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6. Data Collection Methods

Understanding information-seeking behaviour is essential to evaluate the impact of digital media in online public archaeology. To address these questions, nine online surveys were undertaken as part of my doctoral research, outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Online surveys
Survey No. Survey Title Dates Open Questions Responses 100% Completed
1 Archaeology & Twitter 2011 01/04/11- 15/04/11 27 167 85
2 Archaeology & Social Media Policy 06/10/11- 31/01/12 15 293 189
3 Archaeology & Twitter 2012 01/02/12- 15/02/12 22 331 191
4 Preserving Public Archaeology Content Created Online 22/07/12- 29/08/12 17 104 62
5 Measuring the Success of Your Digital Project 12/11/12- 12/01/13 12 287 136
6 Understanding Barriers to Public Engagement with Archaeology Online 02/10/12- 31/01/13 19 248 123
7 Live-tweeting at Archaeology Conferences 21/01/13- 28/01/13 11 187 142
8 Archaeology & Twitter 2013 11/04/13- 24/04/13 22 155 111
9 Using the Internet for Archaeology 07/02/13- 07/04/13 24 577 428

Data were gathered for this research through a number of methods: online survey, email questionnaire and online ethnography, and the results from a number of these have been included in this article. These surveys and questionnaires were specifically created to gather data on the qualitative experiences of consumers of archaeological information online. The use of online surveys for data collection has many advantages, not least convenience and cost: once a survey has been created in the requisite survey software, further expenses such as postage, printing, recording equipment and interviewer salary and travel costs are eliminated. Analysis from the data collected from surveys 1, 3, 8 and 9 are included in this article, and the results from these surveys can be found through Figshare.


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