Blogs as scholarly record? Should we reposit them?

Blogs are increasingly becoming the grey literature of our time, and at least some may need preservation. I use this blog for many semi-reputable activities – an open notebook of thoughts – a means of presenting talks and snapshots of activities of value to me. This blog, and others in the Blue Obelisk, are being used by Beth Ritter-Guth as a resource for het rhetorical work. This, at least, demands an element of preservation.
So simple questions:

  • should they be reposited in the institutional repository?
  • if so, how? (zipped at regular intervals? presumably not after every comment?)

This may appear trivial, but it isn’t. Having had logins at several institutions (Glaxo, Daresbury, BioMOO, Nottingham, Birkbeck, Cambridge) in the last 10 years I have lost significant amounts of my digital scholarship with each move. I have to resort to fragments floating around in random webcaches – it’s remarkable how long they survive…
(I now have the spellchecker… 🙂

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3 Responses to Blogs as scholarly record? Should we reposit them?

  1. Bill says:

    On at least one plausible view they are already “deposited”, in a sense. If Technorati actually worked, it would be like OAIster for blogs — perhaps it would be better to have a functional Technorati than to try to manhandle blogs into something meant for preservation of static documents?

  2. pm286 says:

    (1) Thanks Bill – you’re right – in practice this is probably a 90% solution. Just like sourceforge, Google cache, etc. It may be that the whole of human knowledge becomes supported by semi-altruistic commercial organisations. However I’ve lost enough in the past that I’m cautious.
    I fully agree with the technical aspects – it needs dynamic storage. So this was only a simple entry level approach.

  3. Cameron says:

    I would think it would be fairly easy to find a technical solution to Blog Archiving
    We use an e-portfolio system within the Personal Learning Centre. This is a desktop tool we offer at no charge that allows personal management of resources on your desktop. The e-portfolio can then be shared depending on the copyright of included material. We offer this tool at no charge to members of The Community Library. As a member of The Community Library, each user has a unique ID. We use this Unique ID as the prefix of a Digital Object Identifier. (DOI) In other words every user is a publisher. To that end we have a persistent link to their material. We do not as yet resolve this document externally as that is too expensive for the user.
    The key issue surely is “who selects which Blogs should be archived”. Do we have a open submission policy, where anyone can deposit. If so, how are we going to ensure veracity of metadata that they submit with their Blog. (I assume that would be a prerequisite)
    Feel one the greatest threats to the management of Grey Material is the opening up of additional unstructured repositories.

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