There are a number of upcoming events that may be of relevance to those interested in Web resource preservation:
- European Archive, 16-17th of October 2008, Paris
Two-day training session on Web Archiving. The training will cover all aspects of Web Archiving for librarians, archivists as well as technicians in charge of Web archiving. Special attention will be given to providing the necessary background on Internet technologies in general and Web publishing in particular to understand the media and requirements for its preservation.
For further details have a look at the European Archive Web site
- Records Management in the digital age, 24th September 2008, London
The theme of UNICOM’s networking and discussion evening is the challenge of information management and records management in the digital age and in the light of collaborative technologies, social networking and Web 2.0. It features three short presentations followed by interactive discussion and a drinks and networking session. The evening will be held at the Regency Hotel, London from 5pm – 7:30pm.
For further details have a look at the UNICORM Web site.
- International Digital Curation Conference, 1st -3rd December 2008, Edinburgh
The Digital Curation Centre is holding their 4th International Digital Curation Conference, which will comprise of a mix of peer-reviewed papers, invited presentations and international keynote speakers
For further details see the DCC Web site.
The third and final JISC-PoWR workshop (Embedding Web Preservation Strategies Within Your Institution) took place on Friday 12th September 2008 at the Flexible Learning Space, Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning (CEEBL), University of Manchester. Twenty delegates were able to comment on an early draft of the JISC-PoWR handbook and provide feedback on the approaches suggested.
The main presentations are now available for download:
- Presentation 1: Introduction to JISC PoWR (Kevin Ashley, ULCC).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres1.ppt PowerPoint file] – [pres1.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 2: Records Management vs. Web Management: Beyond the Stereotypes (Marieke Guy, UKOLN).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres2.ppt PowerPoint file] – [pres2.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 3: Web Preservation in a Web 2.0 Environment (Brian Kelly, UKOLN).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres3.ppt PowerPoint file] – [pres3.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 4: The JISC-PoWR Workshops – Inputs and Outcomes (Marieke Guy, UKOLN).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres4.ppt PowerPoint file] – [pres4.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 5: The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Explaining Web Preservation (Kevin Ashley, ULCC).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres5.ppt PowerPoint file] – [pres5.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 6: The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Identifying Web Issues (Richard Davis, ULCC).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres6.ppt PowerPoint file]- [pres6.pdf PDF]
- Presentation 7: The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Recommended Approaches (Ed Pinsent, ULCC).
Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres7.ppt Powerpoint file] – [pres7.pdf PDF]
An event report on the workshop written by Christopher Eddie, University of Oxford, is also now available in the Ariadne Web magazine.
During the last JISC PoWR workshop yesterday in Manchester (of which more anon) I made brief mention of a tool from Adobe which allows web pages, or entire sites, to be captured to a PDF file. I mentioned this primarily to illustrate one of the three points at which web capture can take place (behind the server; from the HTTP transaction; or browser-side) but it generated considerable interest, and I promised to blog about the product since I could not remember what it was called.
It turns out that it’s not a separate product, nor a plug-in, but a built-in part of Adobe Acrobat. It was first available as a free add-on for Acrobat 4 in 1998 or 1999 , and I think it was then that I first saw this demonstrated at the PRO (as it then was) – hence my misunderstanding. Tools like this have their place, but (like all web preservation technologies) they also have their drawbacks. PDF’s print-oriented format isn’t a good match to some sites, much as some sites don’t look good when you try to print them. (In fact, I believe that Acrobat Web Capture effectively uses the browser’s print engine combined with PDF writer pseudo-printer to do its work, so there will be a close correlation.) But we’ll be covering this tool, along with others, in the handbook.
An ‘at the event’ report on the first JISC PoWR workshop held at Senate House Library, London on Friday 27th June 2008 has been published in the recent Ariadne Web Magazine (issue 56, July 2008). The piece, written by Stephen Emmott, concluded:
The challenges are significant, especially in terms of how to preserve Web resources. No doubt the institutional repository will play a role. Arguably, the absence of a solution to the preservation of Web resources leads to either retention or deletion, both of which carry risks. The workshop’s core message to practitioners was therefore to start building an internal network amongst relevant practitioners as advice and guidance emerge.
My thinking about this matter was certainly stimulated and I look forward to the next two workshops, and the handbook that will result. Web preservation is an issue which was always important but now grows increasingly urgent.
It is hoped that a trip report on the third workshop (for which bookings are currently still open) will be published in a future Ariadne.
