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

By Eric T. Meyer
Cover of Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impacts of Digital Resources

Digitised materials representing the world’s cultural heritage are part of a growing trend towards a world in which knowledge is digitally stored, available on demand, and constantly growing. As the world becomes digital and the globally connected “digital brain” holds the shared knowledge of the world, the materials of the past need to be included in order to ensure that our collective memory online encompasses not just the present and the future, but also the past.

This report is an effort to begin to synthesize the evidence available under the Joint Information Systems Committees (JISC) digitisation and eContent programmes to understand the patterns of usage of digitised collections in research and teaching, in the UK and beyond. It finds that the impact of these programmes has been both big and small: collections with broad interest have made ‘big splashes’ while programmes in more niche areas have still made ‘smaller ripples’.

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Publication date:
May 2011

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