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Personal digital archiving: an analysis of URLs in the .edu domain

Heather Moulaison Sandy (School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Edward M. Corrado (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Brandi B. Ivester (School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 20 March 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider personal digital archiving (PDA) from an academic perspective. Although elements of research data management and personal information management are relevant, it is unclear what is available on university websites supporting PDA. The following question guided the research: where is “PDA” content housed in the top-level .edu domain and what is the format and nature of the content made available?

Design/methodology/approach

This descriptive study analyzed Google hits yielded by searching “PDA” within the .edu domain. Results were analyzed to determine where content was housed and its format and nature. Placement in the domain, delivery methods, topics, and the nature of the most highly ranking Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) were analyzed.

Findings

In the academy, PDA is not exclusively of interest in libraries; not quite half of the .edu URLs (45 percent) pointed to a library site. Scholarly papers were the most returned content, followed by blogs and conferences information. Closer analysis of the top 20 URLs showed that libraries are popular and papers, and blogs continue to be dominant.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest good PDA practices and recommendations are evolving. Academic librarians should examine these practices, refine them, and make them available and discoverable on the web.

Originality/value

This is the first paper, to the knowledge, to consider PDA content from the perspective of universities and university libraries.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Work on this paper was supported in part by a Carnegie-Whitney grant from the American Library Association.

Citation

Moulaison Sandy, H., Corrado, E.M. and Ivester, B.B. (2017), "Personal digital archiving: an analysis of URLs in the .edu domain", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 40-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-11-2016-0120

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited