Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Statistical Evaluation

The WRN project team is currently looking in some depth at evaluating our project activities. We are concerned with gathering both non-numerical qualitative data to analyse about our activities (stories/opinions and narratives from our users) alongside some more quantitative statistical measures about repositories and their use across Wales.

Surprisingly, the collection of the statistical aspect of our evaluation data - something we originally envisaged as being the quick and easy stuff to generate - has proved to be quite problematic. Establishing a base line set of measures has been difficult with varying data coming out of everyone's systems and a lack of consistency in obtaining measures for central recording purposes. Even the most basic measure of all, i.e. how many deposits are recorded each quarter in each repository, can be difficult to obtain and we are only just managing to make this measure something we accurately record in 100% of the repositories across Wales.

So, while we hear lots of stories about the power of statistics and the help they can offer in making a case for a repository, it seems that we still have some work to do to convince people it is worth the effort of setting up robust statistical measures. We thought we'd try and address this by providing information about a selection of basic options open to most repository managers. The following information, from the Digital Repositories InfoKit, provides an overview of some of the most commonly employed methods of collecting statistics:

Any WRN partner interested in reviewing their statistics and collection methods, or needing assistance in setting up any of the tools mentioned here, should contact the project team via the usual email at

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