How To Organize Projects

Projects may effectively be organized in various ways. The “best” approach depends upon the nature of the data, institutional practices and traditions, the source(s) of support, and various other factors.

Due to the flexible” nature of both projects and transactions, this document is not meant to serve as a prescription, but rather as an overview of some viable approaches.

Mega-Projects

Example: http://arctos.database.museum/project/beringian-coevolution-project-bcp

Many activities are captured under one project umbrella in this example (primarily due to the structure of funding). The project supports collecting (Accessions), the specimens collected support research (Loans), the loans produce publications. Research also pulls from other projects (“Projects contributing specimens”) and specimens collected are made availale for general usage (“Projects using contributed specimens”).

Instead of one large project, the data could be organized into several smaller projects related by transactions. For example, one project which supports general collecting, and several focused (e.g., taxon-specific) projects (possibly involving the same agents) which borrow from the collecting project. This may be necessary to support local practices (e.g., accessions<–>field expeditions), while a mega-project may make more sense in an institution with more flexible accessioning practices.