Help

Page and field specific guides and help text is available through 'help' question mark icons that appear throughout the OASIS form. These are also available below

An OASIS User Manual is also available.

More detailed step-by-step video guides to demonstrate particular functions are available on a public Vimeo Channel called OASIS Training. These are being updated as we identify user case studies, or areas of the form that require further demonstration.

Training for OASIS is being delivered through external partners and advertised widely on this platform where appropriate.

In England, MSDS Marine in partnership with Ashtree Heritage are running online workshops to support new OASIS, details of which are provided below.

This should be used to record any significant or overarching Identification Code that the Data Creator/Investigator uses for this project. This is usually an internal project number.

  • It should not be a site code. Site codes should be entered on the Location Page.
  • It should not be an HER code. HER codes should be entered on the Admin/HER page
  • It should not be a regional or national monument identifier. These identifiers should be entered on the Admin/HER page.

This field is not mandatory, so if there is no appropriate identifier then please leave blank.

Recording an Activity type helps define the sort of work you’re recording. In addition, picking distinct types such as ‘Burial Spaces Survey’ unlocks OASIS+ modules (optional extensions to the main form). It is generally advised that only one option is selected, although multiple entries are allowed. Users should not spend time recording every variation or technique involved.

In England, Buildings Projects have a distinct list of Building specific activities provided by Historic England.

Otherwise, users are presented with a search box below which queries the FISH Events Type Thesaurus, which is available to view as a PDF file or on the Heritage Data website. The thesaurus is curated by domain-level experts, and helps classify your work according to commonly understood terminologies.

Enter the whole or part of a term, and then click 'Look up event types'. The form uses a web service to search Preferred and Alternative labels. For example the term Strip Map and Sample is also known as Strip and Record (i.e. the Alternative label). Searching on "record" would thus return this in your results.

To help you understand your results, the OASIS form shows you the:

  • Preferred label
  • Alternative label(s)
  • Scope Note (the definition of what this is)
  • A link to the online definition of this term at the Heritage Data website.

Some terms, such as ‘Excavation’ have narrower sub-terms which are used to denote different forms of techniques, for example:

  • Rescue Excavation
  • Strip Map And Sample
  • Open Area Excavation
  • Research Excavation
  • Box Trenching
  • Underwater Excavation

If you don't feel comfortable using narrower terms, or feel they are not appropriate for your work, then simply pick the broad term.

Once you are happy with your choice of term, please click 'Add this event type'. Please note the description (often referred to as a scope note) of any term can be viewed by clicking the 'More Detail' link that appears on this page next to the thesaurus entry.

If you wish to nominate a new term, or suggest a change, then please email terminologies@HistoricEngland.org.uk

The reason for investigation helps us understand why a project has taken place. The list of terms are available to view on the Heritage Data website. Choose only one option that best fits your project.

Assessment for designation: for works that have been undertaken strictly to inform Listed Building or Scheduled Monument designation.

Ecclesiastical Consent: for works undertaken under Ecclesiastical Exemption from Listed Building Consent.

Emergency recording: A legacy term to denote projects in England that were grant-aided by English Heritage and its Department of the Environment predecessor. Consider using other terms for modern projects.

Grant application: A legacy term from previous versions of OASIS used for work undertaken as part of creating a management plan. For modern projects please use Heritage Management.

Heritage Management: for non-planning related assessment, study or survey. This could be done to conserve, restore or enhance. For research done for academic purposes, use 'Research'.

Planning requirement: Planning requirement refers to conditions set out by planning application or consent. If the planning stage is known, use 'Pre application', 'Between application and determination' or 'Post determination (e.g. by condition)'. For planning that requires Listed Building Consent, use 'Listed Building Consent'. For works that do not require planning consent, use terms under 'Statutory undertaking'. If you select a Planning prompt, you will then be asked to best describe the Development Type and a Planning ID.

Personal interest: A legacy term to denote an ad-hoc piece of research done outside of any University or Local Society of Community group. Ideally Research should be used instead.

Research: For any project where the focus is Research and independent of any other obligation or commitment. For thematic surveys, such as projects on building types and area studies, use 'Heritage management'. Narrow terms should be used to denote 'University led, Community Led' and 'Community Partnership' projects.

Statutory requirement: For Scheduled Monument Consent or Listed Building Consent.

Unexpected discovery: A legacy term from OASIS, used to define those projects that have arisen due to unexpected discovery of archaeological remains outside of the normal chain of development control, such as the discovery of skeletal remains during construction work, and often synonymous with emergency excavation and recording. This is still relevant in some cases within the remit of Development Control work. Do not use it for Research projects.

