Digitised Resources: A Usage and Impact Study

Project Description:

The project combines quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure the impact of online scholarly resources. Quantitative measures include webometrics, log file analysis, scientometric (or bibliometric) analysis, and content analysis. These will be complemented by an array of qualitative measures (stakeholder interviews, resource surveys, user feedback, focus groups, and questionnnaires) that will capture information about the whole cycle of usage and impact. The qualitative measures will allow us to examine the impact of the projects from the point of view of various stakeholders, starting with the host institutions such as libraries and archives, the personnel at the host institutions responsible for implementation (including the developers and engineers of the systems and curators and archivists of the collections), and stretching all the way to the various types of end users and the uses they represent. We will also include some measures that involve programme funders, who are often overlooked as stakeholders. We will be developing a best practices toolkit for the assessment of the impact of digitisation projects. This toolkit will include a number of elements which will aid other researchers and funding bodies to assess the impact of digitisation projects. The toolkit will contain measures that have been judged to be effective measures of impact. The TIDSR will help funding bodies, and others, make recommendations (on the basis of our qualitative and quantitative findings) for the construction of digital project sites, precisely in order to enhance the measurability of impact.