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Questions Asked in Telephone Interviews

Introduction

In order to determine more accurately the extent and complexity of digital data that is being created by archaeologists, and what happens to these data once projects are completed, the following questions were asked in a series of telephone interviews, conducted in July 1998. The following criteria were used to determine who to interview:

In total, 70 archaeologists were contacted for telephone interviews, and responses were obtained from 36. The range of archaeologists selected for interview consisted of representatives from:

Questions asked of contracting field units:

  1. What are your plans for the digital information you hold?
  2. Do you plan to be using computers more in the future?
  3. Do you think the digital portion of the project archives you hold or create is a vital element of the overall project archive? Is the digital information duplicated on paper/microfiche for example?
  4. Have the final archive holders requested the digital portion of your project work? Are they aware that you hold this?
  5. If yes, have they provided any reguldations regarding the programs to be used, file formats, medium (floppy disc, CD-ROM etc.), support documentation?
  6. Were these details available when you were creating the project archive (were they dictated in the project brief)?
  7. Are the ways you look after digital data different to how you manage archives in other media (paper, photographic etc.)?
  8. Do you consider the digital information you hold to be secure?
  9. Do you know where you could turn to for advice on how to look after digital data (within and outside of where you work)?
  10. Have you sought advice? Were you successful? Was it helpful?
  11. Do you have staff who look after digital datasets?
  12. What are your plans for making information accessible?
  13. Who decides these plans? What are the major driving forces behind these changes (e.g. financial, planning needs, need to improve facilities for public enquiries)?
  14. How does someone find out about the information you hold? Do you have indices? Do you lodge details of your digital datasets with another body?

Questions asked of archaeology curators/SMR officers:

  1. When setting out project briefs, do you include any regulations covering digital datasets?
  2. What information are contractors expected to provide for the SMR? What is sent on to the NMR and the final archive holder?
  3. What indices do you have of projects carried out in your area? Do these include details of where project archives are deposited? Do these include details of the components of project archives?
  4. What are your plans for making information available?
  5. Who decides these plans, and what are the major driving forces for change (e.g. financial, wanting to improve facilities for the public, planning and management needs)?

Questions asked of archive holders:

  1. What are your plans for the digital information you hold?
  2. Do you receive digital datasets as part of the project information you archive?
  3. Do you ever request digital datasets to be submitted where they have been created as a result of project work?
  4. Do you provide details for contracted units to cover the digital component of any dataset?
  5. Are the ways you look after digital data different to how you manage archives in other media (paper, photographs etc.)?
  6. Do you have staff whose responsibility it is to look after the digital component of project archives?
  7. Have you sought advice on how to look after digital data? If so, was this information helpful?
  8. What are your plans for making information (including digital information) accessible?
  9. Who decides these plans, and what are the major driving forces for change (e.g. financial, wanting to improve facilities for the public, planning and management needs)?
  10. What indices do you have? Do these include details of any digital holdings?

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