Scholars and their blogs: characteristics, preferences, and perceptions impacting digital preservation Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Hank, Carolyn F.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • This descriptive study investigated scholars who blog in the areas of history, economics, law, biology, chemistry and physics, as well as attributes of their respective blogs. It offers an examination of scholars' attitudes and perceptions of their blogs in relation to the system of scholarly communication and their preferences for digital preservation. Further, it investigates blog publishing behaviors and blog characteristics that influence preservation action. Findings are drawn from 153 questionnaires, 24 interviews, and content analysis of 93 blogs. Most feel their respective blogs are representative of their cumulative scholarly record. A majority see their blogging as benefitting several aspects of their scholarly lives, contributing to a sense of improvement in their teaching, writing, and research activities, as well as in communications with peers. It was found that scholars who blog are generally interested in blog preservation with a strong sense of personal responsibility. Most feel their blogs should be preserved for both personal and public access and use into the indefinite, rather than short-term, future. Scholars who blog identify themselves as most responsible for blog preservation. Concerning capability, scholars perceive blog service providers, hosts, and networks as most capable. National and institutional-based libraries and archives, as well as institutional IT departments, are perceived as least responsible and capable for preservation of scholars' respective blogs. Although over half of questionnaire respondents save their blog content, in whole or in part, and many interviewees expressed a sophisticated understanding of issues of digital preservation, the findings also indicate that bloggers exhibit behaviors and preferences complicating digital preservation action, including issues related to rights and use, co-producer dependencies, and content integrity. For example, most use a blog publishing application and hosting service, many report editing and deleting of blog posts after publication, and less than half of blogs feature explicit rights and use statements.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Information and Library Science."
  • Tibbo, Helen R.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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