Neil Beagrie, John Houghton, Stuart Jeffrey and Ray Moore (Archaeology Data Service)
As the investment in digital resources and content continues to rise, the assessment of the economic impact is of such resources is becoming increasingly important for policy makers, funding agencies and stakeholders. The JISC funded project “Impact of the Archaeology Data Service: a study and methods for enhancing sustainability”, carried out by Neil Beagrie (Charles Beagrie Ltd.) and John Houghton (Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University) in conjunction with the ADS, has devised methodologies to measure value perception throughout the archaeological community of digital collections held by the ADS. The study considered perceptions from relevant stakeholders through a series of surveys alongside selective follow-up interviews, combining qualitative as well as quantitative measures. This research clearly identifies the value and benefits of free to use and open access resources to the wider archaeological sector. The study has obvious benefits for the ADS, its stakeholders and user communities, but the methodologies and good practice devised during the project also has relevance to repositories within the broader research data community, providing a means for them to more accurately analyse their own economic impact.