Category Archives: Data Reuse

‘Accessioning Arch Camb’: Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Volunteer Engagement Project

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust volunteers have been researching digitised versions of Archaeologia Cambrensis, the Journal of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, as part of the ‘Accessioning Arch Camb’ project. Using journal volumes hosted on ADS and the National Library of Wales websites, the project is helping enhance the regional Historic Environment Record (HER) for north-west Wales.

Continue reading ‘Accessioning Arch Camb’: Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Volunteer Engagement Project

Summer Internship With the ADS: Heritage Open Days

The following is a blog written by Chloe Rushworth, who has recently completed a 4-week Voluntary Placement with the ADS. Chloe has been working with the Curatorial and Technical Team to investigate some new approaches to how we interact with data within the Archive. Below, she gives a run through on her huge contribution to creating a ‘Curated Collection’ collating data that relates to sites participating in Heritage Open Days. The aims of this project are for this collection to work as an educational tool, to both increase awareness and knowledge of the archaeological and historical importance of the sites that are taking part in the Heritage Open Days, and to show how the Archive can add to the experience of the Heritage Open Days themselves.

If you want to see the results, the Collection is now live. Over to Chloe!

We all know that time flies, but I could have never imagined how true this statement really was until we arrived here, the last day of my internship.

My name is Chloe and I am an Archaeology and Heritage student at the University of York going into my 3rd year. This summer I have channeled my love for digital archaeology into a placement with the ADS (Archaeology Data Service) which is based in the Department of Archaeology at Kings Manor.

For a University student used to leisurely starts, the prospect of starting work at 9:00am on a Monday morning was rather alien, however due to the current circumstances surrounding Covid-19, I never set foot in the office. Instead, the combination of a strong coffee, my bed and a warm Zoom greeting by all of the ADS team soon perked me up and I set about the day’s work with enthusiasm.

During my first week I was assigned the task of finding out if the ADS Library archives contained any documents about the sites taking part in the Heritage Open Days (HODs) festival in September. This seemed like a daunting task as when I first checked the website there were over 300 results, and this just kept on growing over the week.

Eventually I managed to make my way through them, creating a spreadsheet as I went which included all of the site names (both that the ADS had records of and which ones they didn’t for future reference). I listed all of the documents related to HODs sites along with the ADS DOI and all of the edits that I made to their listings. After this I classified the records, splitting them down into smaller sheets by site type: Abbeys and Churches, Houses and Halls, Parks and Gardens, Museums, Nature Reserves, Monuments, Mills and Factories, Miscellaneous Historic Buildings, Burials and Cemeteries and Trails.

My next task was to create a Google Map with pinpoints of all of the sites, including a brief description of the site, the references of the related ADS Library records, and their DOI links to the Library. The aim of this was for it to be a colourful and informative educational resource to accompany my data and I am really pleased with how it has turned out. There are a few gaps in places such as Birmingham and Peterborough, but there are still HODs events taking place in these areas. Perhaps it is something that the ADS will look into in the future to acquire some records from those areas for a more even distribution.

Throughout week 2, I spent a lot of time extracting images from the documents and converting them into TIF files.

Screenshot of the Google map of HODs sites in the ADS Library
Screenshot of the Google map of HODs sites in the ADS Library

This was a longer process than I anticipated because of the laptop I was using. Due to not being in the office, I didn’t have the softwares that they would usually use and the only application I had that supported TIF was Paint! Sadly, I couldn’t have one for every document since some didn’t contain images, and others were not really suitable as illustrative examples. In the end I chose 10 images, one per site type, to represent my data. To know which document they came from I also had to rename the images with the name of the paper they came from followed by their figure number.

Week 3 is where things got incredibly exciting! I was told that the data and map that I had created were going to be the basis of the first ADS ‘Curated Special Collection’… and that I was going to be involved in the making of this.

For the first few days I was doing admin tasks and tying up loose ends. I made sure that my map and spreadsheet were totally finished and then created the metadata for the images and documents so that they could be easily uploaded into the ADS Object Management database.

I was then given a Zoom tutorial with my supervisor Jenny O’Brien who walked me through how to add all of the details into the ‘behind the scenes’ parts of the collection, including adding myself as an author which was a highlight of course.

Once I had written the introduction and other pieces of text I wanted for the various pages of the collection, I had to learn the basics of HTML coding to add it onto the page and add paragraphs, the front page image and the interactive map that I made. The rest of the coding that needed to be done in order for the ‘downloads’ page to be set up, to display the categories in a table format with images and to show the various report links, was deeply out of my league, so was done by Teagan Zoldoske (another Archivist) and Jenny.

Teagan was incredibly helpful during this process, and not only allowed me to watch her code, but also walked me through what it all meant and all of the different types of software used in order for the ADS to run. She also showed me the entire archiving process including creating dissemination and preservation files (which I then had to do myself for the images).

