Living Web Archives
Start date: Feb 1, 2008,
End date: Jan 31, 2011
LiWA developed web archiving tools able to capture content from a wide variety of sources, to improve archive fidelity and authenticity, and to ensure long term interpretability of web content.The interest in Web content preservation is strongly growing, not only in traditional library and archival organisations, but also in sectors such as industry and services. But the typical characteristics of Web content - variety of formats, high dynamics, volatility, interactivity and context-dependency - make adequate Web archiving a particular challenge. With the LiWA project, Web archiving has been established as a new topic for scientific research and development within the digital preservation domain.At the centre of the project was the concept of 'Living Web Archives', as opposed to the current practice of producing periodic snapshots of pages. 'Living' here refers to:long term interpretability as the archive evolves and adapts over time,improved archive fidelity and authenticity by filtering out irrelevant information,captured content from a wide variety of sources.To enhance archive fidelity and authenticity, LiWA has developed and tested new methods based on content interpretation and intelligent pattern detection of traps and Web spam. This allows reducing the amount of fake content and helping prioritise crawls by automatically detecting content of value.To improve the integrity and temporal, structural and semantic coherence of Web archives, some work was dedicated to temporal Web archive construction. This serves the objective to significantly improve content positioning in time and (topic) space and will lay the foundations for fast and effective access to evolving Web content.To facilitate archive interpretability, LiWA applied methods for semantic and terminology extraction, able to detect and handle evolving semantics, interpretations of domain concepts and terminology. This is a contribution to the task of preserving the usefulness, quality, and accessibility of Web archives over time.For validating the LiWA approach, two demonstrator applications have been built on top of the LiWA services. The applications focus on the social Web and on the special challenge of archiving audio-visual content.The potential benefit of this research is twofold: Archiving institutions will be able to automatically archive higher volumes of dynamic and volatile digital content, resulting in a significant increase of preserved digital content. Archive users will benefit from the higher quality of archive content and improved search services.
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