal Hosting & Publishing.


The process of writing an MOU is iterative. We hope to continue to build and expand upon this collection, which is why this workbook will use versioning, as we continue to refine and add to this workbook.


If you use this template, the MOU team would like to hear from you about your experience. Additionally, if you create a template for a standardized project, we would like to include it in the workbook and give you credit as a contributor. Please use the form below to contact us:

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