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"OpenDACHS" introduced at the CATS and HCTS

Aug 10, 2018

The Digital Archive for Chinese Studies (DACHS) comprises a collection of website resources and was launched in 2001 by the Institute for Chinese Studies. Its main goals are to capture and archive relevant web resources and to serve as citation repository for authors and publishers. The archive currently is expanding its online resources and establishing access to CATS and HCTS.

The Digital Archive for Chinese Studies (DACHS) project aims to identify, archive, and provide accessibility to websites relevant for Chinese Studies before they are deleted, shut down, or otherwise become inaccessible or change their content. Preserving dynamic online content shall enable researchers to follow public discourse on certain subjects or analyse contents of websites regarding political, social, and cultural significance. Since its launch in 2001, DACHS has served as an archive for a growing number of online resources. The archive collects both project-based content and citation repository, thereby capturing dynamic websites that change their content frequently.

With additional funding by the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS), the DACHS service is currently expanding into a citation repository for graduate students and researchers at the HCTS. This "OpenDACHS" project is a collaboration by the HCTS and the Centre for East Asian Studies and was presented to the GPTS students at the HCTS on July 24, 2018. The OpenDACHS team presented the project, its history, and a number of sample cases.

One of the sample cases presented was the project of Dr. Eliane Ettmüller, a postdoctoral researcher at the HCTS, who is currently working on a project related to such dynamic content. She focuses on Islamism in the internet and looks at web pages that include propaganda or publicity material and are often deleted due to censorship. By establishing a "Digital Archive Islamism - Digitales Archiv Islamismus," Ettmüller makes this collection accessible for long-term research and preserves it for further inquiries.

The OpenDACHS team also talked about different scenarios in which the platform can be relevant for the student’s research, as well as workflows that early-adopters can already use to make sure online resources they are citing are re-usable and sustainable.


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