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Working Groups

The work with the research topics takes place in dedicated working groups. Working groups will be working between network meetings, they will be working on one or more of the outlined outcome outlets, and they will prepare input and activities for the coming network meetings (suggest/invite external speakers, status of the work, next steps, etc.).

Working Group 1: Comparing entire web domains

Chair: Niels Brügger, PhD, Professor, School of Communication and Culture, Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Aarhus University, and Janne Nielsen, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Communication and Culture, Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Aarhus University.

The networking activities of Working Group 1 will support research that aims to compare entire national and transnational European web domains, with a particular focus on a) the character of the web domains (e.g. number and size of websites, use of images, video and sound, hyperlink networks); b) the users (e.g. who the users are, and which websites they use); and c) the role of global social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Working Group 1 will be considering the following tasks:

  • Plan and conduct coordinated joint research within the theme;
  • Identify and assess the state of the art by reviewing existing literature in relation to the theme, with a view to mapping the gaps and prioritising a coordinated research agenda;
  • Establish a standardised code book for what to investigate in relation to web domains, including reflections on how to define a national web domain, as well as standards for describing web domains, for mapping the available archived web content in different web archives, for establishing a corpus that can be said to represent a national web domain, and for the possible tools to be used.

Members: Anne Helmond, Eld Zirau, Eveline Vlassenroot, Friedel Geeraert, Janne Nielsen, Andy Jackson, Kees Teszelszky, Niels Brügger, Vladimir Tybin, Yves Maurer, Márton Németh. 

Working Group 2: Analysing transnational events

Chair: Valérie Schafer, PhD and HDR, Professor in Contemporary European History, The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History(C2DH) , University of Luxembourg.

The networking activities of Working Group 2 will focus on selected events from the following broad categories:

1) Unforeseen events: a) Terrorist attacks (train bombings in Spain (2004) and London (2005), the Charlie Hebdo, Copenhagen and Paris shootings (2015), Brussels and Nice attacks (2016)); b) the refugee crisis in Europe from 2015; c) the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020;

2) Predictable events: a) EU Parliamentary elections (2004, 2009, 2014, 2019); b) the London Olympics of 2012.

To create synergy, Working Group 2 will also investigate the relationship between the events and the different national web domains analysed in Working Group 1. Working Group 2 will be working with the following tasks:

  • Plan and conduct coordinated joint research within the theme;
  • Identify and assess the state of the art by reviewing existing literature in relation to the theme, with a view to mapping the gaps and prioritising a coordinated research agenda;
  • Identify and map existing web material related to the selected events, and gather information to build diachronic transnational corpora.

Members: Caroline Nyvang, Claude Mussou, Federico Nanni, Frédéric Clavert, Friedel Geeraert, Helle Strandgaard Jensen, Henrik Smith Sivertsen, Jane Winters, Nicola Bingham, Karin De Wild, Niels Brügger, Sophie Gebeil, Susan Aasman, Valérie Schafer. 

Working Group 3: Digital research methods and tools

Chairs: Anat Ben-David, PhD, Associate Professor, The Open University of Israel, and Michael Kurzmeier, PhD Researcher, Centre for Digital Humanities, Maynooth University

Material in web archives is fundamentally different from other digital source types, and therefore developing digital methods and tools to be used in web archive research is a key component of the network. At present the development of relevant methods and tools is only an emerging field, and therefore a strong network is needed if the few existing initiatives are to grow. With a view to avoiding duplication of effort and to promoting existing initiatives the network offers a forum for the exchange of ideas. Thus, the possible tasks of Working Group 3 are:

  • Analyse, test and customise existing methods and tools by assessing their possible usefulness in relation to the investigated themes;
  • Experiment with new methods and tools by undertaking prototyping activities to underpin the potential development of new methods, tools and standards;
  • Set up procedures to ensure all digital tools developed are made openly available (e.g. at GitHub or similar);
  • Organise workshops, training schools, and/or hackathons/datasprints.

Members: Anat Ben-David, Anne Helmond, Derren Wilson, Eveline Vlassenroot, Federico Nanni, Frédéric Clavert, Jane Winters, Janne Nielsen, Jason Webber, Jessica Ogden, Karin De Wild, Katharina Schmid, Michael Kurzmeier, Niels Brügger, Sharon Healy, Ulrich Have, Olga Holownia. 

Working Group 4: Research Data Management across borders

Chair: Sally Chambers, MA, Digital Humanities Research Coordinator, Ghent University, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities.

As previously mentioned research infrastructures constitute the interface between web collections and researchers, and they therefore are an important element in the broader field of Research Data Management (RDM), that is, the question of how research data is handled. At a national level RDM within web archive studies is still in its infancy, let alone transnational RDM. Thus, the aim of Working Group 4 is to investigate the possibilities of sharing web archive-related data across borders, and the possible tasks of the group are to:

  • Make an initial mapping of the legal and technical challenges for sharing web archive data between researchers from different countries (with a main focus only on web archives participating in the network);
  • Develop a pilot project with sharing of derived data from web archives.

Members: Beatrice Cannelli, Ditte Laursen, Eld Zierau, Niels Brügger, Sally Chambers, Sharon Healy, Ulrich Have, Olga Holownia. 

Working Group 5: The WARCnet Code Book of web archive data formats

Chairs: Karin De Wild, PhD, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), Leiden University, and Sharon Healy, MA, PhD Candidate and Irish Research Scholar in Digital Humanities, Maynooth University, Ireland.

More and more web archives are making their data available for researchers, either though an open API (for open web archives) or through various forms of extraction of data (for open web archives as well as for the web archives that have restricted access). However, there exist no shared standards as to how web archive data should be formatted to best fit the researchers’ needs. The aim of Working Group 5 is to discuss and formulate possible data formats that can be used to make web archive data useful for researchers, and thereby create a shared language between web archiving institutions and research communities. The possible tasks of the working group are to:

  • Investigate and map existing data formats of relevance for web archive studies;
  • Formulate a systematic description of data formats for web archive studies to be used by web archives and web archive researchers (a joint ‘Code Book’);
  • Test the usability of the ‘Code Book’ in the WARCnet network’s research projects about comparing entire web domains, and analysing transnational events.

Members: Niels Brügger, Karin de Wild, Sharon Healy.

Working Group 6: Post WARCnet

Chairs: Jane Winters, PhD, Professor of Digital Humanities, School of Advanced Study, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and Karin De Wild, PhD, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), Leiden University.

The aim of Working Group 6 is to initiate discussions about if/how the WARCnet network can/shall continue after 2022. Working Group 6 will be working with the following tasks:

  • Map the oportunities of applying for international researcher networks in other countries;
  • Identify potentially relevant calls within the Horizon Europe framework;
  • Investigate the possibility of applying for an ITN network (for PhD scholars)

Members: Susan Aasman, Niels Brügger, Sally Chambers, Valérie Schafer, Jane Winters, Sharon Healy, Karin De Wild.