Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Project Plan Post 1 of 7: Aims, Objectives and Final Output(s) of the project

Project Overview

This project will significantly enhance the HALOGEN (History, Archaeology, Linguistics, Onomastics and GENetics) cross-disciplinary spatial research database established in 2010 ( This is used to support the multi-disciplinary ‘Roots of the British’ and ‘Diasporas’ research collaborations ( that seeks to interrogate evidence for the migration and/or continuity of human populations in the British Isles in the distant past.  HALOGEN is now a key research tool underpinning the work of these teams.

It is intended to: extend the coverage of existing Portable Antiquities Scheme data in the database; add three new sources of spatial data relating to surname distributions and genetics; investigate and deploy an improved ‘data extract’ tool to enable researchers easier access to data; and to undertake a feasibility study into the provision of a simple web-based enquiry tool. These enhancements will add significant value to this research asset. The work will cover all phases of the project life cycle from requirements analyses through to the implementation of practical, cost-effective solutions which exploit the existing research assets within the organisation in terms of the IT infrastructure and technical expertise both within IT Services and Geography

The key products will be:

1. Enhanced Data Sources 

– Extension of existing PAS datasets to provide national coverage. This is a relatively simple exercise as the Key to English Place Names and Genetics data is already present in the database at national level but some additional cleaning is required. A new ‘national’ extract of PAS data would be needed. 

- Addition of 2 new data sources relating to the geographical distribution of surnames and further genetics data to the database. 

2. A Revised Data Management Plan

3. Evaluation and Selection of Data Extraction Tool
Requirements for an appropriate tool will be documented. These will initially be used to assess the feasibility of using the existing tools supported by IT Services. If this is not appropriate a market evaluation will take place.

4. An Implementation Plan for the Data Extraction Tool

An implementation plan covering the timescales, costs, risks and issues relating to the deployment of the selected tools will be documented. If feasible within the 9-month project window then the preferred product will be implemented.

5. Feasibility Study for the Provision of HALOGEN Database Enquiry Facilities for Institute of Place Names Website Users.

6. Interim project reports.

7. A project blog and an updated Halogen website (

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