Archives Unleashed at the British Library: Study of gender distribution in National Olympic Committees

Who we are

Sara Aubry (National Library of France), Helena Byrne (British Library), Naomi Dushay (Stanford University), Pamela Graham (Columbia University), Andy Jackson (British Library), Gillian Lee (National Library of New Zealand) and Gethin Rees (British Library).

From the 11th to 13th of June 2017 a group of seven individuals from five institutions came together to analyse a web archive collection at a datathon held at the British Library as part of the Web Archiving Week. The aim of Archives Unleashed is for programmers and researchers to come together to develop new strategies to analyse web archive collections. Our team was a mix of technical and curatorial staff, and we were working with the IIPC Content Development Group (CDG) National Olympic Committees collection.

The IIPC Content Development Group

The IIPC is a membership organization dedicated to improving the tools, standards and best practices of web archiving while promoting international collaboration and the broad access and use of web archives for research and cultural heritage. The Content Development Group is a subgroup of the IIPC and specialises in building collaborative international web archive collections.

Previous CDG collections include:

  • Summer/Winter Olympics/Paralympics (2010-2016)
  • National Olympic & Paralympic Committees (2016- )
  • European Refugee Crisis (2015-2016)
  • World War One Commemoration (2015- )
  • International Cooperative Organizations (2015- )

All these collections can be viewed from here: https://archive-it.org/home/iipc

What we tried to do

We initially started with idea of working with London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic collaborative crawl collections but both these data sets were too large for us to work with in the short time frame we had. This is why we decided to work with the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees collection.

Our research question was “What is the gender distribution of National Olympic Committees?”.

The data we had

The 2016 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees collection is a comprehensive collection of national Olympic/Paralympic committees drawn from IOC official sites. In 2016 191 seeds crawled as not all International Olympic Committee member countries have a website.

The 191 seeds translated into 152 WARC files and was 294 GB in size. However, there was an issue when the files were downloaded and a number of the files were corrupted. After programmatically separating the corrupted files from the good there were 76 WARC files that were 74 GB in size to work with. Although, this was 50% of the collection it was more than enough data to work with over the two days.

After the technical team isolated the usable WARCs and had a look at the tools available to run our analysis it was decided to scale down our research question to “What is the gender distribution of English speaking national Olympic Committees?”. As the tools used to run this analysis was developed in north America there is a bias towards English language names.  The curatorial team identified all the English speaking countries that were represented in the full collection. We used this list to filter out non English speaking countries from the clean WARCs so that we would have a smaller subset to run our analyses. The usable WARCs had seven English speaking countries.

The 7 English speaking countries identified in the set.

How we worked on it

Several Linux virtual machines were prepared by the organizers specifically for the hackathon so that the WARC files were easily accessible and the participants didn’t have to transfer large amounts of data and also to ensure that there was enough processing capacity. We started by installing three tools that we had identified as being useful on a designated virtual machine:
Warcbase, an open source platform to facilitate the analysis and processing of web archives with Hadoop and Apache Spark. It provides tools to extract content, filter it down, and then analyze, aggregate and visualize it. [ Note that Warcbase has now been superseded by The Archives Unleashed Toolkit.
– Warcbase also includes a key tool for our analysis: Stanford Named Entity Recognizer (NER) for named entity recognition. It gives the ability to identify and label sequences of words in a text which are the names of things, particularly for the 3 classes person, organization and location.
– finally, OpenGenderTracking, another open source tool, which gives a framework to identify the likely gender based on a person’s first name.

Step 1 of the analysis consisted of extracting all named entities from the WARCs using warcbase and NER with a scala script derived from sample scripts provided with warcbase. The output was a list (in JSON format) of domain records with for each its associated PERSON, ORGANIZATION and LOCATION extracted entities and their frequency of occurrence.

In step 2, with a Python script, we matched the extracted PERSON names with a framework containing a large structured list of first names built from the US census and the probability of each being a male or a female first name. The output was a result list (in CSV format) of this association.

