Thursday, December 03, 2015

Data-driven Decision Making at L. Tom Perry Special Collections

Data-driven Decision Making at L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Ryan Lee, Cory Nimer, Gordon Daines. Society of American Archivists. November 2015.
     Archivists are looking for new ways to identify materials to digitize. This case study looks at data-driven digitization and the decision process.  This study brings Web analytics and in-house use statistics together as a way to make more informed, data-driven decisions. "Digitizing and mounting materials publicly on the internet is a form of publishing, and success in publishing means knowing and targeting viewers." Unique Page Views "provide a sense of general interest, while circulation statistics suggest personal engagement with the materials themselves." These metrics provide a more accurate sense of the usefulness of the collections.

"The findings of this study reflect much of what Peter Hirtle suggests would happen as we digitize more and more of our special collections materials, when he stated that “[e]lectronic access will replace most uses of printed, paper copies, [and]… [t]he use of paper originals will decrease."  The study found that "digitization has often significantly reduced the use of originals in Perry Special Collections".

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