Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an evaluation of The Glasgow Story (TGS) digitisation project, funded by the UK's National Lottery's New Opportunities Fund digitisation (NOF‐Digi) programme, and a critique of the evaluation process itself. The paper emphasises the need for user impact evaluation and for results to be brought into the public domain in order to substantiate the claimed benefits of digitisation projects and programmes and inform ongoing digitisation activity. By critiquing the evaluation methods used the paper also hopes to contribute to the development of good practice in evaluation methodology. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires, focus groups, data logs, online surveys and feedback forms were used to gather user responses and make impact assessments. Findings – The paper suggests that whilst the evaluation can point to some positive impacts that justify the project's innovative approach, practical constraints on the evaluation and methodological flaws ultimately limit the value of the results. The paper concludes that effective evaluation of digitisation needs to extend beyond individual projects, or at the very least, employ generic evaluation tools that facilitate comparison between different projects and approaches. Originality/value – Few digitisation projects attempt to assess their impact and fewer still make their results available. As one of the larger NOF‐Digi projects, the results from the TGS evaluation provide a unique window on one of the major digitisation initiatives in recent years.
Program: electronic library and information systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 2, 2007
Keywords: Library users; Project evaluation; Digital libraries; Scotland
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