Sunday, September 11, 2011

Archiving in the Networked World: Preserving Plagiarized Works (Abstract)

This article will appear in Library Hi Tech, v29, no. 4, which should be available in November 2011 in preprint form. The abstract is below.

Purpose: Plagiarism has become a salient issue for universities and thus for university libraries in recent years. This article discusses three interrelated aspects of preserving plagiarized works: collection development issues, copyright problems, and technological requirements. Too often these three are handled separately even though in fact each has an influence on the other.

Methodology: The article looks first at the ingest process (called the Submission Information Package or SIP, then at storage management in the archive (the AIP or Archival Information Package), and finally at the retrieval process (the DIP or Distribution Information Package).

Findings: The chief argument of this article is that works of plagiarism and the evidence exposing them are complex objects, technically, legally and culturally. Merely treating them like any other work needing preservation runs the risk of encountering problems on one of those three fronts

Implications: This is a problem, since currently many public preservation strategies focus on ingesting large amounts of self-contained content that resembles print on paper, rather than on online works that need special handling. Archival systems also often deliberately ignore the cultural issues that affect future usability.