The draft programme for the third JISC-PoWR workshop (Friday 12th September 2008, University of Manchester) is now available:
Presentation. 1. Introduction to JISC-PoWR (Kevin Ashley, ULCC)
Presentation. 2. Records Management vs. Web Management (Marieke Guy, UKOLN)
Breakout Session: Web Preservation in your organisation
Presentation. 3. Web Preservation and Web 2.0 (Brian Kelly, UKOLN)
Presentation. 4. Legal issues (Jordan Hatcher, Opencontentlawyer)
Presentation. 5. The JISC-PoWR Workshops – Inputs and Outcomes (Marieke Guy, UKOLN)
Presentation. 6. The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Explaining Web Preservation (Kevin Ashley, ULCC)
Presentation. 7. The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Identifying Web Issues (Richard Davis)
Breakout Session: The next steps for Web Preservation in your organisation
Presentation. 8. The JISC-PoWR Handbook – Recommended Approaches (Ed Pinsent, ULCC)
Presentation. 9. Future possibilities
More information is available on the Workshop 3 page.
Places are still available. You can register using the Online Registration Form (note that this link takes you out of the JISC-PoWR blog to a Google Doc form).
Bookings are now open for the third JISC-PoWR workshop to be held at the Flexible Learning Space, University of Manchester on Friday 12th September 2008. The workshop entitled Embedding Web Preservation Strategies Within Your Institution is free to attend and open to Web, information and records managers working in HE/FE Institutions and related HE and FE agencies.
For information on how to reserve a place see the workshop 3 page.
The second JISC PoWR workshop was held on 23rd July 2008 as part of UKOLN’s annual institutional Web management workshop, IWMW 2008.
This workshop provided an opportunity to review the outcomes of the first workshop, in which members of the JISC PoWR team and the 30+ participants identified some of the challenges to be faced in preserving content held on institutional Web services and explored some of the ways in which these challenges can be addressed. The slides for this review are available on Slideshare and are embedded below.
The main focus of the second workshop, however, was to look at the additional challenges which need to be addressed in a Web 2.0 context, when the content may be more dynamic, hosted by third party services and created by a wide range of users.
A PowerPoint presentation was used to initiate discussions based on a number of scenarios including use of blogs, wikis, Twitter, communications tools, social networks, ‘amplified events’ and use of third party repository services such as Slideshare – which is appropriate as this presentation is itself available on Slideshare and is embedded below.
This presentation doesn’t have any answers to these challenges – it was intended to initiate the debate at the workshop. Some of the approaches which may be relevant to the various scenarios have already been discussed on this blog including use of wikis, student blogs, use of Slideshare, instant messaging and Twitter and the wider set of discussions which took place at the workshop will feed into the final JISC PoWR handbook.
It is worth noting that this presentation was spotlighted on the Slideshare home page. This has helped to increase the visibility of the work of the JISC PoWR project: a week after the presentation hed been given there had been 713 views of the slides. It should also be noted that other Slideshare users had assigned various tags to the presentation (including data-portability, digital-preservation, sioc and preservation). As can be seen if you follow these links, we are beginning to see use of such social Web technologuies which can help users to discover related resources of interest to the digital preservation community. This, to me, is a good example of the potential benefits which Web 2.0 can provide to those with n interest in the presevation of Web resources.
Many good ideas are already coming out of the first PoWR workshop. One thing I personally found illuminating was one of the breakout sessions which I facilitated, called ‘The history of the Institution’s home page’.
The scenario required an institution to provide ‘examples of how the web site has developed since it was launched’. (Brian Kelly has already broached this topic here). My colleagues discussed this conundrum with great vigour, but most had to admit they drew a blank when it came to producing even a basic screenshot from five years ago. Instead, there was a lot of ‘folk memory’ and anecdotal evidence, also sometimes called ‘tacit knowledge’. It was clear that everyone was aware that their web site had changed (and sometimes even improved) quite dramatically in the last 5-10 years. It’s just that no-one could lay their hands on any evidence of the changes. Imagine it like one of those ‘before and after’ reveals which you might get on Changing Rooms on TV. The problem with web sites is that we can’t always lay hands on the ‘before’ picture.
Some drivers for changes included:
- Corporate or institutional rebranding
- Move to a Content Management System
- Content provider change
- External consultancy
And the following sorts of web site elements were subject to change:
- Design, branding, colours, logos
- Content – obviously(!) – but do we know what content was added and what was thrown away?
