Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2014 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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Square peg in a round hole: Using IRs to archive websites
Colleen Lyon, Katherine Miles

Last modified: 2014-03-13


Institutional repositories (IRs) were designed as a way to provide open access (OA) to research articles written by university faculty. Much of what is being produced on college campuses does not fit into the tidy research article category, and any IR administrator can tell you that users want to submit more than just research articles. In addition to the OA aspect of IRs, repository users are very interested in having a reliable way of pointing to their work, and many of them look at IRs as an archive for their digital scholarship.

One of the areas of digital scholarship that our users want to have preserved is websites. Our first response was to say that DSpace does not handle websites well, which is very true, but we received so many requests that we decided to look into ways of making websites work within the DSpace environment. We started out archiving department blogs, moved into students blogs, and are currently working on faculty websites. Each project presents a slightly different set of issues. We need to decide how to organize the content, how to present the content (screen shots, html, pdf, etc.), and how to describe the content. We have to consider whether to preserve all links listed on a page or just the ones that seem to provide important context. And, since websites are ever-changing, we need to come up with a plan for ongoing content capture.

We will provide attendees with an overview of the website archiving done so far in the University of Texas Digital Repository (UTDR), and we will discuss the main issues we’ve run into when working with groups on campus. We will also discuss the pros and cons of using IRs to archive websites as opposed to services like Archive-It. 


institutional repositories; website archiving; DSpace

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