In April this year our former colleague, Jen Mitcham, attended the inaugural SPRUCE digital preservation mash-up in Glasgow (16th-18 April 2012), an event organised by Leeds University Library as part of the JISC funded Sustainable PReservation Using Community Engagement Project (SPRUCE) which intends to foster wider communication within the digital archiving sector. During discussions at the event it was identified that one of the practical problems effecting the management of digital files within archives was the ability to compare and monitor the migration of files during various stages of the archive process (Millard 2012). At the outset it was identified that any solution to this problem needed to easy for to use and could be deployed directly from the desktop in order to a wider appeal to users of varying computing ability. During the event Andrew Amato (London School of Economics and Political Science) developed a series of tools, based around Microsoft Excel and VBA macros, which assisted in the audit of collections (Amato 2012). Having developed a proof of concept it was found that the uniqueness of repository infrastructures made the application of the tools problematic outside the specific organisations for which it was initially developed, as a result it was considered that a more generic version of the tool would have a broader appeal and potential use value within the wider digital preservation community. With this in mind a successful application was made to the SPRUCE award scheme allowing Andrew Amato and Ray Moore time to develop what was christened ReACT (Resource Audit and Comparison Tool) further, with a period of testing of the resultant tool on archives from ADS’ collections.
UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE THESE SURVEYS ARE NOW CLOSED
For more than fifteen years the ADS has been working to serve its users, both by acting as a long-term repository for valuable archaeological data and by providing open and free access to this data for research purposes. Our users, both those who deposit data and those who access it, come from all possible sectors of the archaeology discipline. We regularly deal with data and data requests from academic archaeologists, local and national government archaeologists, the commercial sector, the community archaeology sector and, being an open archive, the general public. The ADS’s significance in the archaeological landscape has grown considerably in the last decade or so and with the use of access statistics and user feedback it has generally been easy for the ADS to demonstrate that we offer a valuable service to our users. However, it is a much more challenging proposition to find ways of analysing ADS usage that make a clear statement about the very important issue of how much economic impact that the ADS has on the sector. An ADS Impact Study funded by JISC is intending to investigate in detail exactly this question and to give a clear indication of what the value of having a free to use and open access resource like the ADS is to the whole archaeological sector.
Continue reading New Study on the Impact of the ADS