JISC-PoWR Project: Web 1.0 Preservation

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Presentation given at second JISC-PoWR Workshop run as part of the Institutional Web Management Workshop (22-24th July 2008).

Presentation given at second JISC-PoWR Workshop run as part of the Institutional Web Management Workshop (22-24th July 2008).

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  • 1. UKOLN is supported by: The JISC PoWR Project Preserving Web 1.0 Resources Marieke Guy, UKOLN IWMW 2008 23 rd July 2008
  • 2. The JISC-PoWR Project
    • JISC Preservation of Web Resources project
    • Focus on digital preservation issues of relevance to UK HE/FE Web management community
    • 5 months (May – September 2008)
    • 2 partners: UKOLN and ULCC + friendly lawyer
    • Aim is to raise awareness amongst the Web manager community of the need to incorporate preservation strategy into key stages of the web management process
    • Identify, share and seek to embed best practices!
    • 3 Workshops: London, Aberdeen, Manchester,
    • Key resources: briefing papers, case studies and handbook
    • Blog - http://jiscpowr.jiscinvolve.org/
  • 3. Why Bother Preserving?
    • Preservation challenge
    • Preservation has never been easy, people tend to live in the now
    • Web resources present additional challenges
    • Why bother?
      • Uniqueness
      • Audit
      • Authenticity
      • Money
      • Heritage
      • Embarrassment!
  • 4. The Challenges
    • Low priority
    • Unsure on whose responsibility it is
    • Complicated – Web is big, transient, dynamic
    • Gap of understanding between different communities
    • What do we preserve? Selection decisions
    • What makes a Web site (bits or essence)?
    • Technical issues and dependencies
    • Legal issues
    • Is it worth preserving anyway?
    • Web 2.0
  • 5. Scenario 1: Your Home Page
    • It is your institution’s anniversary…
    • Would like an example of how the institution’s Web site has developed since launch
    • Currently only anecdotal evidence/tacit knowledge
      • CMS brought in, search added
      • Changes in navigation, branding
      • Accessibility, language, content
      • Interactive elements, multimedia
    • Use the Internet Archive’s Way Back machine
    • PicLens plugin, automated rolling display
  • 6.
    • http://jiscpowr.jiscinvolve.org/2008/06/20/the-history-of-the-university-of-bath-home-page/
  • 7. Scenario 2: Losing Content
    • The funding finishes
    • Project staff leave, partnership dissolves
    • Hosting agency upgrades operating system, resulting in scripts to access resources from backend database are broken
    • User finds page with invitation to project launch and travels to meeting. Event took place in 2002!
    • Invoice for domain name is not paid, as administrator has left
    • Web site domain taken over by porn company
    • Prime Minister picks up pen containing project URL and visits pornographic Web site
  • 8. It Has Happened: Webtechs
    • Software company which hosted early HTML validation service
    • In 1998/99 confusion over payment of domain name
    • March 1999 company receives many messages saying validation service is now a porn site
    • Over 30,000 links to Web site!
    • Sept 1999 porn company agrees to sell domain name back to Webtech
    See <http://www.exploit-lib.org/issue1/webtechs/>
  • 9. Facing the Challenges
    • 1) Protect Web site short to medium term
      • Mothball your Web site
      • Get senior management on board
    • 2) Manage Web site content as part of an RM programme
      • Identify your resources
      • Collaborate – University of Bath RM and WS Director
      • Choose the appropriate approach (or approaches)
      • You may not need to keep everything
    • 3) Preserve Web sites and Web resources permanently
      • Something for the future
  • 10. Mothballing Your Web Site (1)
    • Run a link check across the Web site.
    • Fix broken internal links and external links
    • Run HTML (and CSS) validation checks across the Web site.
    • Run an accessibility check across the Web site. .
    • You should also address technical areas:
      • Remove any backend scripts which are no longer needed (e.g. online booking forms for old events).
      • Remember that scripts, etc. are liable to go wrong. Ensure that applications are configured to break gracefully and provide meaningful errors
    See <http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/qa-focus/ documents/briefings/briefing-04/>
  • 11. Mothballing Your Web Site (2)
    • You should also address the content of your Web site
    • Clarify the status of the Web site on the home page.
    • Ensure the tense of the content reflects the position i.e. don't say &quot; This project will … &quot;
    • Ensure that contact details will remain valid i.e. provide generic email addresses not an individuals
    • Remember that many users will arrive deep in your Web site (e.g. using Google).
    • If necessary use CSS to flag all pages with a watermark
    This Web site is no longer maintained. See home page for details Web 1.0
  • 12. Mothballing Toolkit
    • UKOLN developed a QA methodology by QA Focus work which was funded by JISC
    • We developed a lightweight self-assessment toolkit
    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/qa-focus/ toolkit/mothballing-01/ Web 1.0
  • 13. Any Questions?
  • 14. Breakout Session 1
    • Reflecting on some of the issues mentioned, in groups think
    • about Embedding Best Practices.
    • What are the barriers to implementing a Web Resource Preservation Strategy in your Institution?
    • How can you address these barriers?
    • How can you take some of the techniques mentioned and apply them within your institution?