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Archaeology Data Service http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/ Digital Data in Archaeology: A Survey of User Needs
Individuals

This questionnaire is divided into seven sections:
1. Asking you for personal details.
2. To tell us what access you have to the Internet.
3. If and how you obtain archaeological information in electronic form.
4. Your opinions on what levels of access should be applied to others' information.
5. What formats information is most easily obtained for re-use.
6. What computers and programs you use to create your own archaeological information.
7. Your opinions on general issues regarding the re-use of digital data.

This questionnaire should take about 30 minutes of your time.

If you have any queries about completing this questionnaire, please contact the Project Officer, Dr Frances Condron, email or telephone 01904 433975.

Definitions
Archive: a dataset that is derived from a completed project, and is not being actively updated.
Digital data: any kind of information which is stored on a computer, or is stored in a magnetic/optical medium (floppy disk, tape, CD-Rom etc.) and can be read using a computer.
Monument: as interpreted under relevant national legislation (archaeological site; standing structure; earthwork; submerged remains; landscape etc.)
Project: any piece of archaeological research that produces a body of data (excavation, geophysical survey; landscape survey; underwater archaeology; finds research; synthetic studies).

1. Details about you and your involvement in archaeology

1.1 Where are you based? Tick appropriate boxes

Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
England Isle of Man Channel Islands Abroad

1.2 What archaeological organisation do you work for?
Organisation...........................................Dept/branch/section.........................................
Are you self-employed? Yes No

1.3 What are your roles in archaeology? If more than one, grade your response, with 1 for closest ties

_ Archaeology consultant _Contracting field archaeologist _Developer employee
_Local government archaeologist _Museum archaeologist _Other museum professional
_Member of active society _Independent archaeologist (unpaid) _National body employee
_Librarian/archivist _University/college staff _University research post-grad
_School/FE teacher _University student (taught course) _Other............................

1.4 What are your main fields of study/specialist interests?

Period Geographic region Subject
................................................ ................................................ ................................................
................................................ ................................................ ................................................
................................................ ................................................ ................................................


2. Access to the Internet

We want to know if you can communicate with others through a computer. This will help us to identify how archaeologists can access digital information services, and how current access options can be improved.

2.1 Do you have a computer with an on-line link to the Internet? please tick appropriate boxes

At home: None Modem Permanent connection
At work: None Modem from my own desk Modem on communal computer
Permanent connection, from my own desk
Permanent connection on communal computer Don't know
2.2 Who pays for your primary access? tick one box only

Work: department Work: central organisation Me

2.3 Which of these services can you use? please tick one box for each service

Yes No Expect to get it soon Don't know
E-mail
Online file transfer programs
World Wide Web, with images
World Wide Web, no images
If you do not have on-line access, please go to section 3

2.4 What type of computer do you use for primary access to the Internet (e.g. IBM; PowerMac)? Please fill in as much as possible
Make of computer.................... Memory (e.g. 32Mb)....................... Speed (e.g. 166MHz)....................

2.5 What browser do you use to access the Web, and what version (if known)?

Lynx version................................. Explorer version............................
Mosaic version............................. Netscape version...........................
Don't know.................................. Other (specify)..............................

2.6 What is your opinion on this statement? Please tick one box only
Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagree DisagreeStrongly disagreeUnsure
The Internet is impermanent and of littlelong-term importance to archaeology


3. Accessing digital datasets created by others

We want to know how you obtain digital data, and what assistance/training would help you with this task. Even if you do not obtain information in digital format at present, please go through this section.

3.1 Do you use computers to get hold of archaeological information?

Yes No Don't know

3.2 Do you plan to use computers to access archaeological information, in the future?

Yes No Don't know

If yes, when?.........................................................................

3.3 What aspects of your archaeological work do you use digital data for at present? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ Continue on a separate sheet if necessary

3.4 How would you like to use digital data in the future? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ Continue on a separate sheet if necessary

3.5 For the following sorts of information, what forms of access do you use at present?
Tick relevant boxes
Web page, with images Web page, no images ftp (file transfer protocol) Email
attachment
Magnetic tape/disk CD-Rom
Text reports
Databases
Images

3.6 For the following sorts of information, what forms of access would you like to use?
Tick relevant boxes
Web page, with images Web page, no images ftp (file transfer protocol) Email
attachment
Magnetic tape/disk CD-Rom
Text reports
Databases
Images

3.7 What prevents you from using digital data more? tick those that apply
Lack of hardware/software No on-line connection Data not in useful formats
Lack of IT skills personally Lack of skilled IT personnel Too difficult to convert
Lack of need Didn't know they were available Worried about copyright
Cost Lack of time
Data I want isn't available Other (please specify)........................

3.8 What training, regarding access to digital data, would you like to see provided?

E.g. Internet skills; file transfer........................................................................ .................................................................................................................................

3.9 What is your opinion on these statements? Please tick one box per line
Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagree DisagreeStrongly disagreeUnsure
1. Being able to access datasets in a digital format would be helpful to my work
2. I do not experience any technical problems accessing others' digital information


4. Access to archaeological information in digital and other media

Independent of the format in which information is stored, we want to see if archaeologists feel access to certain datasets should be controlled. Developments in communication and information technology are making it easier and quicker to exchange digital data, with important implications for access to information.