The coding for the collection will be finished after my placement is over, so I spent my last day doing tasks within the ADS Library to get a feel of another area of the archiving process. I merged a couple of authors, meaning that the same author was in the database twice but now all of the papers have been changed to be under one name. I also managed to eliminate the allusive author ‘-ZZZ-’ and correct the papers with this listed author to the correct one which was very satisfying once completed. 

All in all, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and also for the ADS I hope. I have learnt so many new things about the ADS as an organisation and become familiar with six new pieces of software in 4 short weeks. The skills and knowledge that I have gained from this internship is invaluable and will definitely be transferable to the jobs that I apply for once I graduate. I couldn’t recommend taking on volunteer work with the ADS more, and I sincerely hope that this opportunity is offered out again in the future.

Linking the virtuous circles: Citation and Tracking Re-use.

Network Analysis in Social, Business and Political Research | Macquarie  University | ACSPRI Courses | ACSPRI

The ADS has (for nearly 25 years!) been providing free access to resources deposited with us. We put them online in open/accessible formats, people use them, and people cite them. We know people use them because we have data on page views and downloads. Some things are used a great deal; often high profile research resources that always gain alot of mentions in literature and social media. Others have more of a cult following, but are still used sporadically.

All these access statistics always make a good basic demonstration of impact; we can pass them onto project funders and stakeholders to demonstrate quantitative success. However the follow-up questions normally enquire as to “who” is using this data, and for what purposes. The ADS have many ambitions in regards to its (meta)data, but facilitating and demonstrating this re-use is a high priority. Over the last year I’ve had a chance to think more about what we could and should be doing, and how it can help us, our users, and depositors make more of the situation…

The key to this are the Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) we use. For those unaware, ADS use DataCite DOIs through our membership of a consortium lead by the British Library. We create DOIs for:

  • All our deposited collections
  • Upon request, distinct entities within a collection
  • All unpublished reports
  • Journal articles

These DOIs are registered with DataCite, and in doing so we also pass on key metadata for the Object (who created it, when it as created, where it realtes to etc). This metadata is then searchable in the DataCite interface, alongside records from other repositories that are part of the DataCite community such as Zenodo or Dryad.

When users use ADS resources they should be citing the DOI. For example when using material from the ever-popular Roman Rural Settlement project, any use of the data should follow our guidelines, for example:

Martyn Allen, Nathan Blick, Tom Brindle, Tim Evans, Michael Fulford, Neil Holbrook, Lisa Lodwick, Julian D Richards, Alex Smith (2018) The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: an online resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

Or for a Journal article:

Sparey-Green, C. (2002). Excavations on the SE defences and extramural settlement of Little Chester, 1971-2. Introduction. The Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 122. Vol 122, pp. 1-10.

There are tools available from DataCite to reformat these into nearly all forms of Bibliographic reference, but it’s important to emphasise that any citation or reference should include the DOI and not the URL that appears in a web browser. For example it should be and never

Why? Primarily the DOI is persistent. No matter what happens to ADS applications in the future (for example an update to the Library may lead to us not using details.xhtml any more), a reference to the DOI will always take you to where the content is. Secondly, and most inportantly in this case it allows us, via a range of tools, to identifiy where our DOIs are being used.

One such tool is the DataCite Event API, a prototype developed in collaboration with Crossref to track citations of DataCite DOIs quoted as sources in academic papers. A quick search of this for ADS DOIs shows for example:

Image of JSON from the DataCite Event API which shows the citation of by a paper in  the Journal of World Prehistory

In this case the paper ‘Approaches to Interpreting Mesolithic Mobility and Settlement in Britain and Ireland’ published in the Journal of World Prehistory cited Wessex Archaeology (2006). Engand’s Historic Seascapes Final Report

In addition, there’s also the incredibly powerful CrossRef Event Data, a set of APIs that captures and records events that occur all over the web. This includes not only published articles but also Twitter and Wikipedia (including WikiData), So for example I can see

Image of JSON from the CrossRef Event Data API which shows the citation of the DOI by a wikipedia article

In this case, the Wikipedia article on the Sutton Hoo helmet cites Martin Carver’s data from the Sutton Hoo Research Project.

Capturing this sort of reuse, and mentions of resources in Twitter conversations (919 and counting) is to my mind a useful indicator not only of reuse, but a glimpse into the sort of conversations people may be having about our digital Objects.

The next step is for us to build a method to pull data from these APIs and incorporate back into our metadata as a dynamic process. This would mean that this page (for example) is refreshed with information where we can demonstrate that is ‘Cited By’ XXX. Who knows, this could even be extended as an option to email a deposition when their data has been cited so that they know their data is being actively used.

Which brings me back to the title of this blog. The idea of a virtuous academic circle lies at the heart of what it is to publish – you publish your words/data, someone else uses it and cites it, you know they’ve used it (however this may be), this encourages you to publish more as you know your work must have some value. It also taps into what is at the core of what the ADS was set up to do: the archive/record is there to be used and maybe (hopefully?) reinterpreted and re-purposed. The archive needs to be used, otherwise there is arguably no point in having the archive.

