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Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use & Preservation of Social Media Content

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Presented at the STL GLAM Technology Showcase @ Missouri Botanical Garden, May 17, 2016

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Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use & Preservation of Social Media Content

  1. 1. DOCUMENTING THE NOW CHRIS FREELAND ASSOCIATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN Supporting Scholarly Use & Preservation of Social Media Content
  2. 2. COLLECTING HISTORY AS IT HAPPENS Twitter was a primary source of information about the protests in and in the name of Ferguson. How can organizations archive Twitter data along with other collections to make a comprehensive data set available for research in ways that are ethically sound & in compliance with the Twitter Terms of Service? #Ferguson
  3. 3. ABOUT THE PROJECT Collaborative project between: • 2 year project, funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation • Feb 1, 2016 – Jan 31, 2018 • $517,000 • Funding project coordinator, application development, subawards to collaborators, Advisory Board
  4. 4. BUILDING OFF EXISTING FERGUSON EFFORTS Documenting Ferguson Ferguson Collecting Initiative Joel Levy, “Ferguson, Night 3, photo 4,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8669.
  5. 5. DOCUMENTING THE NOW PROJECT GOALS 1. Create the DocNow application • Cloud-ready, open-source application for collecting tweets, associated Web content, & • Create data visualizations & data exports 2. Create a Ferguson social media data set for research & preservation • Use Tweets and related data (Documenting Ferguson, oral histories) to create a data set research questions about Ferguson protests 3. Produce a white paper • Address ethical, copyright & access issues for collection, preservation & dissemination of 4. Convene an Advisory Board • Scholars, activists & technologists who can help shape application 5. Build a community of users & advocates around DocNow • Identify other scholars interested in using DocNow for their own research
  6. 6. PROJECT TEAM Chris Bergis Ed Desiree Francis Alexandra Dan Co-PIs Project Coordinator Developers
  7. 7. ROLE OF LIBRARIES & ARCHIVES IN COLLECTING HISTORY AS IT HAPPENS Mark Regester, “Protester holding a sign,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed March 5, 2016. http://documentingferguson.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8266
  8. 8. CURATING VS COLLECTING Traditional Appraisal: • Includes research and input from different individuals • an evaluation of the collection content within the framework of a collection development policy • an assessment of the content for research use • an assessment of originality and authenticity • ownership transfers to archive Collecting at scale: • No selection • No assessment of content • No quality control • Contributor / author retains rights • Contextual curation via research projects Mark Regester, “Woman with Obama sign Greater Grace Church,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8280. Courtesy Sonya Rooney, University Archivist, WUSTL Libraries
  9. 9. ETHICAL ISSUES WITH ARCHIVING TWITTER DATA Twitter was heavily used during protests Public Central gathering point for other social media channels • Publish a photo on Instagram or Vine & Share on Twitter But what about: • Identifying / Incriminating photos • Honoring intent • If we’ve captured a Tweet that someone has deleted, do we • Do nothing, and keep it in full in the archive? • Mark it as deleted, but still make it available for research use? • Delete it from our archive? White paper will address these issues and more…

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