Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Return of the living dead - more about disappearing websites

Returnofthelivingdead2

This is the story that just won't die.  Silver bullets, wooden stakes . . . nothing seems to work.  If you follow this blog at all (and who doesn't?), you know that we've reported several stories in the past week or so about disappearing websites and how to avoid the risk of citing to online authority that can go "poof!" quicker than the value of your retirement portfolio.

Now comes yet another story, this time from Inside Higher Ed., about the disappearance of "Paper of Record," an online digital archive of newspapers that has had scholars up in arms.  According to IHE:

As digital archives have become more important and more popular, there are varying schools of thought among scholars about how best to guarantee that they will be around for good. Some think that the best possibility is for the creators of the archives -- people generally with some passion for the topic -- to keep control. Others favor acquisition, thinking that larger entities provide more security and resources for the long run.

The fate of "Paper of Record," a digital archive of early newspapers with a particularly strong collection of Mexican newspapers, may be cited in the years ahead as an example of the dangers of purchase by a large entity. Paper of Record was purchased (secretly) by Google in 2006, and shortly after Google took over management of the site, late last year, the archive disappeared from view. After weeks in which historians have complained to Google and others about the loss of their ability to work, the previous owner of the archive has received permission to bring the archive back for some period of time, and resumption of service could start as early next week.

You can read the whole story here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2009/04/return-of-the-night-of-the-living-dead-more-about-disappearing-websites.html

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