This is a mandatory field for those having undertaken work within the Planning framework. This only appears where the Reason for Investigation has been selected as 'Planning'.

Please use the list to best describe the development type. The list of terms is also available to view on the Heritage Data website.

You must first enter a broad type (e.g. Land Management). The interface then updates to present a list of specific subtypes (e.g. Dredging). You must then select one of these sub-types.

You can enter multiple terms if you feel that best describes the project

This is an optional field for those having undertaken work within the Planning framework. This only appears where the Reason for Investigation has been selected as ‘Planning’ Please enter the Planning reference ID.

The location of an OASIS record is fundamental to establishing workflows of the form. For example, it helps filter which HERs and Museums have access to the record. This page is flexible enough so that a user can record one, or multiple ‘sites’ that their project covers. A site can in theory be:

  • A single point
  • Multiple points
  • A single polygon (extent of area)
  • A small number of polygons (e.g. Distinct survey areas)
  • A single defined geographic area (e.g. country or district)

In Scotland, users are strongly encouraged to locate their project using the upload option (see below), and thereafter using a numeric grid reference for spatial accuracy. Users only have the options for Locating a project using a boundary file or Entering a grid reference.

In England, users other options for Locating a project using a boundary file or Entering a grid reference, plus options to either Choose an area by an inhabited place or road name (using a Lookup service), or Using a predefined boundary or English Districts and ceremonial counties.

In both countries it is recommended that:

  • For large area surveys use the file upload or choose a predefined area (in England).
  • For planning related work use file upload, or grid reference entry.

Locating a project using a boundary file:

This feature should be used to upload a boundary/extent that represents where your site is located. There are some important aspects of this feature:

  • It is limited to the Shapefile, GeoJSON or KML formats only.
  • The file must be zipped up prior to upload.
  • The file must have a spatial reference: either the British National Grid (epsg 27700); the World Spherical Mercator (epsg 3857) or the World Geodetic System WGS84 (epsg 4326).
  • If your file does not have a spatial reference set, the form will reject the upload and display a small error/alert message.
  • The form only supports Polygons - and not lines. Please do not upload site plans or complicated files that contain polylines.
  • For simplicity: a maximum of 5 polygons per shapefile is allowed. If your file has more polygons than this the form will reject the upload and display a small error/alert message. If you feel that you need to record more areas simply create another site and split your polygons up accordingly.
  • Very complex polygons with 1000s of vertices may take longer to upload. In certain cases the form may reject examples rather than extend the upload session and slow the application. In these cases, it is strongly suggested that you simplify the polygon.

A video of how to use the shapefile upload is here https://vimeo.com/437155147


Entering a Grid reference:

The field for entering grid references is currently restricted to three forms of data entry:

  • 6 figure NGR alphanumeric e.g. SZ 644 874
  • Any size of NGR numeric coordinate up to 800000, 1400000
  • Decimal Latitude and Longitude eg: 60.809179581126166, -0.8273674104847758

A video of how to add a grid reference (and edit) is here https://vimeo.com/437159665


Named Places lookup

In England, there is an option to locate your project using a lookup of the OS OpenNames service. It is important to note that this searches only named inhabited places and road names only. It does not include geographic names such as ‘Lundy’. It returns a central grid reference for the name chosen.

This feature is useful for where you may not know the grid reference, and can help you locate your position on a map and then refine to a more accurate location. If you want to record your project location as a larger administrative entity such as County or District, then use the Predefined Administrative boundaries option.

A video of how to use the named places lookup is here https://vimeo.com/437153996


Predefined Administrative boundaries

In England, for larger thematic studies that cover particular districts or counties a user is encouraged to select from boundaries as defined by the OS. This is a simple alternative to uploading your own boundary. Multiple areas can be selected.


About the Map

Points and Polygons are displayed against OS background mapping. This is maintained by the ADS as an internal web service. The embedded map allows you to edit points and polygons in the map itself.

When using a name lookup, the application automatically generates a point at the centroid (effectively the mathematical middle of the larger area) as defined by the lookup service.

There is a small toolbar on the left-hand side of the map with a number of icons which allow you to create/edit/delete features. If you hover your mouse icon over a feature a title should appear explaining what each one is. Here are a few examples:

  • You can use the little ‘Bin’ icon on the left hand toolbar to delete the default point, and then (most importantly) save, and then add your own point or polygon.
  • You can use the edit function to move the point to a more accurate location. Remember to press the Save icon!
  • You can use the Point and Polygon functions to add extra locales within a site: for example, you may use the grid reference to get you in the right place, but then decide you want to create a polygon in the map to denote the field/building you are working in.

