Overview of content related to 'huygens institute for dutch history' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/16154/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Reading Van Gogh Online? http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue66/boot <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue66/boot#author1">Peter Boot</a> shows how log analysis can be employed to assess a site's usability, usage, and users, using the Van Gogh letter edition as an example.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- v5 author edits, revised images and new table 4 : 2011-02-21-17-21 REW --><!-- v5 author edits, revised images and new table 4 : 2011-02-21-17-21 REW --><p>Large amounts of money are spent building scholarly resources on the web. Unlike online retailers, large publishers and banks, scholarly institutions tend not to monitor very closely the way visitors use their web sites. In this article I would like to show that a look at the traces users leave behind in the Web servers' log files can teach us much about our sites' usability and about the way visitors use them.</p> <p>In 2009 the <a href="http://www.huygensinstituut.knaw.nl/">Huygens Institute</a> [<a href="#1">1</a>], together with the <a href="http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/">Van Gogh Museum</a> [<a href="#2">2</a>], published a new edition of the letters of Vincent van Gogh. The complete edition was <a href="http://vangoghletters.org/vg/">published online</a> [<a href="#3">3</a>], and is accessible for free; there is also a six-volume book edition [<a href="#4">4</a>]. The online edition was reviewed in a number of publications [<a href="#5">5</a>][<a href="#6">6</a>][<a href="#7">7</a>]. I will use the server logs of the Van Gogh edition as an example of what we can learn about our visitors. I will focus not on the simple quantities, but try to assess the visitors' access patterns. When we created the edition, our assumption was that researchers would use the web site, while people who wanted to read the letters would favour the book. The desire to test that assumption was one of the reasons for embarking on this investigation.</p> <p>When users view, or read, editions online, busy traffic is going on between their browser (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari), and the web server where the edition is located. Web servers keep logs of this traffic, and inspecting the logs gives us an opportunity to see how people are actually using the editions that we create. When people buy a book, this shows their intention to use it, in some sense. When people go to a web site, the server registers their visit, including, depending on the design of the site, every page they read and every search they do.</p> <p>Most of the work on log analysis in scholarly environments has been done in the context of libraries researching use of electronic journals [<a href="#8">8</a>]. The financial interest in accurate knowledge about usage patterns in that context is obviously important. The LAIRAH (Log Analysis of Digital Resources in the Arts and Humanities) study [<a href="#9">9</a>] used log analysis on portal sites in order to assess usage of digital resources in the arts and humanities. I believe the present article is the first reported study on actual usage data of a scholarly digital edition.</p> <p>First I will discuss why these log data deserve investigation. I then will show what the data that we collect looks like and discuss both their potential and their limitations. I will give a brief overview of the edition site, as the log data can only be understood in the context of the site's structure and navigational facilities. Then I'll show a number of the things that can be done on the basis of the log files.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue66/boot" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue66 feature article peter boot google huygens institute for dutch history university college london archives bibliographic data blog browser cache data digital library firefox graphics internet explorer operating system portal research safari search technology usability visualisation windows Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000 editor 1603 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk