Annex B: Guidelines for Calculating Costs/Values

Editing and Translation

To ensure the highest possible quality of writing in both languages in the online product, and to be as cost- and time-effective as possible, it is strongly recommended that the original language version be reviewed and edited by a professional editor prior to translation. The translation should then be edited. Finally, a comparative edit of the two languages is recommended.

Editors tend to use an hourly rate. Translators establish their fees on either an hourly or a per-word basis.

Because editing and translation effort is tied directly to quality of writing, all estimates provided by translators and editors should be treated as approximations.

Editing rates:

Editing costs can vary between $0.04 and $0.11 per word, or between $42.00 and $55.00 per hour.

Translation rates:

Translation costs can vary between $0.20 and $0.35 per word.

When calculating costs, keep in mind that translation will be required for all text, including navigational text, alternative text, audio and video transcripts, metadata and keywords.

Intellectual Property/Copyright

As part of their contribution to the overall budget of the online product, the lead institution may claim credit for the value of the intellectual property which they are making freely available to the public. The following formulas for calculating this value are based on average commercial transactions.

Note: These formulas are not intended as guidelines for institutional negotiations with third parties to acquire rights from others. In such cases, rates negotiated with collective societies or individual rights holders should prevail.

Image formula

Based on the average licensing fee paid by multimedia developers for the use of an image in a multimedia product with worldwide distribution.

$150 x estimated number of images to be included in the product

Text formula

Based on an average fee paid to writers through Access Copyright for transmission/reproduction rights for the Internet.

$375.10 per 500 words estimated for product

Audio and video clip formula

Loosely based on average commercial licensing fees, acknowledging that rates for Internet use vary widely.

$8.30 per minute (audio clip) $30 per second (video clip)


Although the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) does not cover costs related to marketing and communications, the lead institution can increase the merit of its proposal based on the scope of marketing and communications efforts planned. The value of these efforts should appear in the budget under the contributions (in kind and/or financial) of the lead institution or any other organization involved in the project.

Suggested marketing and communications activities include, but are not limited to:


  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • sharing, engagement and promotion through social media
  • promotion in e-newsletters (with hyperlinks)
  • advertising banners on external sites


  • press releases and newsletters
  • media advertising campaigns
  • launch activities (ceremonies, receptions, etc.)
  • creation and targeted distribution of promotional material
  • presentations on content related to the online product in schools, at institution members meetings and to visitors and other groups
  • sponsorships

A 70:30 distribution in favour of online activities is recommended. All activities should recognize and make the VMC visible.

Date modified: June 2020