Pure dead brilliant? Evaluating The Glasgow Story digitisation project

Pure dead brilliant? Evaluating The Glasgow Story digitisation project 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Program: electronic library and information systems Emerald Publishing

Pure dead brilliant? Evaluating The Glasgow Story digitisation project

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0033-0337
DOI
10.1108/00330330710831585
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

Program: electronic library and information systemsEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 2, 2007

Keywords: Library users; Project evaluation; Digital libraries; Scotland

References

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