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University of Sheffield research survey

The following statement applies to the research survey conducted by David Walsh, The University of Sheffield. 

Welcome to our survey of user groups of museum websites.


David Walsh, Prof Paul Clough, Dr Jonathan Foster Information School, The University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 211 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 2683 Email: djwalsh1@sheffield.ac.uk, p.clough@sheffield.ac.uk, j.j.foster@sheffield.ac.uk

The purpose of this research is to investigate what types of people use the NML website and how people interact with the website. We are trying to classify the different expertise levels of users and their usage patterns. To do this, we need people like you to answer a few questions.

We are inviting all adult (people aged 18 and over) users of the National Museums Liverpool website(s). We will ask you to complete a short questionnaire with the first series of questions gathering demographic information such as age, gender, education/profession, so we can gain an overall picture of our participants as a group. Then we will ask you to answer a series of questions relating to how you interact with the NML website.

Please note that participation is entirely voluntary and that you can withdraw from the study at any time.

It is unlikely that this research will cause participants any harm as the subject matter is not sensitive. The risks of participating are the same as those experienced in everyday life. All the information that we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential and will be stored without any personally identifying information. Each participant will be anonymised and identified by a randomly chosen code, e.g. P01, P25. You will not be identifiable in any reports, publications, presentations or data collections. All data you provide through the online survey will be stored securely as described above.

We will only collect your responses to the questions. We will analyse the data to understand the different groups of users and their behaviours when accessing the NML website. The data will be used for the purposes of academic research by the project team, with results being published in reputable conferences and journals. After the survey is completed using Poll Daddy, the data recorded will be securely stored on password protected servers at Sheffield University. A copy will be stored on the researcher’s laptop for analysis purposes.

The results of the research will be included in a PhD thesis, academic papers, presentations and reports which will be publicly available. If you wish to be given a copy of any reports or publications based on the research, please email us (djwalsh1@sheffield.ac.uk) to add you to our circulation list. The results of this study will also feed into another part of the research project, which will investigate the actual use of the NML website by analysing the servers log data.

If you have any complaints about this research, in the first instance please contact David Walsh or Paul Clough at the address above. If any complaint is not handled to your satisfaction, you can contact the University of Sheffield’s Registrar and Secretary, at: Office of the Registrar and Secretary, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN.

I confirm that I have read and understand the description of the research project. I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without any negative consequences. I can do so by closing the browser window. I understand that my responses will be kept strictly confidential, that my identity will not be linked to any research materials, and that I will not be identified or identifiable in any report or reports that result from the research. I give permission for the research team members to have access to my anonymised responses and for the future reuse as described. I agree that I am of 18 years of age or over. I agree to take part in the research project as described above.