Measuring the impact of a resource you’ve put online can be difficult – but a newly updated Jisc toolkit will help content creators, publishers and other information professionals understand the reach of their digital assets.
They can use the kit to help guide them through different aspects of measuring impact, both qualitative, such as focus groups, and quantitative, such as web metrics.
Users of the toolkit are also encouraged to contribute to updating the hands-on advice by adding their own advice on topics like how to conduct an interview, using Google Analytics, writing a suitable survey and setting up log file analysis, all designed by the Oxford Internet Institute.
Jisc’s programme manager for digitisation, Paola Marchionni, said: “Understanding the impact of your scholarly resources is an important part of the evaluation process. If you can see how people such as researchers are using the resource, you can then go back and make it even more useful for them and improve their experience.
“Good impact evaluation also helps projects generate statistics to support future work and grant bids, make a stronger case for the sustainability of a resource and tell good stories in the media.”
Project manager Eric Meyer, research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, said: ““The question of impact is on everyone’s minds. In the toolkit and in the synthesis report we argue that “impact” is more than crude measures of number of visitors, or numbers of links.
“We recommend using a variety of qualitative and quantitative measures to understand the types of impacts resources have on research, teaching, learning, and for the wider public. The case studies on the site and in the synthesis report illustrate how both high-traffic sites and more specialized collections can demonstrate and enhance their impacts. We encourage others to contribute their own case studies and methods to the toolkit so it continues to grow.”
A number of Jisc projects have already used the toolkit to evaluate their digitised resources, ranging from lectures podcasts on iTunes to multimedia dance resources and historical material.
Find out about the impact of digitised resources by downloading the report