Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impacts of Digital Resources

Last week, the Oxford Internet Institute held an event to mark the end of the JISC Impact and Embedding Programme

The programme allowed seven digital resources to judge their impact so far and then began to embed changes to allow their resources to be more responsive to users. Each of these resources now has a case study on the JISC website.

The programme also commissioned a synthesis study over these seven case studies, finding that the projects “are succeeding in big and small ways to influence research, teaching, learning and the wider public.” A range of empirical data is presented.

The synthesis study (entitled Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impacts of Digital Resources) also provided a series of recommendations for those creating digital resources such as ‘plan ahead to measure impact’, ‘create training materials from real research’ and ‘create quick wins

Written by Eric Meyer, the study also led to an updated version of the Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources, which presents a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods for projects judging their own resources, and provided the methodology for the seven resources in this JISC programme.

List of Recommendations

  • Plan ahead to measure impact.
  • Use the media to your advantage.
  • The media and the public are influenced by numbers and metrics.
  • Make your resource easy to find.
  • Give your resource an unambiguous name and acronym/initials
  • Create quick wins
  • Leverage your wins
  • Make resources easy to navigate without sacrificing functionality
  • Adopt Cool URIs
  • Provide automatic citations that are easy to copy or download
  • Provide the ability to export citations
  • Create training materials using examples from real research
  • Making teaching materials available
  • Allowing users to comment on or modify items may sometimes be desirable
  • APIs are the future

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