The map is in the WGS84 projected coordinate system (EPSG3857). The various functions can handle data entry in the British National Grid (EPSG27700), WGS84 geodetic system (EPSG4326), and EPSG3857.

For each Site you have to record a name. If appropriate, you can also record a distinct site code; the sort of identifier used to distinguish areas. Site code is not for:

  • A Project Code: this should be entered on the Activity page.
  • HER codes: these should be entered on the Reviewers/Admin areas page.
  • Grid references.
  • National Identifiers (Scheduled Monument IDs or other national inventories).
  • Museum/Archive Accession Ids.

These areas have been determined by comparing the Site(s) recorded in the Location page, and the Ordnance Survey boundaries for UK administrative areas. Please note if your project covers a large area it will return multiple terms. If you think the areas are incorrect, please check the details you entered for the Site(s).

The hyperlinks next to terms show you how these areas are defined by national authorities (OS, ONS)

For maritime records the record will default to the relevant country (based on individual marine zones for UK areas), and thereafter recorded as 'maritime'.

For large area projects, the form defaults to the highest level of Administrative Area. For example a record which covers multiple counties will show those counties, and not an individual list of Districts and Parishes within.

An explanation and demonstration is provided in an online video.

The list of HERs has been produced by the location you entered for your project. If you cannot find the HER you need please check the location and if correct use the 'Show full list of HERs' button to choose from a larger choice of HERs.

In England, three separate Level 2 reviewers may appear:

  • Historic England Information Analysis: this should be selected only by Historic England 'National Specialist Services'. Selecting this allows Historic England to oversee their own work! If you select this option then you should also select the relevant local HER so that they can access the information as well.
  • Historic England Casework: if your project is undertaken under Scheduled Monument Consent / S42 (geophysics), and it occurs within a Scheduled Monument extent then this option will appear. Selecting this option allows the Historic England Casework team to monitor work undertaken under these conditions. If you select this option then you should also select the relevant local HER so that they can access the information as well.
  • Historic England Marine HER: if your project occurs in the offshore maritime zone, then the form will default to this reviewer.

You can click on the HER name to see more information about the organisation.

Once you have selected the HER from the dropdown list, click the 'Add Historic Environment Record' button to add this into the page. If your project covers multiple areas, please select all appropriate options.

An explanation and demonstration is provided in an online video.

You will need to select at least one HER reviewer to proceed through the form. If multiple organisations hold Level 2 reviewing rights, which one reviews a record must be decided between the organisations.

If your area covers only one national body, then the form should automatically select this upon being opened for editing. Otherwise, select the national body that is relevant to your record

These Unique IDs tie this OASIS record to the regional HER database. The HER identifiers here have been limited to Monument and Event. These should only be filled in by a Level 1 user if specifically requested by the HER, or where you are confident of the Monument or Event Identifier assigned or relevant to the project.

If you are unsure,then leave this section blank.

These Unique IDs tie this OASIS record to the relevant national database. These should normally be filled in by a Level 4 user. However if you are confident of the Listed Building or Scheduled Monument Identifier relevant to your project then do add into the form.

If you are unsure,then leave this section blank.

Other organisations (national + regions) who might need to see a record (for example National Trust, MoD, Forestry Commission) can be added if they exist in the system. Adding an organisation means they have access and edit rights to the record.

Other organisations (national + regions) who might need to see a record (for example National Trust, MoD, Forestry Commission) can be added if they exist in the system. Adding an organisation means they have access and edit rights to the record.

This title is auto-generated from the Activity Type and Site Name. In the case of a record with multiple Activities and Sites it will default to the first entry in each.

If you don’t like this title, you can change it here and it will update across the form.

You can enter the name of the project as you see fit, but should ideally contain the site name, the form of work, and the phase or date of work if dealing with multi-phase projects.

This section should be used to record methodology only, and should not contain a description of what was found. Please use the Results page to enter a description of your findings.

Previous work can relate to projects undertaken by your organisation, or others. If you want to directly associate other OASIS records (for example, as part of a scheme of works), this can be entered in the Additional Info section of the form.

Entering Don’t know is an acceptable answer!

Future work is used to denote where follow up work (either as part of a scheme of works, or a multi-season project) is planned.

Entering Don’t know is an acceptable answer!

Start/end dates: relate to the project you are recording here. If you need separate dates per activity/site, then you should be creating individual records.

Start/end dates: relate to the project you are recording here. If you need separate dates per activity/site, then you should be creating individual records.

