Evaluation and analysis of digital language archives development platforms: a parametric approach

Article Type

Research Article

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Electronic Library


Purpose: While the obstacles of archiving endangered languages are significant, the question of which platform is best for building a digital language archive is constantly present. The purpose of this study is to evaluate and analyse digital language archives development platforms, such as content management systems (CMSs), digital repositories and archival collections management systems (ACMSs) using parameters that have been specified. The authors selected Mukurtu CMS, which is based on Drupal CMS; DSpace as the digital repository software; and ArchivesSpace as an ACMS in this study. Design/methodology/approach: The current research is supported by a study of the literature and a detailed exploration of different systems used to develop digital language archives. The whole research is carried out in three steps: literature searching; identification of relevant literature; and parameter identification, exploration of tools and data reporting and analysis. Findings: Following the technical and feature analysis of these tools, it can be concluded that they are more or less comparable, as well as constantly evolving, updating and having a bigger community base. It may be determined that DSpace is the most popular platform, but the other two, particularly ArchivesSpaces, are fierce competitors. Research limitations/implications: This study outlines the technical prerequisites for creating a digital language archive, which will be useful to IT personnel working on these projects. The research is also useful for tool developers as it allows them to incorporate missing functionality and technical standards by comparing them to alternatives. The parameters established in this study can be used for similar studies in other domains, as well as for evaluating existing digital language archives. Practical implications: The findings of this study have broad practical implications, and they can assist archivists, linguists, language communities and library and information science professionals in choosing an appropriate platform for building a digital language archive. Originality/value: This study finds that there is relatively little effort made towards reviewing digital language archiving and the systems that are used to do it; thus, this study is carried out to assess and analyse digital language archive creation systems based on defined parameters. The parameters were discovered through a combination of the available literature and tool discovery. Using a parametric approach to evaluate tools yields unique insights and quickly reveals system flaws.

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