Snippet:
20160329, http://www.paralympic.org.au, Cochrane, 3, No Match
20160329, http://www.paralympic.org.au, Sam Carter, 2, Male
20160329, http://www.paralympic.org.au, Alistair, 1, Male
20160329, http://www.paralympic.org.au, Carlee Beattie, 4, Female
20160329, http://www.paralympic.org.au, Ernest Van Dyk, 1, Male

The analysis was run on two sub datasets:
– the committee pages: 16 of them contained entities (which was small and fast to process);
– the entire collection: 1 251 pages contained entities (which was bigger and took a few hours to process).

Step 3 consisted of adapting javascripts to visualize the results of the named entity recognition and the gender distribution as web graphs.

All scripts developed during the hackathon can be accessed on Github:

https://github.com/ukwa/archives-unleashed-olympics

Results

The gender distribution within the subset of the collection.
  • Gender representation by country of the 7 English speaking countries identified in the set.‘No match’ means the name didn’t appear in the reference source for identifying names.
  • ‘Unknown’ means the reference source couldn’t identify whether the name was male or female.
Male/female representation over the complete dataset of 76 warc files regardless of language. The gender distribution within the subset of the collection and the overall data set showed that males are more represented than females on National Olympic Committees.

Alternative research question?

Each National Committee has official partners that sponsor their participation in the Olympics. When we ran the entity extraction for corporations, it raised further questions about what percentage of the site is taken up with references to commercial sponsorship. The gender and corporation names are just two of many entities that could be extracted from the data set using this methodology.

What we got out of it  

Sara Aubry, Bibliothèque nationale de France

My participation to the hackathon was linked to BnF current efforts in engaging researchers to use web archives as data sets. We aimed at discussing research topic ideas, learning how to use available open source tools, tackling limitations and sharing practices among participants.What I liked most was the hackathon model itself that challenged us into collaborative work in a very short period of time. I guess a little more time would have been useful to explore and compare the results of the analysis we ran.”

Pamela Graham, Columbia University

“I enjoyed our sub-groupings into programmers/technical experts and curators (forgive this oversimplification). As a curator, I needed a better understanding of the process of working with web archive data. Since I don’t have programming skills, this was more of a conceptual exercise than a practical one. I gained a good, first-hand sense of the issues and challenges of analyzing web data. But even more helpful was the attempt the curators made to evaluate the collection–how and why were the sites selected and what’s missing? This is really important to interpreting the results and reinforced for me the importance of curation. I greatly benefited from talking with Helena and Gillian on these issues.”

Gethin Rees, British Library

“Having recently started as a curator working with digital collections at the British Library I was keen to learn about web archives. I was also intent on improving my use of python for data science. I loved being introduced to new technologies like Hadoop and connecting to powerful computers in north America. Next time I would try to get stuck in to processing some WARC files independently.”

Gillian Lee, National Library of New Zealand

“I wanted to see what tools were available to help people analyse data in web archives. The collaborative aspect was great. I discovered you have to refine and reduce your data set quite substantially and that the scope and provenance of the collections is really important for researchers. I don’t feel I’m any closer to actually using Warcbase myself (yet), but I had more of an understanding of the kind of research that could be done using Warcbase and associated tools. Given the time frame we were working in and the amount of corrupted data we encountered, I would say the process was more valuable than the output!”

Helena Byrne, British Library

“For me as a curator my expectations of how things work were quite different from the reality but the overall experience was still good as it gave me a better understanding of the process. It was also useful to discuss the differences I had in expectation and reality with Pamela and Gillian as we were able to come up with ways we could assist the technical team.”

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2018 Winter Olympics Collection Building – Get Involved!

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, The British Library

The International Internet Preservation Consortium Content Development Group (IIPC CDG) would like your help to archive websites from around the world related to the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The IIPC has members in 33 countries but there are over 100 countries  competing in the Games and we need your help to ensure that these countries are represented in the collection. The IIPC CDG has been building web archive collections on the Olympic and the Paralympic Games since 2010. The 2016 Summer Games was the first time they actively collected content related to activities both on and off the playing field.* The final 2018 Winter Games collection will be published here: https://archive-it.org/home/IIPC

What we want to collect:

Public platforms in various formats such as:

  •         Websites
  •         Subsections of websites with an Olympic tag
  •         Individual Articles
  •         News Reports
  •         Blogs and Social Media

The subjects covered on these sites can include but is not limited to:

