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The Search for Meaning:
Exploring Euroscepticism in the
UK Web Archive
IHR Digital History Seminar
IHR, 23 April 2014
Richard Deswarte
School of History, UEA
• Intro to ‘Revealing British Eurosceptism in the
UK Web Domain and Archive’
• Searching
• Meaning
• Provisional thoughts so far
Searching
• Eurosceptic, Euroscepticism, UKIP, EU, Referendum Party
• Searched 0.5% of domain; then 12%; then fullish
• Limited but numerous results
• UK Web Archive - Eurosceptic 312 returns; 5604 returns;
approx. 14 000
• UK Government Web Archive – Eurosceptic 3420
• Ordering of results – currently crawl date
• Strange ‘false’ returns – Yorkshire Post sports pages, Morning
Advertiser
• Results/Filters – crawl year, hosts, suffixes, postcode, sentiment,
content type, language
Meaning
• Making sense and analysing results – research valid
• Dirty data – Yorkshire Post
• Misleading data – UKIP
• Qualitative
• Needle in a haystack
• Added value tools – sentiment analysis
• Quantitative – completeness of data and crawls
• Tools
• Downloading/exporting
Sentiment Analysis
Morning Advertiser
Forum postings
14 Feb 2007
IA WayBackMachine
Neutral (14)
Very Positive (10)
Very Negative (5)
Mildly positive (3)
Positive (1)
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Euroscepticism
Eurosceptic
UKIP
EU (x100)
Referendum Party
Keyword search returns 1996-2010
Preliminary Thoughts
• Search focus
• Unstructured big data (uncatalogued)
• Access to & understanding ‘full’ data
• Understanding meaning – sampling
• ‘False returns’ & ‘clean data’
• Tools
• Exporting results
• Interpreting results - sampling
• A unique but problematic primary source (anything & everything almost)
Thank you. Comments and questions welcome.
Richard Deswarte
School of History
UEA
r.deswarte@uea.ac.uk

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Richard deswarte interrogating the archived uk web

  • 1. The Search for Meaning: Exploring Euroscepticism in the UK Web Archive IHR Digital History Seminar IHR, 23 April 2014 Richard Deswarte School of History, UEA
  • 2. • Intro to ‘Revealing British Eurosceptism in the UK Web Domain and Archive’ • Searching • Meaning • Provisional thoughts so far
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8. Searching • Eurosceptic, Euroscepticism, UKIP, EU, Referendum Party • Searched 0.5% of domain; then 12%; then fullish • Limited but numerous results • UK Web Archive - Eurosceptic 312 returns; 5604 returns; approx. 14 000 • UK Government Web Archive – Eurosceptic 3420 • Ordering of results – currently crawl date • Strange ‘false’ returns – Yorkshire Post sports pages, Morning Advertiser • Results/Filters – crawl year, hosts, suffixes, postcode, sentiment, content type, language
  • 9. Meaning • Making sense and analysing results – research valid • Dirty data – Yorkshire Post • Misleading data – UKIP • Qualitative • Needle in a haystack • Added value tools – sentiment analysis • Quantitative – completeness of data and crawls • Tools • Downloading/exporting
  • 10.
  • 11. Sentiment Analysis Morning Advertiser Forum postings 14 Feb 2007 IA WayBackMachine Neutral (14) Very Positive (10) Very Negative (5) Mildly positive (3) Positive (1)
  • 12. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Euroscepticism Eurosceptic UKIP EU (x100) Referendum Party Keyword search returns 1996-2010
  • 13. Preliminary Thoughts • Search focus • Unstructured big data (uncatalogued) • Access to & understanding ‘full’ data • Understanding meaning – sampling • ‘False returns’ & ‘clean data’ • Tools • Exporting results • Interpreting results - sampling • A unique but problematic primary source (anything & everything almost)
  • 14. Thank you. Comments and questions welcome. Richard Deswarte School of History UEA r.deswarte@uea.ac.uk