Researcher Engagement with Web Archives

This project explores how to bridge the gap between archivists and researchers, and how preserved web content archives might be used by researchers and others to ask meaningful new questions.

Contact:

Dr Eric Meyer

Tel: +44 (0)1865 287218

Email: eric.meyer@oii.ox.ac.uk

Overview

The importance of the Internet for research, society, and the economy is without question. However, the content on the web is constantly in flux as it is updated, replaced, and deleted. Various efforts to archive the Web or portions thereof have been developed around the world. However, much of this work has been done from the point of view of preservation. Less work exists on how these preserved archives might then be used by researchers and others to ask meaningful new questions.

In this project, we will produce two reports aimed at starting to bridge this gap between archivists and researchers. The first will be a report aimed at researchers which summarizes existing work using archives and describes, using exemplar cases, the strategies developed for working with archives. Promising areas of future research will also be highlighted in this report. A second report, aimed at JISC and other funders, will identify current gaps in the funding for research using web archives and the development of appropriate tools for working with web archives.

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