  •         Athletes/Teams
  •         Computer Games (eGames)
  •         Doping/Cheating and Corruption
  •         Environmental Issues
  •         Fandom
  •         Gender Issues (Ex. media coverage, testosterone levels etc.)
  •         General News/ Commentary
  •         Olympic/Paralympic Venues
  •         Security
  •         Sports Events
  •         US/North Korean Relations
  •         Other

How to get involved:

Once you have selected the web pages you would like to see in the collection it only takes less than 5 minutes to fill in the submission form.

https://goo.gl/forms/UwxiBg5klE6I7Z7g1

For more information and updates you can contact the IIPC CDG team via email (2018-winter-olympics [at] iipc.simplelists .com) or follow the collection hashtag #WAOlympics2018


* 2016 Olympics collection round-up

IIPC Training Survey

Recognizing the global need for practical training in web archiving, the IIPC chartered a new working group dedicated to training on October 31, 2017. While vital to preserving our common cultural heritage, web archiving remains a niche area, requiring specialized skills and knowledge to practice effectively.

The goal of this working group is to produce a quality curriculum — that can be delivered online or in person — to train the current and next generation of web archiving practitioners. By giving people the hands on learning they need to preserve the Web, we will empower IIPC members and the field at large to capture more and better archives, and help elevate web archiving worldwide.

One of the first actions for our Training Working Group is to survey the web archiving world to assess the current level of training needs. How do web archivists currently get training, and how good is it? What gaps are there, and where should we prioritize our efforts?

We invite every web archiving stakeholder to reply to the survey; it will be available from now through the end of January 2018.

The results will help us identify learning modules and needed materials. And if you are interested in helping in this endeavor, including joining the Training Working Group, you can read more about us here: http://netpreserve.org/about-us/working-groups/training-working-group/

Tom Cramer
Stanford University

Chair, IIPC Training Working Group

Call for nominations: the IIPC Steering Committee Election 2018

The nomination process for IIPC Steering Committee is now open.

The Steering Committee is the executive body of the IIPC, currently comprising 15 member organisations, that take a leadership role in the high-level strategic planning, development and management of programs, policy creation, overall administration, and contribution to IIPC Portfolios and other activities.

In the last election three new members joined the Steering Committee: the National Library of Finland, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Columbia University Libraries. Library and Archives Canada and the National Library of Spain were re-elected for another term.

Please note that the nomination should be on behalf of an organisation, not an individual. Once elected, the member organisation designates a representative to serve on the Steering Committee. The list of current SC member organisations and their representatives is available on the IIPC website.

What is at stake?

Serving on the Steering Committee is an opportunity for motivated members to help guide the IIPC’s mission of improving the tools, standards and best practices of web archiving while promoting international collaboration and the broad access and use of web archives for research and cultural heritage. Steering Committee members are expected to take an active role in leadership, contribute to SC and Portfolio activities, and help guide and administer the organisation.

Who can run for election?

Serving on the Steering Committee is open to any current IIPC member and we strongly encourage any organisation interested in serving on the Steering Committee to nominate themselves for election. SC members are elected for 3 years and meet twice a year in person, once during the General Assembly, once in September and two or more additional times by teleconference.

How to run for election?

All nominee institutions, both new and existing members whose term is expiring but are interested in continuing to serve, are asked to write a short statement (max 200 words) outlining their vision for how they would contribute to IIPC via serving on the Steering Committee. Statements can point to past contributions to the IIPC or the SC, relevant experience or expertise, new ideas for advancing the organisation, or any other relevant information.

All statements will be posted online and emailed to members prior to the election with ample time for review by all membership. The results will be announced in mid-May and the three-year term on the Steering Committee will start on 1 June.

Below you will find the election calendar. We are very much looking forward receiving your nominations. If you have any questions, please contact the IIPC PCO.

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Election Calendar

  •  1 December to 25 March: Members are invited to nominate themselves by sending an email including a statement to the IIPC Programme and Communications Officer.
  • 4 April: Nominees statements are published on the Netpreserve Blog and Members mailing list. Nominees are encouraged to campaign through their own networks.
  • 11 April to 11 May: Members are invited to vote online. An online voting tool will be used to conduct the vote. The PCO will monitor the vote, ensuring that each organisation votes only once for all nominated seats and that the vote is cast by the organisation’s official representative. People will be encouraged to cast their vote before, during, and after the GA.
  • 11 May: Voting ends.
  •  15 May: The results of the vote are announced officially on the Netpreserve blog and Members mailing list.
  • 1 June: end/start of SC members terms. The newly elected SC members start their term on the 1st of June and are invited to attend a first meeting (by teleconference) by the end of June. The next face to face SC meeting will take place in Wellington in November 2018.

