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ScARF Project Update: What our users think

20th November 2015 | Categories: Research
A summary of the ScARF survey results.

A summary of the ScARF survey results.

In the Autumn 2015 Society of Antiquaries of Scotland newsletter (available at if you are a Fellow), we mentioned that ScARF was undertaking a survey looking to hear what people thought of the project and maybe even provide some ideas on where work should go next.

We are proud to report that the survey received 97 responses – thank you to everyone who took part. The survey is now closed and the results are in – an amazing 96% of respondents would recommend ScARF to others and at least 25 projects have used ScARF research recommendations in applying for a total of at least £120k of funding! The full report on the results is available to download at

The answers provided indicate that ScARF website ( is in fairly constant use (30% use it on a monthly or more frequent basis) for a range of projects and tasks by the archaeological community and that the same community would appreciate and value the resource being further developed. Most respondents (68%) trust the accuracy of the archaeological information “a lot” and it is considered “a collaborative and authorative framework that supports and guides (my) work” and “an impressive resource”. 46% of respondents have cited ScARF in a publication, which shows how embedded in daily archaeological work it has perhaps become.

There are, as would be expected with a project that is the first of its kind, refinements that could be made and the user community appeared to highlight the need for updates to the panel content, and in some cases, depth of coverage where some felt certain topics had been missed out. The comment facility is underused, with most respondents (86%) having never left a comment on the website and nearly half (43%) of the survey respondents have never downloaded any of the additional files and almost a third (30%) did not even know that they were available. It is vital for the addition of new archaeological content and debate that users know that they are able to register and make comments on the website and this should be made clearer in future work.

Over half of respondents plan on “definitely” using ScARF for work in the next three years. Just under half of respondents plan on “definitely” using ScARF for their own interest or fun in the next three years. It is therefore likely to continue to have a highly visible presence in Scottish archaeology. Over £120,000 of grant income has been generated by those responding to the survey.

Some of the other main points indicated by the results of the survey data are as follows:

You can find out more about ScARF by visiting ( ) and you can get in touch by emailing or via our twitter account @ScARFHub.

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