Evaluating Digital Humanities Resources: The LAIRAH Project Checklist and the Internet Shakespeare Editions Project
||Warwick, Claire; Terras, Melissa; Galina, Isabel; Huntington, Paul; Pappa, Mikoleta
||Evaluating Digital Humanities Resources: The LAIRAH Project Checklist and the Internet Shakespeare Editions Project
||ELPUB2007. Openness in Digital Publishing: Awareness, Discovery and Access - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Vienna, Austria 13-15 June 2007 / Edited by: Leslie Chan and Bob Martens. ISBN 978-3-85437-292-9, 2007, pp. 297-306
||The following paper presents a case study of the way that the research done by the LAIRAH project may be applied in the case of a real digital resource for humanities scholarship. We present an evaluation of the Internet Shakespeare Editions website according to the checklist of recommendations which we produced as a result of our research. The LAIRAH (Log analysis of Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities) project based at UCL's School of Library Archive and Information Studies, was a fifteen month study to discover what influences the long-term sustainability and use of digital resources in the humanities through the analysis and evaluation of real-time use. Our research objectives were to determine the scale of use and neglect of digital resources in the humanities, and to determine whether resources that are used share any common characteristics. We also aimed to highlight areas of good practice, as well as aspects of project design that might be improved to aid greater use and sustainability. A further aim was to determine whether digital resources that were neglected. In our study we concluded that well-used projects share common features that predispose them to success. The effect of institutional and disciplinary culture in the construction of digital humanities projects was significant. We found that critical mass was vital, as was prestige within a university or the acceptance of digital methods in a subject. The importance of good project staff and the availability of technical support also proved vital. If a project as to be well-used it was also essential that information about it should be disseminated as widely as possible. Even amongst well-used projects, however we found areas that might be improved, these included organised user testing, the provision of and easy access to documentation and the lack of updating and maintenance of many resources. The paper discusses our recommendations, which were presented as a check-list under four headings: content, users, maintenance and dissemination. We show why our findings led us to make such recommendations, and discuss their application to the ISE case study.
||digital humanities; user studies; good practice resource construction
||file.pdf (558,059 bytes)
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