 

The Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation to be Fiscal Host for IIPC

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Digital Library Federation (DLF) have agreed to serve as new fiscal host for the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), a global organization that coordinates efforts across libraries and other institutions to preserve internet content for the future.

Chartered in 2003 with 12 founding members , IIPC currently has 54 members on six continents. A 15-member steering committee serves as an executive board and defines and oversees organizational strategy. The organization’s work focuses on enabling internet content from around the world to be archived, secured, and accessed over time; fostering the development and use of common tools, techniques, and standards that enable the creation of international archives; and encouraging and supporting cultural heritage institutions to address internet archiving and preservation.

As financial sponsor, CLIR will manage banking for the organization and will be responsible for processing payments, accounting, and financial reporting. IIPC will remain independent and be responsible for managing membership and member communications, setting strategic directions, and organizing activities and events. DLF will offer relevant programmatic and community connections through its working groups, conferences, and collaborating groups, including the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), which also finds a home at CLIR/DLF.

“We are very excited to work with CLIR/DLF on bringing fiscal stability to the IIPC and to partner with a mission-aligned organization also dedicated to advancing preservation and access for our shared cultural heritage. Their support of the library and archives community and work to advance the field is invaluable and we know this is just the beginning of a fantastic collaboration,” said IIPC Vice-Chair Jefferson Bailey of the Internet Archive, who, with Steering Committee member Abbie Grotke of the Library of Congress, worked on the arrangements for IIPC.

DLF Director Bethany Nowviskie added, “We’re thrilled to offer support for an international organization so closely aligned with the digital preservation interests and goals of the CLIR/DLF community. IIPC is unique in its global reach and the level of expertise its members bring to the challenge of web archiving.”

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

The Digital Library Federation, founded in 1995, is a robust and diverse community of practitioners who advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. DLF connects its parent organization, CLIR, to an active network of 162 member institutions, including colleges, universities, public libraries, museums, labs, agencies, and consortia.

Open letter by IIPC Chair

Dear colleagues,

As we are about to gather in London for a week of web archiving events, the time has come to greet our new members and new Steering Committee members.

This year, we are welcoming 4 new member organisations who have recently joined the Consortium: National Library of Ireland, Bibliotheksservice-Zentrum Baden-Württemberg (BSZ – Library Service Center Baden-Wuerttemberg), National Library of Luxembourg, and MirrorWeb Ltd. A warm welcome to them all. We hope to have the opportunity to meet them in person at the Web Archiving Conference in London.

Following up on the Steering Committee elections which took place last month, I’m also very happy to welcome 3 new members to the Steering Committee: Columbia University Libraries (Alex Thurman), National Library of Finland (Lassi Lager) and Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Yussef Salah). Congratulations to Library and Archives Canada (Sylvain Belanger) and National Library of Spain (Mar Pérez Morillo) who have been re-elected to serve for another 3 years. All will join the Steering Committee upcoming meetings, first virtually in June, then physically in September in Ottawa.

I would like, also, to thank very warmly the Steering Committee outgoing members: Birgit N. Henriksen from the Royal Danish Library, Svein Arne Solbakk from the National Library of Norway and Kenny Chan from the National Library Board of Singapore. Their engagement over the past years is much appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with them in other web archiving activities.

Finally, please note that this year’s Web Archiving Conference is not combined with the annual General Assembly. GA 2017 will be held in Ottawa on 19 September. For more information, please contact the IIPC PCO.

I wish you a very fruitful Web Archiving Week in London and I look forward to meeting you there.

Emmanuelle Bermès, Chair of the IIPC

 

IIPC Steering Committee Election 2017 Results

The following member institutions have been elected to serve for a period of three years (from 1 June 2017)-

On behalf of the membership I would like to thank all of those who have taken part in this election.

By Olga Holownia, IIPC Program and Communications Officer