Critically Endangered small

Since 1994, people have set up collections of digital content on the web with software now outdated. Those collections are valuable, but loose funding and care as institutions re-configure their tasks and individuals retreat from their task due to retirement or (as volunteers) to old age.

Group: Web

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 in 12 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.


Academic and institutional website from the first decade of the web containing details of research projects and interests as well as research data.

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Inaccessible to web archive; bespoke code; insufficient documentation; uncertain intellectual property right.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Secured by web archive; documentation and rights information published alongside

2019 Review

This is a new entry received from the open submission process and assessed by the Jury.  It has an overlap with the entry with ‘Semi-Published Research’ Data’ which was classified as ‘Endangered’.  The Jury has approved this entry as a means of distinguishing ‘current’ and ‘legacy’ collections: and in this case the fact that materials are no longer actively maintained means that the risks of loss are greater.

Additional Jury Comments

The Internet Archive and other national web archiving bodies have copies of a lot of websites which would fit into this category, but by no means all. There’s also a distinction between the software or code used to deliver the user experience and the data.  Such code is secondary to the content.

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