This yes or no option will make a further list appear below.

The picklist here is derived from the terms listed under the entry for Dating Techniques, as contained in the FISH Archaeological Sciences Thesaurus. This list should be used to flag that a specific technique was used in the project described in this OASIS record.

This button should be used to flag that Environmental sampling was carried out in the project described in this OASIS record.

Associated Identifiers should be recorded to associate other records/databases/unique identifiers to this specific OASIS record.

Please note: this is not meant to act as a bibliography or a place to record cited or related works.

OASIS automatically assumes that there is a form of written output for each project, but this can simply be set to ‘no report’ in the main page. If adding a new report you can enter details in a modular pop-up.

Report Upload

Once bibliographic details have been added, the form establishes if there is a file to be uploaded.

File upload is now limited to PDF or DOCX

If a file is uploaded, the form undertakes a number of checks after submission.

  • Title on the front page of the report.
  • Author on the front page of the report.
  • Site name on the front page of the report

If matches are not found with what you’ve entered, these are recorded as possible errors, and the user is alerted that this might not be the correct report.

A user has the opportunity to bypass this, and confirm that this is the correct report if they are confident.

A video on how to upload a PDF, and the new feature that checks the contents of the report against the information you've entered is here: https://vimeo.com/437144767

A video on the new feature which checks for incompatible files (e.g. password protected or corrupt) is here https://vimeo.com/437147446

A suggestion for the report title is automatically generated from other parts of the form. This was a requirement of the original Functional Specification. This can be overwritten!

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Authors can now be selected from existing entities in the ADS Library. You can use this widget to browse people, see their reports, and ORCID identifier if it exists.

A video on how to add report details, referencing existing authors, and adding new authors is here: https://vimeo.com/437118522

Selecting predefined people helps the accuracy and consistency of metadata between the OASIS and Library systems.

ADS can be contacted to help with adding ORCID identifiers for people that already exist in the Library database.

If you decide to create an ORCID yourself, you can update your profile with your ID in the OASIS details section [link to video]. This then feeds back into the Library.

If an author does not exist in the ADS Library, you can add in a new person on this page.

If entering a new name, please enter the

  • Full surname (case sensitive). For example 'Eubank'
  • Full forename and if preferred, any middle name initials. For example 'Christopher L.'

The year (4 digit) the output was published or produced.

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For reports the Publisher defaults to the name of the organisation you are currently logged in as. If you feel the Publisher name is wrong, then do consider the name of the organization as currently recorded in OASIS, rather than creating variations.

The physical location of the organisation that produced or published the written output recorded here. For Contracting Units this can be the location of the main or regional office. For community groups this can be the location of the group headquarters, regular meeting venue, or simply the place inhabited by the lead author e.g. 'York'.

If recording an ISBN: the 10 (pre 2007) or 13 (post 2007) digit should be entered without the hyphen.

If recording an ISSN: the 8 digit code should be entered without the hyphen.

This field is a legacy of the old OASIS system, and should be used if you would like to describe the physical version of the written output, for example 'A4 ring-bound paper'. Otherwise it can be ignored.

You should only enter this when referring to a report or publication that has an existing URL and for which you are not uploading to OASIS.

Normally this is for online versions of Journals or Monographs.

You should only enter this when referring to a report or publication that has an existing DOI (e.g. a report lodged in another repository or published online).

You do not need to enter it for reports you want to send to the ADS Library. In these cases this will be updated in this record when this happens.

This field should be used for Level 1 users to record a Report ID (commonly used where an organisation is producing a Series of reports) and for HERs to record Source Identifiers.

You can set an embargo or withhold release of any report you upload. This can be edited at any point if for example, you wish for the report to be released.

Primarily, this should be the name of the organisation that carried out the project/fieldwork that you are reporting in this record. It defaults to the name of the organisation associated with the person who created the record.

There is a separate field for Funder below.

If the project involved a significant contribution from another organisation, for example as a subcontractor or partner, then you can use the lookup to add them into the metadata. Adding another organization's name to this section does not give them access to this record.

Normally, this field should be used to record the Project Manager or Principle Investigator of a project. The drop-down list is automatically populated by registered OASIS users that are linked to this organisation. If a name does not appear on the list, you can add them manually using the 'add a project manager' button. Any new person added in will be remembered for future records.

The information recorded here is only used within the OASIS form, and is intended to help other users understand the main responsibilities of a project, especially in regards to report writing and archives.

This field is meant to define the technical or operational lead(s) responsible for the implementation of the Project. It is synonymous with ‘Supervisor’.

