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The LAIRAH project was funded by the AHRC ICT Strategy Scheme.

It ran from July 2005 to September 2006, and has now submitted its report to the AHRC. This includes an executive summary, which is available separately.

An additional output of the project is a very simple guide to the key features of a sucessful digital humanities project. This is intended to be a brief, easy to understand checklist of points to that those creating a digital resource may wish to consider, when planning their resource.

Project Summary

The LAIRAH survey investigated the use of online digital resources in the humanities to determine whether they are sustainable and, how, and why they are used. No systematic studies of the use of such resources has been undertaken, and LAIRAH aimed to provide comprehensive, quantitative, qualitative, and robust measures for evaluation of real-time use, utilising deep log analysis techniques on automatically recorded server data. This analysis provided the basis for follow-up qualitative work. The findings will aid the selection of projects for future funding, and provide evaluatory measures for new projects developing digital online resources for the humanities


We sought to determine:

  • Actual use levels of different projects, using deep log analysis.
  • Whether certain characteristics (disciplinary associations) or media (text, images) have an impact on use.
  • The impact of institutional features such as departmental experts, internal culture, funding and management.
  • The effect of user consultation about design on eventual resource usage.
  • Whether neglected digital resources can be reused effectively if potential users are (re)introduced to them.


The project team was comprised of Dr Claire Warwick (principal investigator) and Dr Melissa Terras and Paul Huntington, senior research fellow at CIBER (co-investigators). Nikoleta Pappa was the research fellow on the project and Isabel Galina, a DIS PhD student, also worked with the research group.

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