Equipment sharing: NHSF Kit-Catalogue

The NHSF Kit-Catalogue facilitates collaboration and best use of existing resources by enabling member organisations to list their equipment and facilities for wider use.

Kit-Catalogue

NHSF members can add items to the catalogue and indicate which items are available for sharing or external use, and under what circumstances.

Access the NHSF Kit-Catalogue here: nhsf.kit-catalogue.com

Checklist for sharing/borrowing equipment

NHSF has produced a checklist for the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The checklist highlights the areas that organisations may wish to include when drawing up an agreement to share/borrow equipment. It includes example clauses to help organisations put together their own agreements.

FAQs

For kit-owners

How does the Kit-Catalogue work?

The NHSF Kit-Catalogue is a searchable database of equipment and facilities used for heritage science research. It aims to facilitate collaboration and best use of existing resources.

NHSF members can add items to the catalogue and indicate which items are available for sharing or external use, and under what circumstance. Researchers can enquire about an item through a short online enquiry form.

Is the kit ‘discoverable’ by people external to NHSF?

The discoverability of listed equipment is an option that can be changed at any point.

We strongly encourage NHSF members to list their items as “public” – this makes the listing a resource visible to all, including unregistered users. If an item is listed as “private”, only logged-in administrators can see it.

Can external users ask for access to catalogue equipment?

Yes. The NHSF Kit-Catalogue is a public resource open to all. Users can enquire about an item through the in-built contact form.

When listing an item, kit-owners can specify details such as availability, portability, restrictions on use and whether training is required to use the item.

I’ve lost my log-in details. Can they be re-issued?

If you have lost your log-in details or are having issues signing in, please contact the Kit-Catalogue administrator at coordinator@heritagescienceforum.org.uk.

Can I give access to others at my organisation to help maintain entries?

Certainly. Simply contact coordinator@heritagescienceforum.org.uk and we can issue them with new log-in details.

What should I consider when loaning equipment?

NHSF has produced a checklist for the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The checklist highlights the areas that organisations may wish to include when drawing up an agreement to share/borrow equipment. It includes example clauses to help organisations put together their own agreements, such as insurance, duration and user responsibilities.

I can’t see the entries I’ve created for my equipment.

If you are unable to see kit entries that you created, it may be that you accidentally set them to “private view”. This can easily be changed by signing in and changing this option to “public” view.

My organisation runs separate venues, each with different kit. Can this be reflected in the listings?

Setting up separate Kit-Catalogue lists (‘locations’) for your organisation is possible. If you are the administrator for your organisations, you can set them up via the following steps:

  1. Sign into the catalogue
  2. Click ‘Administration’ and from within the ‘Administration’ page click ‘organisational structure’
  3. Click the [add] link to the right of your organisation’s name and enter the venue name. The ‘location’ you have added will appear as another level in the hierarchical organisational structure.

You can see examples of this structure here.

I am concerned about the time it would take to respond to requests if I upload my equipment. How frequently do users receive enquiries?

Currently, our feedback indicates that there is a low level of requests for listed items. We do want interest to grow, but if at any stage you are receiving too many enquiries, please talk to us and we can adjust the ‘discoverability’ of your equipment.

How can I provide examples of how the item is used?

We always welcome case studies of how people have used kit listed in the catalogue, which we feature on the Kit-Catalogue and on the NHSF website.

If you’d like to upload such an example, you can fill in our Project Highlight template or add relevant links to the item entry, under ‘Additional Resources’. Alternatively, if you would like your example project featured on the NHSF blog, Heritage Science – Fact not Fiction, please contact coordinator@heritagescienceforum.org.ukcontribution guidelines are available on the website.

Where can I access the user manual?

You should have received a copy of the NHSF Kit-Catalogue User Guide by email upon signing up. If you would like another copy, please contact coordinator@heritagescienceforum.org.uk.

Alternatively, the full user manual is available at: http://www.kit-catalogue.com/projectpages/wp-content/themes/Loughborough/content/manual/Kit-Catalogue_Complete_Manual_Version_2.0.4.pdf

 

For kit-users/borrowers:

Who can request to borrow equipment? / I’m not a registered user / NHSF member. Can I still request access to equipment through K-C?

Yes. The NHSF Kit-Catalogue is a resource open to all, not just NHSF members. You do not need a Kit-Catalogue account to make an enquiry.

What is the process for requesting access?

To enquire about an item listed in the Kit-Catalogue, simply click the ‘Enquire’ button in the top right corner of the page – this will take you to the Item Enquiry form. You will have to provide your name and email address, and to specify whether you are making a general enquiry, booking request or suggestion for research collaboration.

How do I search for kit within the catalogue?

At the moment, the catalogue can be searched by manufacturer, and by location/owner. We are working to set up equipment categorie too. 

Which piece of equipment do I need to answer my specific research question?

We are currently working with University of Cambridge Museums and the Icon Heritage Science Group to run a Heritage Science 101 event in March 2019. The event will provide an overview of equipment and the type of research questions it can help answer. 

Where can I find examples of how the item is used?

Some Kit-Catalogue entries feature case studies, providing examples of projects undertaken using the listed kit. A compilation of these projects can be found here.

What should I consider when borrowing kit?

NHSF has produced a checklist for the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The checklist highlights the areas that organisations may include when drawing up an agreement to share/borrow equipment, such as insurance, duration and user responsibilities.

Do I need to be trained to use the equipment?

Most item entries specify whether special training is required or not, and if the organisation that owns the item is able to arrange ttraining for you or not.

Case studies

Case studies of how people have used kit listed in the catalogue provide examples of how the resource has been of benefit to the heritage science community or individual researcher.