This workshop calls researchers, librarians, funding representatives and others interested in understanding the impact of distributing materials online.

The question of how we can measure and understand the usage and impact of digital content within the education sector is becoming increasingly important. Substantial investment goes into the creation of digital resources for research, teaching and learning and, in the current economic climate, both content creators, publishers as well as funding bodies are being asked to provide evidence of the value of the resources they’ve invested in.

But how do we go about defining value and impact? Which metrics should we adopt to understand usage? When is a digital resource a well used resource?

This one-day event will explore these and other key issues and showcase the work of the JISC-funded Impact and Embedding of Digitised Resources programme.

The workshop is aimed at:

  • content creators and publishers

  • Information professionals and content managers in charge of maintaining and developing digital collections

  • librarians, archivists and institutional staff involved in digitisation efforts

  • researchers and research directors interested in learning about alternative methods of measuring impact

  • representatives of funding and evaluation bodies

  • early career researchers concerned about ways of demonstrating the impact of their online activities

  • those interested in understanding the impact of distributing materials online

This event builds on previous JISC-funded work carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute in 2008-2009, which produced a toolkit describing best practice in methods for evaluating usage and impact of digital resources (TIDSR). JISC has recently funded seven projects as part of the Impact and Embedding of Digitised Resources programme to use this toolkit to understand and improve their impact, and has also funded a synthesis report combining the results of those projects with other related evidence on the impacts of digital resources. With these and other developments, the Oxford Internet Institute feels that the timing is right to highlight these issues, to present new research data and findings, and to promote discussion of a number of important themes arising in the impacts of digital materials.

Workshop webcasts will be made available on the TIDSR toolkit, where they will form the basis of an online discussion to enable this wider audience to engage in a dialogue on the issues raised at the workshop.


Programme for “Digital Impacts: How to Measure and Understand the Usage and Impact of Digital Content”




Registration and Coffee.


Welcome, and opening remarks from Dr Eric Meyer.


Impact and Embedding of Digitised Resources

Eric Meyer will present a summary and synthesis of JISC-funded work to measure the impact of their digitised resources and develop case studies for embedding them in teaching and research. He will present the results of this report, followed by a panel discussion involving representatives invited from the seven projects (Crime in the Community: Enhancing User Engagement for Teaching and Research with the Old Bailey Online (University of Sheffield); Dance teaching resource and collaborative engagement spaces (D-TRACES) (Coventry University); Embedding A Vision of Britain through Time as a resource for academic research and learning (University of Portsmouth); HumBox Impact (University of Southampton); The Impact and Embedding of An Established Resource: British History Online as a Case Study (Institute of Historical Research, University of London); Listening for Impact (Oxford University Computing Services); SPHERE: Stormont Parliamentary Hansards: Embedded in Research and Education (King’s College, London and CDDA, Queen’s University, Belfast)). The panellists will be asked to reflect on the process of measuring and increasing the impact of their resources, and will then engage in a discussion with the audience (Moderator: Meyer).




Measuring Impact: Tools

Eric Meyer and Kathryn Eccles will present the “Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources” and will discuss methods for analysing online impact. This interactive session is designed to provide information and resources to interested parties. Susi Woodhouse will present Digipedia, the UK Guide to the Digital Content Lifecycle. Sponsored by the Strategic Content Alliance, Digipedia is designed to help everyone seeking information or guidance on how to create and manage digital content.




Thinking about Impact: Reflections

Presentations by Brian Kelly (UKOLN) on “Evidence, Impact, Value: Metrics for Understanding Personal and Institutional Use of the Social Web”; Melissa Highton (OUCS); and Jane Winters (IHR).




Roundtable Discussion: Impact and Digital Content

This panel session will facilitate discussion about the future of digital content, the role that measuring impact will play, and how value can be demonstrated. Panellists include Eric Meyer, David Robey, and Paola Marchionni (JISC).



Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)