Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impacts of Digital Resources
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Report, May 2010
62 Pages Posted: 20 May 2011
Date Written: May 20, 2011
Digitised materials representing the world’s cultural heritage are part of a growing trend towards a world in which knowledge is digitally stored, available on demand, and constantly growing. As the world becomes digital and the globally connected “digital brain” holds the shared knowledge of the world, the materials of the past need to be included in order to ensure that our collective memory online encompasses not just the present and the future, but also the past.
This report is an effort to begin to synthesize the evidence available under the JISC digitisation and eContent programmes to better understand the patterns of usage of digitised collections in research and teaching, in the UK and beyond. JISC has invested heavily in eContent and digitisation, funding dozens of projects of varying size since 2004. However, until recently, the value of these efforts has been mostly either taken as given, or asserted via anecdote. By drawing on evidence of the various impacts of twelve digitised resources, we can begin to build a base of evidence that moves beyond anecdotal evidence to a more empirically-based understanding on a variety of impacts that have been measured by qualitative and quantitative methods.
Keywords: digital humanities, digitisation, digitization, impact, collections, libraries, museums, archives
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