Critically Endangered small

Semi-published research outputs such as blogs, dissertations, informal conference papers or commissioned reports which are not formally published but which can contain original and insightful contributions within scholarly communications

Group: Research Outputs

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within twelve months

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.


Blogs, technical reports, conference papers, dissertations, commercial research

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Originating researcher no longer active or changed research focus; staff on temporary contracts; dependence on single student or staff member; weak or fluid institutional commitment to subject matter; weak institutional commitment to data sharing; complicated or contested intellectual property; encryption; Lack of recognition; non-disclosure agreements;

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Use of persistent identifiers; embedded within repository infrastructure; quality assurance

2019 Review

Research data has been an entry in the BitList since 2017 so the Jury this year has tried to spell out the different complexities that arise in the preservation of research outputs more generally.  This entry represents activities which build towards formal publications and research outputs but which do not typically accumulate in institutional repositories. 

Additional Jury Comments

Loss of material like this would be common in the analogue world, but in the digital age we have the capacity and perhaps something of a responsibility to ensure that it is captured: more of an opportunity lost to extend the available research resource.  The ADS’s Grey Literature Library demonstrates what could be done if information architectures are deployed to mirror and extend professional practice.

Workflows and policies re tagging, collecting and EDRMS may help protect such data into the future. Past materials are almost certainly partially lost

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