HEIRNET User Survey 2005 Report and analysis undertaken by ADS on behalf of HEIRNET By J. Brewer and W.G. Kilbride 2006

3.3.2 Personal Researcher and Non-vocational Archaeologist (20.9%)

The Personal Researcher and the Non-vocational Archaeologist are generally considered members of the public that are out of school and not employed in the Archaeology and Historic Environment field. Their interests in this area, and therefore in HEIRs are multiple and often quite diverse, therefore making this a difficult group to target. The difference between the two groups should be that Non-vocational Archaeologists do not just access knowledge produced by the community, but also actively produce that knowledge - either as a metal-detectorist, artifact collector, or dig volunteer. Personal Researchers are the largest group of respondents, while Non-vocational Archaeologists are one of the smallest, together averaging around 140 respondents per question. The majority of this group is online daily and a large portion look up Archaeology and Historic Environment related information at least weekly, but they are amongst the least frequent users of this information amongst all groups. This indicates a very dedicated group of users whose needs are difficult to comprehend, but who are a very bulky percentage of every HEIRs' audience nonetheless.

Generic search engines are favored above all others. Google, of course, being the highest rated then Yahoo! and AskJeeves. As a whole, this group does not habitually use advanced searches, and are not very enthusiastic about searching multiple resources - perhaps because they have very specific topic interests means that they do not have the same problem finding resources because they can articulate their search criteria far better than other members of the community - like students.

The majority of this group use HEIRs to look for information on local history. For Personal Researchers researching 'other' rates a distant second most popular, and they have the highest percentage of users frequently researching both family history and artifacts. Surprisingly, Non-vocational Archaeologists are not very keen on artifacts, or jobs, despite the above assumptions about their possible involvement in the Archaeological and Historic Environment community. This group was quite split on the usefulness of certain types of information being provided by HEIRs, with nearly equal numbers voting for each level of usefulness for each type of information, with the exception of downloads.

This group liked Images of England, Internet Archaeology and SMRs marginally above other sites. Personal Researchers did not show an overwhelming preference for any site, spreading their patronage to all of the HEIRNET community. Meanwhile, Non-vocational Archaeologists showed a large interest in the Portables Antiquities Scheme (PAS) despite claiming a limited interest in researching artifacts specifically.

Section Resources

Graphs / Charts

graph 332a
Figure 15: Personal Researcher Question 4
graph 332b
Figure 16: Personal Researcher Question 8
graph 332c
Figure 17: Non-Voc Arch Question 4
graph 332d
Figure 18: Non-Voc Arch Question 8

Associated Tables

Researcher Tables xls pdf
Non-Voc Tables xls pdf