For smaller projects where this hierarchy is not applicable, simply repeat the name from Project Manager.

The drop-down list is automatically populated by registered OASIS users that are linked to this organisation. If a name does not appear on the list, you can add them manually using the 'add a supervisor' button. Supervisor is a mandatory field. When there is no name, repeat the project Manager's name. Any new person added in will be remembered for future records.

The information recorded here is only used within the OASIS form, and is intended to help other users understand the main responsibilities of a project, especially in regards to report writing and archives.

The drop-down list is a mixture of broad types, and in certain cases large named organisations.

If there is not a relevant named organisation, in most cases you can select the broad type (e.g. Public body) and then add in the name yourself.

In certain cases, principally 'Private individual', there is no option to record a name. This is for data sensitivity.

This page automatically defaults to Yes. Keeping or selecting this option enables you to record terms which help explain the key findings of your project to other users of the data.

This page allows users to subject terms from a range of English and Scottish thesauri for Monuments (including marine deposits and Built heritage), Objects, and Maritime Craft. These are available to view on the Heritage Data website.

Terms entered here will also be used for classifying your report in the ADS Library.

If your project encountered negative or limited evidence that you feel does not warrant attention of other users then set this option to No. If you select No, when you save the page the form will mark this section as complete

The search box below queries the Monument Type Thesaurus (Scotland), which can be viewed in English and Gaelic, and the Archaeological Objects Thesaurus (Scotland). Enter the whole or part of a term, and then click ‘Look up subject types’. Once you are happy with your choice of term, please click ‘Select’. Each subject term then needs to be classified with a suitable term from the Scottish Archaeological Periods & Ages list.

If recording a specific artefact that you wish to record in your entry to DES, the form allows you to upload a maximum of 3 images per object. Clicking the ‘Add image’ button opens a pop-up where you can choose your file, and record a caption and copyright statement

About the thesauri

The subject thesauri are large! They also encompass alot of historic or alternative terms that have been used to define a specific type of monument. For example the Preferred term ‘Henge’ has an alternate label of ‘Circle henge’.

The form uses a web service to search Preferred and Alternative labels. To help you understand your results, the OASIS form shows you the:

  • Preferred label
  • Alternative label(s)
  • Scope Note ( the definition of what this is)
  • A link to the online definition of this term at the Heritage Data website.

Some terms, such as ‘Henge’ have narrower sub-terms which are used to denote sub-forms, for example for Henge:

If you don’t feel comfortable using narrower terms, or feel they are not appropriate for your work, then simply pick the broad term.

If you wish to nominate a new term, or suggest a change, then please email terminologies@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Research Frameworks are automatically added using the location(s) of your project. For very large projects, this may return multiple Research Frameworks.

If a Framework has added a question or theme into OASIS, a text box allows you to start typing to bring back any such questions that match your words; for example "neolithic". You can then use the mouse cursor to select the question, and click 'Add Question' to add it into the form. A row appears for each question you add, with an additional field to record how your project addresses or contributes to this issue.

Selecting a Research Framework means that the record is highlighted as being of interest to that group, and they will be added to the list of 'Watchers' , but only with access once the record has been reviewed (in Scotland this includes review by DES).

This is a new and evolving section of the form. Further guidance and resources will be made available in the future.

The Archives section of OASIS can be used to record all facets of archive material generated by a project, including artefacts, material, digital and paper records. Not every project produces archive material; if you feel there is genuinely no archive to report then switch this button to No. Switching the button to ‘No’ marks this section of the OASIS form as complete.

The default setting for this page is ‘Yes’. When in editing mode the page asks you to Add an archive Location. A location equates to the archive or museum where material is being deposited. If you are sending different types of material to different organisations, then each should have a separate location.

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These Unique IDs tie this OASIS record to the regional HER database. The HER identifiers here have been limited to Monument and Event. These should only be filled in by a Level 1 user if specifically requested by the HER

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Help

A short video introduction to the Geophysics section is here https://vimeo.com/437149373

The form uses the extent of area to automatically look up the British Geological Survey (BGS) bedrock and superficial classifications. This uses the BGS WMS Services.

The data is returned and stored in the Database with no action required from the user. A link back to BGS lexicons is provided for those wishing to learn more.

It is noted that in some cases the BGS data is not accurate at very small scales, or may differ from what the user knows the Geology to be. The ability for the user to add a note superseding/augmenting theGeology information is therefore included as a notes field.

A simple drop-down is provided to record generic land use. Please pick the option that best applies. Maritime (i.e. offshore) projects should choose the option ‘Marine’.

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