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The current version of OASIS is at a stage where it has outgrown the system on which it is hosted and there is a need to move it to a new platform and re-engineer the underpinning system architecture. This has provided the opportunity for an evaluation of the project to date and the development of a revised strategy which sets the future development of OASIS in the context of changed planning procedures and the need to show public benefit alongside reduced resources within Local Authorities and the need to minimise double handling of information.

To this end Pye Tait Consulting undertook a review of the development and implementation of OASIS in England, including the preparation of an updated strategy consistent with Heritage Protection Reform (HPR). Their final report was delivered in January 2012.

Stage 1#

Stage 1 of HERALD has worked with the results of the Pye Tait Consulting project to develop a better understanding of the requirements of the sector. This will tally with some of the short term priorities identified by Pye Tait Consulting (whilst some longer term priorities outlined in the Pye Tait report are best addressed in future stages of this project)

The main driver for stage 1 of the project was the need to capture user needs and understand the workflows and processes that need to be supported by any redesigned OASIS system. A redevelopment of the form will be defined by the outcome of this stage of the project. In addition to this the outcomes of the user needs survey have helped identify where information gathered in OASIS could support other processes and initiatives. The upgrade is an opportunity to consider what other new outputs might be needed, or where better integration of OASIS information could support other existing online reporting (e.g. local society or period & thematic annual round-ups, research frameworks, etc)

Stage 1 was completed in May 2015 and the report is now available in the document archive section and for updates, see the OASIS Blog.

Video of an Introduction to the HERALD project and survey results as presented at CIfA Conference in Cardiff 2015 - UK-level data collection - ADS and OASIS, workflow and best practice.

The HERALD project is part of Historic England's Heritage Information Strategy and here is an explanation of it given also at CIfA 2015 as 'Heritage information Access strategy, EH: national versus local service provision'.

Stage 2#

Stage 2 of the HERALD project is in two parts:

  1. The creation of the ADS Library
  2. The redevelopment of the OASIS form

The ADS Library#

The ADS Library is the fusion of existing datasets. These include journal and series backruns archived with the ADS, the Library of unpublished fieldwork reports (aka the Grey literature library) which is mostly populated with reports from OASIS and last but not least the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB) which is in itself a collection of different datasets which have been collected over the last hundred years.

The redevelopment of the OASIS form#

The final consultations on the content of the form have been completed, with the functional specification finalised in June 2017. The functional specification is available to view here.

For more information on the consultations and progress please follow the OASIS blog