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

This questionnaire is divided into seven sections:
1. Asking you for details of the organisation.
2. To tell us what access your organisation's employees have to the Internet.
3. If and how your organisation obtains archaeological information in electronic form.
4. Your opinions on what levels of access should be applied to others' information.
5. What computers and programs you use to create your own archaeological information.
6. How you archive digital versions of archaeological information.
7. Your opinions on general issues regarding the re-use of digital data.
This questionnaire should take about 1 hour 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 your organisation's involvement in archaeology

1.1 Where is your organisation based? Tick appropriate boxes

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

1.2 On behalf of which organisation (and which department/branch/section within that organisation) are you making a response?

Organisation.........................................................................................................................................................................
Department/branch/section.......................................................................................No. of staff in section.......................
Address................................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................................................
What is your position within the organisation?........................................................................................................................

1.3 What roles does your organisation fulfil in archaeology? Please grade responses, with 1 for closest ties

_ Archaeology consultancy _ Contracting field archaeology _ Local government archaeology
_ Museum _ Library/archive _ National body
_ University/college _ Other.....................................


2. Access to the Internet

We want to know if your organisation provides its employees with the tools to communicate electronically. This will help us to identify how archaeologists can access digital information services, and how current access options can be improved.

2.1 What access to the Internet is provided for staff? please tick appropriate boxes
None Modem, from each desk
Permanent connection, from each desk Modem, from some desks
Permanent connection, from some desks Modem, on communal computer
Permanent connection on communal computer Don't know

2.2 How many computers can access the World Wide Web (WWW)?

None 5-20% 21-50% 51-75% 76-90% >90%

2.3 Which of these services can employees use? please tick one box for each service
YesIf yes, what % of staff?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 browser does your organisation use to access the WWW, and what version (if known)?

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

2.5 Does your organisation feel that the Internet (external email, web etc.) is useful to its activities?
Yes No Don't know
Additional comments.........................................................................


3. Accessing digital datasets created by others

We want to know how your organisation obtains digital data, and what assistance/training would be helpful. Even if you do not obtain information in digital format at present, please go through this section.

3.1 Does your organisation obtain archaeological information created by others in digital format?

Yes No Don't know

3.2 Does your organisation plan to use computers to obtain archaeological information?

Yes No Don't know
If yes, when?............................................................................................

3.3 For what aspects of its work does your organisation currently use digital data created by others? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

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

3.5 For the following sorts of information, what formats can your organisation currently 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

3.6 For the following sorts of information, what formats does your organisation plan 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 your organisation from using digital data more? tick those that apply
Lack of hardware/software No on-line connection Worried about security
Lack of IT advise in organisation Too difficult to convert Lack of need
Didn't know they were available Worried about copyright Cost
Data we want isn't available Other (please specify)............................................

3.8 What training, regarding access to digital data, is provided by your organisation at present?

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

3.9 If further training were available, what areas would you like to see covered? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................


4. Access to archaeological information in digital and other media

Independent of the format in which information is stored, we want to know if the archaeological information created or held by your organisation is made available to others, and at what level of access. Developments in communication and information technology are making it easier and quicker to exchange data in digital format, with important implications for access to information.

However, this section wants to find out about your organisation's current practice regarding access to the information it holds on paper, microfiche, photographic film etc. as well as on computer.

4.1 What levels of access are applied to the datasets (digital and non-digital) your organisation holds? Assume that sensitive information such as security and costs details are excluded
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 digital data does your organisation hold that are available for re-use by others? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.3 What is your organisation's policy regarding (outside) access to information it creates/holds? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.4 What is your organisation's policy regarding copyright of information it creates/holds? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.5 Are there plans to change your policy regarding access to data? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.6 Does your organisation currently pay to re-use others' data?

Yes No Don't know
Please explain how much, when, and why
................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................

4.7 Would you be prepared to pay to re-use other's data in the future?

Yes No Don't know
Please explain
................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................


5. Data creation within your organisation

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 see what standards archaeologists are following in the creation of these digital data.

5.1 Do you (tick the appropriate boxes):

Create no digital data - Go to section 7
Create digital versions of data produced by employees
Create digital versions of data produced by outside bodies/others
Re-use your organisation's and others' digital data

5.2 Which sorts of archaeological data do you create, and of these data, which are digital?
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
Geospatially referenced site lists
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

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

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

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

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

5.7 How do you locate spatial data? tick appropriate boxes
OS co-ordinates, with letters OS co-ordinates, letters converted to 100km ref.
OSNI co-ordinates, with letters OSNI co-ordinates, letters converted to 100km ref.
Postal address Unsure
GPS Other.........................................................

