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Archival Educators Research Institute (AERI)
July 12, 2011, Boston, MA
The neologisms, bloggership and blogademia, have emerged in recent years, reflecting the adoption of blogs as channels for scholarly communication; the former in reference to legal scholarship blogs, or blawgs, and the latter to blogs across disciplines. This presentation reports select findings from a descriptive study of scholars who blog in the areas of history, economics, law, biology, chemistry and physics. The study examined scholars’ attitudes and perceptions of their blogs in relation to the system of scholarly communication, their preferences for digital preservation, and their respective blog publishing behaviors and blog characteristics influencing preservation action. Drawing from 153 questionnaires, 24 interviews, and content analysis of 93 blogs, this presentation will provide a focused analysis of findings related to preservation preferences. Results from the questionnaire portion of the study show that scholars who blog are generally interested in blog preservation with a strong sense of personal responsibility. Most feel their blogs should be preserved for both personal and public access and use into the indefinite, rather than short-term, future. Respondents identify themselves as most responsible for blog preservation. Concerning capability, they perceive blog service providers, hosts, and networks as most capable. National and institutional-based libraries and archives, as well as institutional IT departments, are perceived as least responsible and least capable for preservation of scholars’ respective blogs. During the subsequent interview portion of the study, participants did not dismiss the value of these organizations. If anything, for some, it is exactly this value that contributes to perceptions of libraries and archives’ low responsibility and capability. This presentation will conclude by offering implications from these findings on the potential role, or lack of role, for archives and libraries in the preservation of scholars’ blogs.