However, without wanting to mangle my shapes, I think this model is more complex and more in-line with the sort of graph theory / social network analysis that is now de riguer. It’s good to know where our resources are being cited, but there’s a whole bigger world of possible study. What sort of Journals are ADS resources cited in, what sort of ADS resources are cited (e.g. is anyone citing the raw data?), what topics do these represent, who is citing etc etc. There’s material there for a new wave of study about citation habits and biases, or at the very least a PhD…

Anyway, for this to happen please remember to cite the DOI!

Gems in the Library #2 The Underhill Archive

It’s almost the weekend so obviously this was the right time have fun with some of the beautiful images to be found in the HMJ Underhill archive, compiled by Oxford University and available in our archives. Also I felt like brushing up on the old QGIS skills. So I decided to georeference some of these images and see how they match up with modern maps.

These images all come from the Underhill Archive available on the ADS Archive. The archive was put together by Deborah Harlan and Megan Price at the University of Oxford. It consists of hand painted glass slides of British megaliths as well as maps of ancient Britain and the areas surrounding prehistoric monuments.

Northern Roman Britain georeferenced here on open street maps. The map was probably drawn around 1895.
Northern Roman Britain georeferenced here on open street maps. The map was probably drawn around 1895.
Continue reading Gems in the Library #2 The Underhill Archive

‘It Makes You Feel Like You Are Working as a Real Scientist’

Using data provided by the ADS for digital archaeological teaching and learning at the University of Vienna

Guest Post By: Dominik Hagmann & Fabiola Heynen

Dominik Hagmann is an university assistant at the Department of Classical Archaeology and lecturer at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Fabiola Heynen is a master’s student in classical archaeology at the University of Vienna.

This is the first in a series of guest posts exploring the re-use of digital data preserved and disseminated by the ADS. This post explores how various data-sets preserved by the ADS are re-used as a teaching resource at the University of Vienna.


Since 2017 a newly established series of courses at the Departments of Classical Archaeology as well as Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna want to provide interested students with basic knowledge about digital archaeology in theory and practice. The students acquire first experiences through various practical exercises using and discussing free and open-source software (FOSS) on topics like the application of 3D photogrammetry for the archaeological record or spatial analysis with the help of a geographic information system (GIS).

Continue reading ‘It Makes You Feel Like You Are Working as a Real Scientist’

Exploring the Re-use of ADS Data: Guest Post Series

The ADS has been interested in the re-use of the data in our archive for as long as the ADS has been preserving data. Providing access and preserving data for others to re-use is why we do what we do!

While tracking of quantitative usage statistics is standard for most online archaeological resources, gaining qualitative understanding and strong examples of data re-use has always been more difficult.

As a result we have instigated a guest post series intended to acknowledge the wide range of research carried out that re-uses data preserved and disseminated by the ADS and raise awareness of the research potential of data re-use in archaeology and beyond.

As the year progresses we will publish a number of guest blog posts from archaeological and historic environment researchers from around the world, highlighting the wonderful and varied ways in which ADS archive data is re-used.

As new posts are published they will be added to the above list.

You can also see some other re-use examples from our 2015 Data Reuse Awards.

Get involved!

The ADS would love to hear of your experiences re-using our archived data. Pitch us a post by emailing

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 3: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Image of an artefact in the 3D hop viewer.
3DHOP Virtual Amarna Project

This blog post is the last in a series I have published following my investigations into the use and re-use of 3D data held within the ADS archive. This research included a user survey and case study investigations into web usage and citation tracking of specific archives that hold 3D data. This post presents my final thoughts and recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.

Continue reading The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 3: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

The Use and Re-use of 3D Data from the ADS Archive

Over the past year I, (Michaela Mauriello) have been doing a work placement with the ADS as part of my MSc degree at the University of York in Digital Heritage under the Department of Archaeology.

I chose to work with the ADS for my degree placement because I had previous experience as an intern at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, where I developed an overall interest in the process of archiving and researching archaeological data. After arriving in York I became interested in the amount of 3D data found within the ADS archives and how this data was being used by outside sources and in publications; thus beginning this research.

The aims of this project was to investigate the use and re-use of archaeological 3D data found in the ADS through: web statistics and publication citation analysis, tracking disseminated 3D data, user survey, and a basic human-computer interaction evaluation of the ADS website. The objective of which was to provide a series of recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.

From this research, a series of blog posts have been created to show the process and conclusion of my findings.

Public Use and Interest of 3D Data in the ADS: Questionnaire

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 1: Statistics and Publication Analysis

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 2: User survey

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 3: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

If you would like to follow my work or have questions on my work, I am available on various social media platforms:

Instagram: mm_digitalized
Twitter: m_mauriello
LinkedIn: Michaela Mauriello

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 2: User survey

This is the second post in my blog series on the use and re-use of 3D data from the ADS archive. Following the webs usage statistical analysis and the citation analysis explored in Part 1, I decided to carry out a user survey to explore what people are doing with 3D data and if they are even aware of that the ADS provides archives consisting of 3D data.

Continue reading The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 2: User survey