5.8 What standards do you use in creating digital data? E.g. thesauri ................................................................................................................................................................................

5.9 What happens to digital data once a project is finished? Tick appropriate boxes
Nothing Disc/tape/CD-Rom filed in-house Paper copy sent to final holder of archive
Catalogue of digital data sent to final holder of archive Digital copy sent to final holder of archive
Other..........................................................................................
Additional comments
................................................................................................................................................................................


6. Holders of digital data archives

Many factors affect the usability and security of digital data archives. For example, magnetic tape can last for 5-10 years, though files stored may soon become unusable through developments in computer software, and even hardware. Without adequate support documentation, datasets may not be meaningful to others.

6.1 Do you hold digital data archives (short and long-term)?

Yes No - go to section 7

6.2 Approximately how much digital data do you hold? Tick one box only

1-5Mb 5-10Mb 10-50Mb 50-100Mb 100-1,000Mb More than 1Gb Not sure

6.3 How many projects do you hold where a substantial amount of the archive is in digital format?
Tick one box only None 1-5 6-20 21-100 More than 100 Not sure

6.4 Do you accept digital data direct from external projects?

Yes No - go to question 6.6

If Yes, in what format? tick appropriate boxes

ASCII/text Commercial programs Specialist archaeological programs Don't know
Text reports
list software you prefer to accept..................................................................................................................................
Data catalogues
list software you prefer to accept..................................................................................................................................
Images
list software you prefer to accept..................................................................................................................................

Please send a copy of any guidelines to the ADS, with this questionnaire

6.5 How do you store digital data? tick relevant boxes
Floppy disc Tape/cartridge Hard-disc + backup on floppy disc
Hard-disc + backup on tape/zip disc Hard-disc + backup on institutional network
Other (please specify)..............................................

6.6 How do you plan to store digital data in the future? ................................................................................................................................................................................

6.7 How do you ensure long-term security of physical media (tapes etc.)? tick relevant boxes
Humidity control Anti-static protection Protected against magnetic interference
Heat-resistant container Fire-resistant container None at present

6.8 What is your policy regarding long-term security of digital data? Tick relevant boxes

None at present Decided on project by project basis Printouts made of all digital data
Copied to fiche Files copied to new discs Files migrated to new hardware, software not checked
Files migrated to new hardware, checked for software compatibility Other specify.......................................................

6.9 Where do you keep copies of digital records? tick relevant boxes
Stored with other archives (paper etc.) Stored separately from other parts of archive Both

6.10 Do you maintain information on: tick appropriate boxes

Hardware and software specifications used to create digitised dataset Yes No Don't know
Hardware and software specifications required to use digitised dataset Yes No Don't know
Location of other parts of the dataset (in other media) Yes No Don't know
Validation procedures used to check the dataset Yes No Don't know
Description of terminology (fields, coding etc.) Yes No Don't know
Description of data collection strategies Yes No Don't know
Assessment of the archaeological quality/value of the data Yes No Don't know

6.11 Generally, who has the right to access digital datasets from projects that you archive? Please tick one box only

Everyone Archaeologists Research/teaching only No access, internal use only

6.12 How could outside access to the archaeological information you hold be improved? ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................


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

Setting up a digital 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 any comments you have to make on the following questions.

If you are able to answer on behalf of your organisation/department, please do so. If not, please leave this section blank and respond to these questions on the questionnaire for individuals only.

7.1 Should excavators be obliged to produce and archive a full digital dataset? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.2 Should the use of standard thesauri of archaeological terms be encouraged in the creation of information resources? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.3 Is access to digital data important for archaeologists and the discipline? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.4 Should the data in NMRs be made available over the Internet? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.5 Should the data in SMRs be made available over the Internet? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.6 Should the costs of creating a digital archive lie with the project funding body? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.7 Should the costs of maintaining a digital archive lie with the project funding body? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.8 Should costs be passed on to those wishing to re-use data in digital archives? ................................................................................................................................................................................

7.9 Should national bodies fund digital archiving services? ................................................................................................................................................................................

Additional comments: ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................
please continue on a separate sheet if necessary


We will be following this questionnaire with further telephone interviews. Please indicate here if you would be willing to participate in this further exercise: Yes Name:.................................................................................................................................................................... Tel:...............................................................................Email:............................................................................... Address:............................................................................................................................................................... ...............................................................................................................................................................................

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 THURSDAY 30th 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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