Digital Information Graduate Certificate ("DigIn")

What is the DigIn Program?

The rapid growth of digital collections and online services has led to a shortage of information professionals who possess the technical knowledge and learning skills needed to create, curate, preserve and manage digital collections in a fast-changing environment.

The DigIn graduate certificate program helps fill this gap by combining intensive, hands-on technology learning with a thorough grounding in the theoretical principles needed to curate and preserve large, complex digital collections. The program is offered on-line, making it available to those currently employed in the information professions as well as those seeking new career opportunities in the information professions.

The curriculum takes a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to curating and preserving digital information and is designed to support a wide range of career paths, especially involving libraries, museums, archives, records management, and data curation.

Graduate certificates are increasingly being recognized as a means for professionals with advanced degrees to update their knowledge and skills. DigIn also offers a path for those with undergraduate degrees who are interested in digital collections but who may not yet be ready to commit to a full degree program.

All coursework for DigIn is conducted online, with no residency requirement. The certificate consists of five semester-long graduate-level courses to be taken within four years. Students can begin the program in the Fall, or Spring semesters each year.  A total of 15 units is required for completion of the program.

DigIn was founded in 2006 with a grant by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Below are the five courses required for the DigIn program. Note that the courses do not have to be taken in numerical order, except that LIS 672 is a pre-requisite for LIS 675. Also, the Capstone is normally taken last, though exceptions may be made for this course. Courses must be completed within a four year window.

LIS 671 Digital Curation & Preservation

This course introduces students to the emerging field of data curation and preservation by examining the full range of practical issues involved in managing digital collections from the time they are created through creation of preservation plans and management issues for the long term. Topics include information organization, resource description, technical architectures,  services in the digital environment, and fundamental problems and potential solutions for long-term digital preservation. Above all, the course aims to provide an up-to-date view of systems design and policy issues students are likely to encounter in working with digital data.

LIS 672 Introduction to Applied Technology

This course gives students a practical grounding in some core technologies now commonly used to manage large, complex digital collections. As an extended hands-on exercise, students will learn to install, configure and manage a LAMP server for an online ePortfolio that will demonstrate students’ skills in working with the infrastructure needed to create and maintain digital collections. The course also introduces the basic concepts behind operating systems, web servers, databases and scripting, as well as technology planning and acquisition, project management, and networking fundamentals as applied within the information professions today.

LIS 673 Managing the Digital Environment

This course explores the management issues involved in curating digital collections and delivering user services in the digital environment. Topics include strategic planning, project management, the acquisition and deployment of systems, hardware and software lifecycles, information ethics, policy development, and organizational change. The course provides students an in-depth look at current strategies used by curators to build large-scale data collections in a range of institutional settings. Students may substitute the following courses for LIS 673: LIS 567, Leadership and the Information Organization or LIS 608, Managing the Information Organization. 

LIS 675 Advanced Digital Collections

This course builds on previous DigIn coursework by giving students an advanced view of some key systems design and information management problems currently facing practitioners responsible for digital collections and repositories. Students gain hands-on experience in constructing a prototype digital repository and access system for a collection to include their ePortfolio. The course also includes discussion of case examples highlighting current technical and policy issues being addressed by digital curators. By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the fundamental knowledge and learning skills needed to begin practical work on a wide range of digital projects and data collections.

LIS 676 DigIn Capstone

This course rounds out the certificate by giving students practical field experience in semester-length projects chosen to highlight their learning skills and growing knowledge of digital information management. Capstone projects are normally carried out in an institutional setting, with the student directly supervised by a practitioner. This course directly prepares students for employment in the field by demonstrating their problem solving capacity and their flexibility in meeting institutional requirements for building and maintaining digital collections and services.

Technology Requirements

This program requires access to a computer and Internet connectivity with specifications beyond the minimum requirements for most School of Information courses. Before registering for a DigIn course, please read the technical requirements below to make sure you have the necessary hardware, software and network connectivity. If you have questions about technical requirements, please contact the certificate coordinator.