- Navigation – clicks and links became more consistent across the site
- More pages – a site which used to be one ‘main page’ for the entire institution is now much larger and more complex, and every Department in the University now has a suite of pages
- More interactive elements, including automated forms
- Site became more searchable
- More media, video and audio content was embedded
- Distinction between internal and external content became more pronounced
It’s also interesting that one of our colleagues thought that the CMS also added some constraints to working; what once was easy is now much more difficult. I’m sure this is a trade-off we find with most new ways of working and it isn’t meant to imply that a CMS is always evil.
Kevin Ashley heard this summary with some interest and jokingly suggested that perhaps some form of oral history was the relevant preservation solution here. Yet if we have no other evidence of a web site’s history, who knows – it may yet turn out to be the last resort.
The first JISC-PoWR workshop took place last Friday (27th June 2008) at Senate House Library and was attended by over 30 people from a wide range of professional groupings, including the Web management and Records Management communities. The day instigated much discussion and started people thinking about how they could make a start on Web resource preservation at their institution.
The main presentations are now available for download.
- Presentation 1: JISC-PoWR Workshop 1, Marieke Guy, UKOLN. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres1.ppt PowerPoint file]
- Presentation 2: Preservation of Web Resources Part I, Kevin Ashley, ULCC. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres2.ppt PowerPoint file] (audio – pres2.mp3)
- Presentation 3: Challenges for Web Resource Preservation, Marieke Guy, UKOLN Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres3.ppt] (audio – pres3.mp3)
- Presentation 4: Bath University Case Study, Alison Wildish and Lizzie Richmond, University of Bath. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres4.ppt PowerPoint file] .
- Presentation 5: Legal issues, Jordan Hatcher, opencontentlawyer. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres5.ppt PowerPoint file] (audio – pres5.mp3)
- Presentation 6: Preservation of Web Resources Part II, Ed Pinsent, ULCC. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [ pres6.ppt PowerPoint file] (audio – pres6.mp3)
- Preservation 7: ReStore: A sustainable web resources repository, Arshad Khan, National Centre for Research Methods. Presentation: [Slideshare] – [pres7.ppt Powerpoint file]. Audio: [pres7.mp3]
The presentations are also available from Slideshare. Audio files are available from the Internet Archive.
We are also using a Wetpaint Wiki to collate the feedback from the workshop breakout sessions. If you were there, please have a look and help us ensure that your suggestions are represented.
An ‘at the event’ report written on the workshop by Stephen Emmott has been published in the Ariadne Web Magazine.
Web preservation is a big topic and we’re not even pretending to deal with all of it. The aspect that we care about – that JISC believes the community is looking for help with – is fairly well-defined. We want to help institutions make effective decisions about preserving web resources, and help them implement those decisions in a way that is cost-effective and non-disruptive.
Making effective decisions
At its simplest level, this means deciding what to keep and what not to keep. There may be many drivers for these decisions – institutional policy, legal requirements and research interests are just a few. The decisions need to relate not just to what is to be kept, but why and who for. That’s because those requirements may have a bearing on how you choose to go about the job, or whose responsibility it is to carry it out. Not everything needs to be kept, and even when it does, it may not be your institution’s responsibility to keep it.
Implementing those decisions
Carrying out your decisions – keeping things, throwing things away, or ensuring that other people keep things – can be the trickiest part of the process. You may know you want to preserve the prospectus for past years, but can you be sure that your CMS, or the Internet Archive, or some local use of web-harvesting tools is going to do this job effectively for you ? You may be being told that some part of your web infrastructure would be easier to preserve if you avoided the use of certain features, or used a different authoring system. Is that true, and if it is, what are the negative consequences of such decisions ?
The handbook which will be one of the project’s outputs will attempt to answer these quesions in a way that makes sense to everyone who might be involved in the process. We want to help to make it easier to take decisions about preservation and to know what tools, systems or working methods can be employed to help you implement them.
The workshops are the primary mechanism we’re using to test whether the handbook makes sense to the people it’s aimed at, and that they tackle the problems that people are actually facing.
Bookings are now open for the first JISC-PoWR workshop to be held in London on Friday 27th June 2008. The workshop entitled Preservation of Web Resources: Making a Start is free and open to Web, information and records managers working in HE/FE Institutions.
For information on how to reserve a place see the workshop 1 page.