The OASIS form is a data capture form through which archaeological and heritage practitioners can provide information about their investigations to local Historic Environment Records (HERs) and respective National Heritage Bodies.
As well as being an information-gathering medium, the OASIS records also allow the practitioner/contractor to upload reports for the HERs to access and for release in the Grey Literature Library on the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) website.
The ADS, in addition to making the reports available online for access to the wider public, undertake the curation and archiving of the digital files ensuring long-term preservation. It is possible to opt out of the archiving and wider release of the reports, unless a requirement of the relevant HER.
The OASIS project brings together a number of strategic partners: the Archaeology Data Service, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales under the umbrella of the University of York.
The overall aim of the OASIS project is to provide an on line index to the mass of archaeological grey literature that has been produced as a result of the advent of large-scale developer funded fieldwork and a similar increase in fieldwork undertaken by volunteers. As part of this overall vision, the OASIS data capture form has been designed to help in the flow of information from data producers, such as contracting units and community groups, through to local and national data managers, such as HERs and NMRs. The resulting information will be validated by the relevant National Record for inclusion on Historic England's Excavation Index and the Historic Environment Scotland's CANMORE records)and passed onto the ADS for inclusion in its on line catalogue ArchSearch. The inclusion of information in ArchSearch will enable users to search for the latest information pertaining to a particular site, type of monument and so on and either provide direct web links through to the grey literature reports or at least act as a pointer to the physical holding place of a report or archive. Grey literature reports are also being made available directly through the ADS Library, where it is possible to search and retrieve reports based on a variety of different data fields. It is hoped that the OASIS project will facilitate the rapid flow of information from producer to user.
The HERALD project is essentially the OASIS redevelopment project. The first stage of the project was a user needs study which surveyed the historic environment community to see how they might use OASIS in the future and what changes were needed for the system to bring it up to date. A summary of the HERALD project can be found on the HERALD page.
Stage 1 was completed in May 2015 and the report is now available in the document archive section.
Stage 2 is underway and starts with the development of the ADS Library.