You may have landed on this article because you are seeking functionality or a configuration in ArchivesSpace that does not currently exist. This article meant to supplement the extant advice given by the ArchivesSpace Program Team on how to submit a feature request for new functionality to be added to the ArchivesSpace application.
Start with the ArchivesSpace Guidance
The easiest way to get started is to read the guidance offered directly by ArchivesSpace and available here. The additional information in this article supplements and expands on the content on that page. An additional article to review is how to Create or Manage your Atlassian account for ArchivesSpace. If you are an ArchivesSpace member, this is the same account you use to log into the ArchivesSpace Help Center.
How to Document Your Request
The more documentation you provide, the easier the process. After your ticket is submitted it goes on a journey as a newly submitted request to a period of review and then, hopefully, development! These feature request tickets are reviewed by members of the Development Prioritization Subteam, a community-led group made up of members of the Technical Advisory Council and the User Advisory Council. More about those groups is available ➜ here.
It's easiest to understand the request if it is well-documented. Documentation should consist of:
- A textual description of the desired functionality and its justification. This can be a before/after description, where you describe what ArchivesSpace does or doesn't do now, followed by a similar narration where you include what you're looking for. Be detailed and specific. You can also attach documents to a ticket if you already have something written up.
- Screenshots, if applicable, especially if you are able to edit the screenshots to demonstrate what you are suggesting. For example, if you're asking for a new field or a button and you have the ability to edit screenshots, you could do a before and after view where before is a current screenshot and after is a mock-up of your desired view. You can attach images to tickets.
- A screencast/video, if applicable. A screencast with narration of your user experience is icing on the cake, especially if what you are requesting is complicated or too nuanced for text. If you don't have screen recording software, a handy tip is to record a Zoom meeting (or other meeting software) where you share your screen with only yourself. Narrate the changes you wish to see, save that meeting or screencast, and attach it to the ticket.
What Happens Next?
Once you create your ticket, your Atlassian account (manged by ArchivesSpace.org, which you used to create the ticket) will automatically follow it. That means you will receive updates via email as the ticket moves through the queue, and most importantly, you may also receive comments. These comments may be significant! You may have other community members interested in your ticket, members of the Development Prioritization Team may ask you follow-up questions, and ultimately the developers and testers may ask additional questions. The more interaction and clarity, the better.
Remember that there is no guarantee that a ticket will be approved and even if it is, it may take awhile. Spread the word, direct other concerned community members towards your ticket, and thank you for making ArchivesSpace better through your experience!