Thursday, 3 December 2009

Archiving reaches maturity

Remember when the word 'archive' for projects used to be a dirty word. Your managers wouldn't grant the time to you to archive as you got pushed into new urgent projects and your old ones hung around like the proverbial bad smell. Well, all's changing as digital online information becomes the norm. Given that, certain expectations about the stability of information and long-term access to it surface.

Digital archiving is now big business. If we look at massive infrastructure projects for archiving then our web projects look insignificant. But with success and focus come standards, so beware. We will be expected to conform to some digital archive standards sooner rather than later. Keep an eye out.

The government have recognised its responsibility for broken links in its online information in its Web Continuity Project. This recognises which version of a web page is being looked for and accesses that version rather than give the dreaded 'broken link' message.

Also, with online referencing becoming common – we use it all the time in these postings – there are concerns about changes to the referenced page, loss of contextualised meaning, misrepresentation and so on, over time. The 'ostephens' entry on the TELSTAR blog entitled, The When of the Web, gives a nice breakdown of some of these issues and some software solutions.

Finally, for a taste of some of the larger projects that are around at the moment and what's going on, take a quick look at the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) page. They have loads of money relating to higher education research and provision in the UK with some funding opportunities too.

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