4.1 In your opinion, which datasets should be made available for re-use, and at what level of access?
Assume that sensitive information such as security and costs details are excluded
Please tick one box for each line
Free to all Free to Educ/Research, chargeable for non-charitable use Chargeable to all No access
4 fig. grid refs (to 10km accuracy)
6 fig. grid refs (to 1km accuracy)
8 fig. grid refs (to 1km accuracy)
10 fig. grid refs (to 10m accuracy)
Plans
Photographs
Context descriptions, matrices
Specialist catalogues
Raw contour survey data
Processed contour survey data
Raw geophysics survey data
Processed geophysics survey data
Reports
Illustrations/reconstructions
GIS
Region/period/finds syntheses
Teaching datasets, course material
Collections management information
Museum collections archives
Archaeology project archives
Exhibition catalogues
Monument indices (basic information)
Detailed monument records

4.2 What other data are you likely to want to use?

................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.3 Do you currently pay for access to any data?

Yes No Don't know
If yes, please give details.........................................................................

4.4 Would you be prepared to pay for access to data in the future?

Yes No Don't know
If yes, please give details.........................................................................


5. Format and usability of archaeological information created by others

Archaeological datasets can be obtained in a wide range of media (paper, microfiche, digital, photographic). We would like to know whether particular datasets would be more suitable for re-use if they were available in digital format.

5.1 What formats do you currently use for obtaining archaeological information?

Tick appropriate boxes Paper Microfiche Digital
Text reports
Data
Images

5.2 What formats would you prefer to use for obtaining archaeological information for re-use?

Tick appropriate boxes Paper Microfiche Digital
Text reports
Data
Images

5.3 Independent of content or quality, how useful is information presented in the following formats?

Tick one box Very useful Useful Ambivalent Not very useful Not at all useful Don't know
Paper
Microfiche
Digital

5.4 What difficulties do you face accessing information from archives? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

5.5 What is your opinion on this statement? Tick one box only

Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagree DisagreeStrongly disagreeUnsure
The archaeological information contained in digital datasets is not generally as reliable as the information held on paper


6. Data creation

There is much digital data that could make valuable additions to published reports, object, paper and photographic archives, SMRs etc. We want to assess the relationships between digital data and those in other forms. We also want to know what standards archaeologists are following in the creation of these digital data.

6.1 Do you (tick the appropriate boxes):

Create no digital data - Go to section 7
Create digital data from other people's information
Create digital data from your own work
Re-use your own and/or others' digital data in your work

6.2 Which sorts of archaeological data do you create, and of these data, what are digital? Geospatially referenced site lists
Tick appropriate boxes Do you create these? Do you have digital versions? Tick here if the digital versions are as complete as non-digital ones
Plans
Photographs
Context descriptions, matrices
Specialist catalogues
Raw contour survey data
Processed contour survey data
Raw geophysics survey data
Processed geophysics survey data
Reports
Illustrations/reconstructions
GIS
Region/period/finds syntheses
Teaching datasets, course material
Collections management information
Museum collections archives
Archaeology project archives
Exhibition catalogues
Monument indices (basic information)
Detailed monument records

6.3 What software do you use to create text reports? ................................................................................................................................................................................

6.4 What software do you use to create catalogues? ................................................................................................................................................................................

6.5 What software do you use to create plans/images? ................................................................................................................................................................................

6.6 What software do you use to create contour/geophysical surveys? ................................................................................................................................................................................

Additional comments regarding the creation of digital data ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................


7. Your opinion on issues regarding the creation of, maintenance, and access to digital data archives

Setting up a digital data archive is a complex task. It is expensive both to create and maintain, and establishing access rights requires negotiation with those who created the record, funding bodies, and the holders of the final archive. We would appreciate your opinions on the following comments:

Please tick one box per lineStrongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagree DisagreeStrongly disagreeUnsure
1. Standard thesauri of archaeological terms for the British Isles are of no use in my work
2. All excavators should be required to produce and archive full digital datasets
3. In general, access to digital data is important for archaeologists
4. Data in NMRs should be available over the Internet
5. Data in SMRs should be available over the Internet
6. The costs of creating a digital archive should lie with the project funding body
7. The costs of maintaining a digital archive should lie with the project funding body
8. The costs of digital archiving should be born by those who wish to use the data
9. Digital archiving services should be funded by national bodies
10. I need access to archaeological information gathered in only one part of the British Isles, and have no use for digital data from elsewhere
11. With the archives currently available in the British Isles, I have a fairly easy time finding and accessing the information I am interested in
Additional comments: ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ please continue on a separate sheet if necessary

We shall be following this questionnaire with further telephone interviews. Please indicate here if you would be willing to participate in this further exercise: Yes

Name:............................................................................................
Organisation............................... Dept/section............................
Position..........................................................................................
Address......................................................................................... ........................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................
Telephone..................................... Email......................................

Are you interested in a workshop organised by the ADS? The next one is on 27th May, on Using and Re-using Digital Data. For information, contact Dr Frances Condron, email, tel: 01904 433975. Also, consult the web page: http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/project/workshop/workshop.html

Thank-you for completing this questionnaire.
Please use the enclosed envelope, and return by MONDAY 20th APRIL to:
Dr Frances Condron,
Survey of User Needs,
Archaeology Data Service,
University of York,
King's Manor,
York YO1 7EP

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