Some DigIn courses will require you to download and install programs and updates, configure hardware and software, create simple Web pages and learn how to manage software environments that may be unfamiliar to you. There are no formal prerequisites for the certificate program, but you should be familiar with the World Wide Web and personal computers, and you should already be reasonably proficient at finding resources on the Web and performing routine tasks using word processors and spreadsheets. You should feel comfortable with your current operating system (e.g. Windows or Mac OS) and know how to create and organize files and folders, install and configure peripherals such as printers and other hardware devices, and do basic troubleshooting when problems occur.

Technology Requirements for courses LIS 672 and LIS 675

You will need at least one computer and a couple of accessories for this course. Read the following section carefully to see what you need to acquire and what you probably already have. Although you may need to purchase some hardware, the cost should not be burdensome or significantly more than you might expect to spend on books and course packs for traditional graduate professional courses. At least two weeks prior to the start of the program, you should contact the instructor and provide a list of the equipment you propose to use. As a matter of policy, we do not recommend particular brands, and a wide variety of equipment will be satisfactory. If you have questions about any particular item, especially ones you might need to purchase, your instructor will be happy to review your selections and suggest options.

The first computer you need will be the computer you probably already have. We'll call this your host computer. It may be either a Windows machine (Win7/Win8/Win10) or an Intel-based Mac (OS-X ).We will install virtualization software on it that will allow you to create one or more virtual computers running the Linux operating system, so you must have administrator rights on your computer. Optionally, you may wish to acquire a second computer for experimentation. Currently, the Raspberry Pi is supported. More information is available once the course begins. 

Because many of the resources we will use are large (up to 1GB downloads, and more in some cases), you MUST HAVE reliable BROADBAND connectivity to your Internet service provider. Most cable or DSL connections will be adequate. Download speeds of one megabit or more are preferred. Slower connections will lengthen the time it takes to acquire the necessary files.

You will need adequate disk space to install some new software on your production computer. If you don’t have at least 20GB of free disk space, you may need to consider acquiring a second hard drive, either internal or USB external. You should also have adequate RAM to run multiple programs. You will need a minimum of 2GB RAM for Mac 3GB RAM for Windows 7/8/10 systems. Depending on individual configurations, you may need to install more than these minimums.

Agreement between DigIn and the ASU Scholarly Publishing Certificate program

This agreement allows students to obtain both the DigIn and SP certificates with 26 total credit hours, as opposed to the 41 credit hours that would otherwise be required for both certificates.

The SP certificate requires 23 total credits, including 14 core and 9 elective credits. Under the agreement, SP accepts 9 DigIn credits as electives.

DigIn requires 18 total credits, all of which are required except in special cases, including the SP agreement, under which DigIn accepts 6 credits worth of SP core courses. At present, the following SP courses are approved as DigIn electives:

PUB 501 Intro to Scholarly Publishing (3 credits)
PUB 510 Research in Scholarly Publishing (3 credits)

All DigIn students are required to take the following courses:

LIS 671 Introduction to Digital Collections (3 credits)
LIS 672 Introduction to Applied Technology (3 credits)
LIS 675 Advanced Digital Collections (3 credits)

Under the agreement, SP students may be excused from taking LIS 676 DigIn Capstone and LIS 673 Managing the Digital Information Environment, though they are permitted to take these courses if they wish. All SP students are required to complete an internship course (PUB 584 Scholarly Publishing Internship) that cannot be accepted for credit in DigIn.

The agreement has no effect on requirements for the School of Information M.A. program, as the agreement applies only to students who are officially enrolled in the two certificate programs. The School of Information M.A. program does not accept transfer credits except in limited circumstances and from other ALA-accredited master’s programs.

Credit Sharing

Up to 12 units can be shared between the DigIn certificate and Master's degree. Up to 6 credits can be shared between the DigIn and Archives certificates. Credits cannot be triple-dipped, that is, shared among all three programs.  




College of Social and Behavioral Sciences