Call for Proposals

Research in almost all disciplines increasingly relies on evidence gleaned from websites, social media platforms, and other online resources.  In addition to documenting the way we live now, such data offer unique opportunities for corpus analysis, topological studies of hypertext, automatic image and aesthetic analysis, and other modes of inquiry that are particularly conducive to born digital content.  As instructors and scholars embrace these primary sources and discover new and innovative ways to interact with the data, their efforts are aligned--knowingly or not--with those of developers and curators.  An active developer community that includes the Internet Archive and members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium have established standards and created tools and infrastructure required to preserve complex websites and content platforms.  A growing number of libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations actively promote best practices as they collect, curate, and facilitate access to this content. 

While each of these communities recognize the web’s significance as an object and subject of research, questions about their respective assumptions, methodologies, and practices remain: How do collecting policies and appraisal decisions shape web archives?  How can web archives be effectively integrated with classroom instruction and academic discourse in general?  How do available resources and technologies influence the extent and success of web captures?  How do scholars want to access and interact with web archives?  How can individual scholars ensure that the materials that they need will be available both for their research and for documenting their work?  What tools can optimize the use and reuse of archived websites and online materials?  What measures of confidence does the academic community have in the use of archived websites for research?  How can librarians, archivists, and technologists preserve the functionality and utility of complex web resources over the long-term?

Web Archives 2015 takes up these issues from the perspectives of researchers, developers, and cultural institutions.  Hosted by the Bentley Historical Library and University of Michigan Library, this two-day multi-disciplinary conference will provide a forum to explore ideas, tools, and methodologies for creating and managing web archives and better understand the scholarly and research needs of those working in the field.  By engaging key stakeholders in a common dialogue, the conference will explore the web archiving landscape, including creation, use, preservation, and analysis across disciplines and purposes.

Original Call for Proposals:

We invite submissions from librarians, archivists, faculty, researchers, developers, practitioners, students, and other interested parties.

We are especially interested in papers and workshops that address the following topics:

The role of libraries, archives and museums in building and sustaining curated web collections.
Methods and tools for preserving and curating online materials.
Resources and best practices to promote access to and use of preserved websites and social media platforms.
On-demand web archiving and the creation of public web archives for documenting research.
Descriptive and citation practices for web archives.
Approaches to studying and analyzing web archive data.
Pedagogical strategies for teaching in the archive and with archival data.
Analysis of web and social media materials as cultural documents.
Preservation threats (such as technological and format obsolescence) that could impact the rendering and use of archived web content over the long-term. 

Possible formats:

Workshops - lead a hands-on session in which you introduce tools, techniques, or methods to other conference participants (75 minutes in length)

Paper presentations - present your own research related to topics listed above (20 minutes)

Panel presentations - curate 3-4 presentations that are thematically related (75 minutes)

Proposal instructions:

Please send an email with your proposal to Clearly indicate your proposed format and include a 200-300 word abstract, along with brief biographical statements for each participant. 

Deadline for proposals: May 15, 2015

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Last modified: 10/13/2015