t has long been recognised that the flow of information between monument records, contracting units and the research community could be improved.
The OASIS project - a collaboration between the ADS, English Heritage and the Archaeological Investigations Project, funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme - is working to manage these information flows better.
OASIS has allowed an electronic data submission form to be developed. This form will be trailed in the forthcoming pilot by an SMR in every EH region with a group of field units. The form will be used by the units to inform the relevant monument records of the completion of specific research work, such as the deposition of ‘grey literature’ reports. The information will then be validated and passed to the ADS. In this way, the on line index will be kept up to date. OASIS will also begin to provide enhanced access to the ‘grey literature’ itself. While these reports could be consulted at the local SMR or at the NMR, digital access to them would vastly increase their impact. So, as part of the forthcoming pilot, every time a report is submitted to an SMR a digital version of it will be submitted to the ADS. This will create an on line library of grey literature for developer-funded archaeology in England.
It is hoped that, through OASIS, information about the latest archaeological discoveries can be passed to the research community within a few months of the work being completed. The availability of this information will have far-reaching consequences for archaeological teaching, learning and research in England.