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What’s the Point of Digitisation? Alastair Dunning, JISC a.dunning @@ jisc.ac.uk EBLIDA - LIBER Digitisation Conference Den Haag, 20 th October, 2009
This website is a strange resource. How do people make use of the hugely different types of audio made available - environemental soundscapes, classical music, oral histories? http://sounds.bl.uk/ Some recordings open access, others restricted to universities in UK
Audio available from https:// sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item =021M-C0466X0012XX-0200V0.xml (UK Higher and Further Education only) One of the recordings from the British Library’s sound resource is an interview with the English sculptor, Elizabath Frink. In this clip she answers questions about about her bird sculptures.
But do people really use such resources? Here Goldsmiths’ College lecturer Rose Sinclair explains why she uses the Elisabeth Frink interviews in the her university seminars Video available from https:// sounds.bl.uk/CaseStudies.aspx?video = Rose_Sinclair (Accessible to all users)
https://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=022M-W1CDR0001560-0100V0.xml (Accessible to all users) Okay, we can understand how artist interviews might be used? But how about wildlife recordings? Psychologists used the sounds to assess the imapct on the human brain of sounds perceived used as either pleasant or unpleasant. The participants then underwent scans to show how the brain reacted to the different noises
We’re only just beginning to get an understanding of how digitised resources are being used. Previously big concepts like universal access and democratisation were used but such concepts too not reflect practice. We need to be able to have a much better understanding of digitisation use to convince the unconverted that it is a good thing.
JISC therefore commissioned this report to get a better idea of use and the methdologies for measuring the success of digitisation http://microsites.oii.ox.ac.uk/tidsr/
The toolkit used quantitative and qualitative methods to study five digitisation projects funded by JISC
The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. http://histpop.org/ (Open Access) Findings: Essential resource for small group of historians. Very useful for teaching - allowed lecturers to set different tasks, and avoid plagarism.
The Eighteenth-Century Parliamentary Papers provides access to a large range of documents on UK parliamentary history http://parlipapers.chadwyck.co.uk/ (Free to UK universities) Findings: Embedded in research, time savings (travel and access etc) invaluable. Cross seaching with later periods useful
Archival Sound Recordings – serendepioius uses, but resource needed to be pushed, wide range of uses cases in general. http:// sounds.bl.uk (mixed access)
The British Library’s Nineteenth-Century Newspapers provides access to 2m pages (and growing) historic newspapers http:// newspapers.bl.uk / (Free to UK universities via institutional URL) Findings: Wealth of new evidence with power to transform research (and teaching) but are scholars methodologies delaing with the material in the right way?
Medical Jounrals Backfiles digitisation added another 2m pages of text to PubMed Central (open access) Findings: suspected greater use amongst doctors rather than researchers. Useful to a key community internationally
Quantitatve methods included webometrics, web analytics, log files, bibliometrics, content analysis Useful but ... lack of context, difficulty of identifying indiviudal resources amongst the noise of web, uneven data collection for web stats