OCVE utilised the following specifications, which were derived from those employed in the University of Chicago's Chopin Early Editions project and during the pilot phase of the project.

Quantity and content of images

OCVE typically required scanning of each score in its entirety, including wrappers and blank pages, unless specified otherwise. Each page was to be scanned individually and saved as an individual file, with a unique filename. Despite this, the OCVE resource typically shows only those pages with music text, along with title pages where relevant. (Compare the approach taken in CFEO, where complete editions including wrappers, blank pages and advertisements are shown.)

Quality of images

The following basic quality standards were established for all digital images in OCVE:

  • Images should be scanned at 400 ppi, 24-bit colour.
  • Images should be saved as TIFF files on best-quality CD-R or DVD (though other modes of delivery, such as transfer on external hard drive, could be arranged).
  • No compression or other modification, such as sharpening, should be applied to the TIFF files prior to dispatch.
  • The colour profile should be the camera profile, and should be embedded during capture (i.e. not after scanning).
  • Pages should be scanned using a colour bar (such as the Kodak Q13 colour separation guide and grey scale) placed alongside each page in question. OCVE also welcomed the use of a ruler, where possible, to determine original sizes of documents.
  • The orientation of pages when scanned should be level and right-side up.
  • All page edges should be visible, and the images should not be cropped.
  • Overall, scans should capture with fidelity the smallest significant details of each image, without resulting in impractically large file sizes or requiring heavy editing after the scanning process.