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5. Conclusion

The last few years have seen great strides in the development of SMRs and the future holds great promise. However, a major problem throughout the development of these information resources has been an apparent lack of interest from much of the academic community. Conference sessions and seminars on SMR topics seem only to be attractive to SMR professionals. Yet if SMRs are to yield their full promise it is essential that users, including academic researchers, become more involved than ever before. SMRs have a wide variety of uses and users and can, potentially, provide a link between the different aspects of archaeological practice, from the more 'applied' activities of developer-led projects through to academic research. To enable this to happen will require increased engagement between SMRs and users to ensure that their needs are met, and SMRs will need to become more pro-active to secure increased user involvement.

Examples of how partnerships between SMRs and universities might be strengthened could include:

If this partnership can be realised, then perhaps the Cinderellas of British Archaeology would be well on their way to being transformed into fully fledged, integrated data sources able to meet the varied demands of their users.

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