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Research Method

Page history last edited by Lisa Spiro 15 years, 4 months ago

4. Research Method


In compiling this report, I relied on the following sources:

  • Archival management system reviews produced by other groups, including Fondren Library's Woodson Research Center (2008), Archivists' Toolkit (2008), the International Council on Archives (Lake, Loiselle, and Wall 2003), the International Council on Archives-Access to Memory (ICA-AtoM) (Mugie 2008), and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN 2003).9 These reviews tend to focus on available features rather than performance.
  • Information provided by software developers and vendors on their Web sites and through other documentation.
  • Phone interviews with users and developers of archival management systems.10 By talking to users of different archival management systems, I was able to get a detailed view of their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, I was able to arrange interviews only with users of AT, Archon, Cuadra/STAR Archives, CollectiveAccess, and Eloquent, so the analysis of the other software is based on what the developers say about it rather than on user experience. I also spoke and/or corresponded with representatives from AT, Archon, Cuadra/STAR, CollectiveAccess, ICA-AToM, Minisis, Adlib, CALM, PastPerfect, and Eloquent. I briefly experimented with demo versions of CollectiveAccess, Archon, and AT, and I saw demos of Cuadra/STAR and Eloquent.

To ensure accuracy and fairness, developers and vendors were given the opportunity to respond to user comments and to the features matrices that I developed (see Appendixes 2-4).



9 See also Collections Trust 2008 and Stevens 2008.

10 Interviews were conducted between May and July 2008. The names of interviewees are kept anonymous. I tried to represent what interviewees said as accurately as possible, but occasionally quotations contain paraphrases or supplied words.

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