This survey comes swiftly on the heels of similar surveys published recently,
including a study by the Common Information Environment in early 2005 regarding
the internet usage statistics of UK users, and the Digital Future Survey that
came out of the Annenburg School for the Digital Future in Southern California
around the same time, and looks at American internet user trends.
In particular the HEIRNET survey was run in conjunction with a detailed survey of user needs for information resources in higher and further education, led by the Contextual Resource Evaluation Environment (CREE) project at the University of Hull (Awre et al 2005). This study sought views from across the many disciplines and users found in higher education institutions, whereas the HEIRNET survey was established to ask similar questions across a single disciplinary community, irrespective of institutional setting. Questions were thus designed so that results of both surveys could be as comparable as possible.
The HEIRNET User Survey 2005 ran between April 08, 2005 and May 18, 2005 and a display of the raw results was made available to the HEIRNET consortium on their website while the surveys were still being sent in.
The survey could be completed in either Flash or HTML format, with 8 questions to answer. The sites that participated in hosting the survey were all part of the HEIRNET consortium, and hosted within the UK, although respondents were not limited to just UK residents. The survey was hosted by The Archaeology Data Service (ADS), English Heritage (EH), The Council for British Archaeology (CBA), The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), and The Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), all of whom had one or more online projects or sites being examined in the survey. Most of these sites advertised the survey through either a pop-up, a banner ad on their site, or by asking for participants through relevant email lists at their disposal. 741 surveys were returned in total, although some were not fully completed and could not be used for every question.
The original data has been retained and can be requested for further analysis by contacting the ADS (firstname.lastname@example.org)