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Challenges for Web Resource Preservation, Marieke Guy, UKOLN


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Presentation given at JISC-PoWR workshop 1 (Preservation of Web Resources: Making a Start), Dr Seng Tee Lee Room at Senate House Library, University of London:

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Challenges for Web Resource Preservation, Marieke Guy, UKOLN

  1. 1. UKOLN is supported by: What are the Barriers to Web Resource Preservation? Marieke Guy, UKOLN JISC-PoWR Workshop 27 th June 2008
  2. 2. The Preservation Challenge <ul><li>Accessibility and authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation has never been easy </li></ul><ul><li>People tend to live in the now </li></ul><ul><li>Web resources present additional challenges </li></ul><ul><li>So lets look at the excuses… </li></ul>
  3. 3. It’s not a problem… <ul><li>Digital resources do degrade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating systems are upgraded and existing applications cease to work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources may be dependent on or hosted by external resources which may disappear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links get broken </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loss of evidence of institutional activity which is nor recorded elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of not doing anything </li></ul>
  4. 4. It’s not a priority…. <ul><li>We are all suffering from lack of time, expertise and money </li></ul><ul><li>Web services tend to focus on immediate business requirements such as informational requirements, support for staff and e-learning applications </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions often wait for others to take the lead </li></ul><ul><li>Web services are often not interested in preservation while Records Managers are concentrating on other digital resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. It’s not my responsibility… <ul><li>Individual Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The author of the resource </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The publisher of the resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The institution, the institution’s Library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Academic Community, Archives, Museums, the Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consortiums e.g. UKWAC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>International Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>International Organisations e.g Internet Archive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial companies </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. It’s complicated… <ul><li>The Web is transient and dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Web resource’s lifespan is short </li></ul><ul><li>Web publishing is a very easy process </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata is very much an afterthought. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to preserve objects, relationships and behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>There is a gap of understanding between Records Managers and Web services people </li></ul><ul><li>It’s difficult to know how to get started or what to do </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation requires a certain skill set </li></ul>
  7. 7. It’s technically complicated… <ul><li>The Web is dependant on technology </li></ul><ul><li>Cardinality – One or many? </li></ul><ul><li>Web resources are usually held on just one server, so are at greater risk of removal </li></ul><ul><li>Areas of the Web are held in problematical CMS or behind authentication systems </li></ul><ul><li>Robots.txt file </li></ul><ul><li>Have standards or proprietary formats been used? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the technical architecture of the Web site been documented? </li></ul><ul><li>What about Software emulation? </li></ul>
  8. 8. It’s a difficult choice… <ul><li>Selection can be difficult </li></ul><ul><li>What does a Web site entail? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public vs private site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instantiation/snapshot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code, content or graphical look and feel of site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving the the bits or the essence? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it worth preserving anyway? </li></ul>
  9. 9. It’s a legal minefield… <ul><li>Many IPR issues: Copyright, database right, defamation, privacy, FOI </li></ul><ul><li>What about accessibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Is my Web site legal today? </li></ul><ul><li>Will my Web site be legal tomorrow, if new legislation is enacted? </li></ul><ul><li>Who owns the pages? </li></ul><ul><li>What about pages we don’t own? </li></ul>
  10. 10. And what about Web 2.0? <ul><li>Use of 3 rd party services </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on collaboration and communication, rather than access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>More resources created by individuals </li></ul><ul><li>More complex IPR issues </li></ul><ul><li>Richer diversity of services: RSS, syndicated content </li></ul><ul><li>These are issues for another day! </li></ul>
  11. 11. And the quick answer is… <ul><li>Need to encourage ownership and institutional responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Change in culture </li></ul><ul><li>Making excuses won’t help </li></ul><ul><li>We are here to help! </li></ul><ul><li>More answers in Preservation of Web Resources Part II </li></ul>
  12. 12. Any Questions?