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The UK Web Archive, the Library's premier resource of archived UK websites

06 October 2022

WARCnet Special Report: Skills, Tools and Knowledge Ecologies in Web Archive Research, 2022

by Sharon Healy, Maynooth University (Project Lead)

WARST report image - skills, tools and knowledge ecologies in web archive research

The WARST team are delighted to announce the publication of a WARCnet Special Report, titled: Skills, Tools and Knowledge Ecologies in Web Archive Research. This study is part of a collaborative project by researchers from Maynooth University, the British Library, the International Internet Preservation Consortium, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and the University of Siegen. The research team are all members of Web ARChive studies network researching web domains and events (WARCnet).

The study focuses on individuals around the globe who participate in web archive research, in the context of web archiving, curation, and the use of web archives and archived web content for research or other purposes. We consider web archive research to be representative of the processes and activities described in Archive-It’s web archiving life cycle model from appraisal, acquisition, and preservation, to replay, access, use and reuse (Bragg & Hannah, 2013).

The methodology for the study entailed desk research, participation in WARCnet meeting discussions, and an online questionnaire. The study sought to identify and document the skills, tools, and knowledge required to achieve a broad range of goals within the web archiving life cycle and to explore the challenges for participation in web archive research, and the interludes of such challenges across communities of practice. We suggest that there is a perpetual need to examine the roles of skills, tools, and methods associated with the web archiving life cycle as long as internet, web and software technologies keep advancing, upgrading, and changing.

The Executive summary offers an overview of the findings, and is translated into Danish, French, Spanish and Catalan.

The Report is available to download from WARCnet website:

A section of the Report that focused on the software, tools and methods used in the web archive research life cycle was presented in a poster at iPres 2022.