Scholarly Digitization Fund


Books - Allyson Clay Works
From the Allyson Clay Works collection
digitized by the SFU Library in 2011.

The Scholarly Digitization Fund covers costs associated with digitizing scholarly materials. Digitization work includes scanning, creation of descriptive information, and other processing in preparation for deposit in Summit, the Library’s Research Repository, or another publicly accessible repository operated and maintained by the SFU Library.


Established in 2010/11, the goal of the Scholarly Digitization Fund is to expose SFU research and scholarship to the University and broader community, leading to greater visibility and knowledge transfer of SFU scholarship and research output. These outcomes are in keeping with the mission of the University, the goals in the SFU Strategic Research Plan, and the principles in the Library’s Open Access Strategy.

The Library is committed to providing permanent, persistent access to these digitized resources.

Grant recipients

Past award announcements can be found at Scholarly Digitization Fund - Grant Recipients.            


The SFU Library Scholarly Digitization Fund is a $50,000 annual fund, as funds are available.

Maximum amount per project

Up to $5,000 will be awarded per project in one budget year and up to 7 projects will be funded in 2022. Projects should be completed before the end of the fiscal year (March 15, 2023).

Criteria for inclusion

  1. Works authored by SFU affiliated faculty, staff and students, OR, material from the SFU Library’s collections, especially Special Collections. Works should be scholarly in nature, or related to the teaching, learning or research mission of SFU.
  2. Works submitted should be "publication ready", as the Library does not provide editing services and proof reading services.
  3. The author/owner or proposer must be willing and able to grant SFU the right to preserve and provide open access to the work, including all content therein (e.g. 3rd party images, charts, etc).The fund will not be used to seek or pay for required copyright permissions. Those working with Indigenous knowledge may be exempted from the openness requirement if the pertinent Indigenous protocols regarding knowledge access, sharing, and intellectual property would be infringed by making the digitized expressions and materials openly accessible to the public.
  4. If the author/owner has received a SFU Library Scholarly Digitization grant previously, the funds must have been expended prior to the submission of a new application.

Selection process

Applicants are required to complete and submit an Application Form with a Project Description. Proposals will be accepted from SFU departments, Centres, Institutes, or other campus units, and also from individual faculty or staff.

A selection committee from the Library (using external consultation as needed) will select the successful applications, with preference being given to those proposals with matching contributions, either cash, grant-funded, or in-kind.

Deadline for submissions – Monday May 16, 2022. 
The Project Description should include the following:
  1. A short summary of the project (less than 200 words)
  2. A description of the material to be digitized, including an estimate of the number of items for each media type. For example, please describe the physical condition of the material to be digitized, and the formats of the material (e.g. text on paper, audio cassette tape, photographs, etc.).
  3. An explanation of who will do the descriptive “cataloguing”, or metadata work, for the materials that will be digitized. This work is VERY IMPORTANT and is a key component of your project as each digitized image/digital file must be accompanied by metadata. Metadata includes descriptive items such as title, author, date, subjects/keywords, etc. The Library will provide assistance in getting your metadata work started.
  4. Information on where the digitization will be done.  The proposed digitization can be either done in the Library’s digitization centre, or done elsewhere (such as SFU Document Solutions), and delivered to the Library for deposit in the Institutional Repository.
  5. A short explanation of the significance and benefits of making the material available online.
  6. A description of any copyright issues and explain how these issues have been/will be resolved. Please note that Scholarly Digitization Fund monies cannot be used to seek or pay for required copyright permissions.
  7. A budget breakdown that documents
    1. Amount requested (maximum request is $5000).
    2. Approximate price of the scanning (it is advisable to get a rough quote from whomever you wish to do the scanning. For quotes on digitization to be done by the Library please contact Don Taylor at
    3. Cost of hiring research assistants, students, etc to do work associated with collating materials, descriptive cataloguing of materials, and other work related to the project.
    4. Any contributions from the applicant (e.g. work in kind, money from grants, etc.)

Please send proposals (using the Application Form with Project Description template) to Don Taylor, University Copyright Officer and Research Repository Coordinator, Inquiries about the Fund and feasibility of projects are also welcome.

The University Librarian will have the final decision on funded projects.