A Collaborative Approach to Research Data Management in a Web Archive Context
H. Huurdeman, and J. Kamps. Research Data Management - A European Perspective, chapter 4, De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston, (2017)
In our times, researchers create and gather their datasets, irrevocably changing from solely “small” to increasingly “big” data. Institutions provide more and more services to manage, store and access this essential research data. However, despite the invaluable services provided by repositories, there is still a mismatch between the myriad of operations carried out by researchers, and the storage services offered by generalized repositories: often, only the end products of the research process are stored. This may mean that valuable operations and transformations of data during the research process are lost, in effect also making it harder for future researchers to interpret this data. To address this issue, and to bring researchers and institutions closer together, we propose a more collaborative approach, potentially involving researchers in their entire workflow, from data creation to use and potential reuse. This proposition is contextualized via the concrete use case of the web archive. Organizations and individuals across the globe archive web content, assembled into vast web archives. These web archives could potentially be used as research datasets in various settings, ranging from computer science to the humanities. However, they have scarcely been used for research thus far, due to a number of limitations, including suboptimal access services for research. This chapter discusses the experiences and lessons learned in the concrete case of the web archive, and their implications for research data management at large.