Old Dominion University researchers, led by professor Michael L. Nelson, are trying to determine how much of the public Web is archived and where it is being stored to preserve the digital record.
The researchers used Memento, a browser plug-in developed in 2009 to find old versions of different Web pages, to study sites that had been archived using uniform-resource identifiers (URIs). The URIs were compiled from sources such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, the Open Directory Project, Delicious, and Bitly. The researchers found that up to 90 percent of the Web pages have at least one archived copy.
"It's such a moving target--the Web is expanding all the time," says the Internet Archive's Alexis Rossi. "People are coming to the realization that if nobody saves the Internet, their work will just be gone."
Nelson says the study is a step toward creating a browsing experience that links the past to the present, enabling users to replay events as they unfolded. "You relive the experience in a way that a summary page can't even begin to capture," Nelson says.
From Chronicle of Higher Education
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