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Title: One versus the mob : a case for the wisdom of crowds in archival appraisal 2.0.
Authors: Liew, Jason Yong Fu.
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::Archives and records management
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Archival appraisal is the single most important function in the field of archives and records management. Not only does it affect all other functions in the archival process (i.e. selection, acquisition, description/arrangement, declassification, and access), it determines the documentary heritage and shapes the collective memory of individuals, organisations, societies, and nations at large. As such, a heavy responsibility is vested upon the archivist. Unfortunately, the archivist is not omniscient and is especially inapt concerning websites as the present four established methods of appraisal – Jenkinson, Schellenberg, Documentation Strategy, and Macro Appraisal – were not developed for that purpose. The emergence of Web 2.0 overcomes this by enabling more people to participate in appraisal. This democratisation brings about the creation, codification, and sharing of appraisal knowledge which can ultimately inform the archivist in his act of selection. This dissertation reports a quantitative study on how to make the identification of Singapore-related websites for archival more effective than the present form by tapping on the collective wisdom of the crowds, instead of being solely determined by the National Library Board (“NLB”) for inclusion in the Web Archive of Singapore (“WAS”). The methodology adopted follows a two-pronged approach comprising an online survey to elicit responses from the crowd, and email interview with NLB to understand the current approach. A total of 116 respondents completed the survey for this study. Results show that the active approach of the proposed Appraisal 2.0 is viable. Despite a small userbase/sample, the crowds were able to propose “religious value” as an appraisal criterion for a church website, and highlighted the importance of informational value across most sites. PropertyGuru was ranked to have the highest informational and research value while Gardens by the Bay, SMRT, Singapore Food Festival, and ORPC had the highest national significance, value to government/public agencies, cultural value, and evidential/historical value respectively. The trailer and theme song for a movie website in the trial body of related content also received the most recommendations as they have a direct bearing on the film. Whereas bookmark services achieved a mixed response, the crowds were generally unaware of the Internet Archive and WAS despite being frequent Web 2.0 users. The addition of several new WAS features were also welcomed. The interview with NLB also shed much light on the genesis, challenges, and future plans of WAS. Analysis of the survey and interview suggest the development of a web curation cum digital library portal to meet user needs and potentially increase usage of WAS. The proposed Appraisal 2.0 framework and system is unique and has not been developed elsewhere in the world. Once implemented, NLB will be the first library in the world to possess this capability. Since WAS is the one and only of its kind in Singapore and the region, and that it is vital to digitally preserve the nation’s collective memory, the research will represent a significant step in the digital preservation endeavours of the nation’s heritage if adopted by NLB or the Singaporean community.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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