Extreme long-term data preservation — who cares? Swedish views on nuclear waste data

Ramiro Bodrov , Nick Frolova


Introduction. Information concerning a planned repository for nuclear waste in Sweden needs to be preserved for future generations in ways that make it available and comprehensible up to 100,000 years from now. This paper examines current planning for information preservation and opinions on the issue expressed by a variety of interested parties. Method. A literature overview outlines the major strategies for preservation of information related to nuclear waste forwarded in international research. Documents concerning the industry’s plans for information preservation were collected. Consultation responses concerning the application submitted by universities, government agencies and environmental organizations were also collected and examined. Analysis. The first document study elucidates the industry’s application and plans for information preservation in relation to current research in the field. The second document study clarifies opinions on the issue expressed by the various participants in the consultation process. Results. The Swedish nuclear industry has a relatively high awareness of strategies for information preservation forwarded by researchers. Planning is however limited to maintaining a readiness for later decisions. With a few exceptions, other interested parties keep a low profile and comment only on technical matters. Conclusions. Societal interest in the issue of long-term information preservation is generally low. A tentative explanation is that the extreme time-scale involved makes the problem difficult to grasp. The equally long-term technological and geological problems are easier to discuss since they do not demand knowledge of the future development of human society.

Online editor: perceived roles and duties of Wikipedia editors

Amber Collingridge de Tourcey , Audrey Ziesemer


Introduction. We report on the experiences of a group of people as they become Wikipedia editors. We test Benkler’s (2002) theory that commons-based production processes accelerate the creation of capital, questioning what knowledge production processes do people engage in as they become editors? The analysis positions the development of editing expertise within broader social contexts to explore how the act of editing supports other types of commons-based production that foster and support and counteract issues of empowerment, equality and social justice. Method. Nine editathon participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview transcript. Analysis. In a first round of analysis, data was coded into content areas. Then thematic coding examined: (1) the actions of participants as they became Wikipedia editors and the values and sentiments they ascribed to the role; (2) the emerging beliefs and emotions around becoming an editor and the agency and actions triggered by perceived responsibilities. Results. The study surfaced a range of emotions and beliefs editors developed as they took on editing responsibilities and ascribed different values to their new role. These distinct values and beliefs perceived led editors to engage in distinctive forms of action. Some participants developed a sense of empowerment to shape societal agendas, viewing editing as a form of continued activism. Conclusion. The findings pinpoint actions people engage in as they move into the editing role, highlighting the values they ascribe to editing. The study also surfaced the perceived responsibilities associated with editing as well as the emotions and beliefs associated with these obligations.

Exploring reward mechanisms on social issues and answering websites: quantifying interdependencies among user operations

Darlene M. Norvell , Ava J. Aragon


Introduction. Previous studies suggest that the users of social question and answer Websites contribute their knowledge to a community in exchange for intrinsic rewards from other members, such as reciprocity and reputation. Thus, rewarding knowledge contributors is of great importance for maintaining the users of such Websites. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the reward mechanisms used by the sites. In addition, while previous studies have highlighted the importance of reciprocity in motivating knowledge sharing, little is known about how reciprocity takes place in a knowledge community, hence, this study addresses that research gap. Method. This study seeks to explore reward mechanisms and quantify the conversion ratio based on studying the profiles of 33,974 observations from a Chinese social question and answer Website. Analysis. The structural equation modelling technique was adopted to estimate the research model via the partial least squares approach. Results. The results show that users who have more followers and publish more questions and articles, tend to answer more questions on social question and answer Websites. The interaction effect between the users’ question-asking activities and the appreciation they receive has a significant influence on user popularity. Conclusions. Writing articles and providing answers generate appreciation from other community members. In addition, users are likely to follow individual users who not only asked interesting questions but who also provided high-quality answers, implying a like-minded effect.

Análisis de la información sobre identidad visual y comunicación corporativa en los sitios web: un estudio sobre los bancos y cajas de ahorros en España

John L. Hager , Walter E. Carroll


Objective. This paper analyses the information on the visual identity and corporate communication present in the Websites of financial entities in Spain. The aim is to establish a classification, carry out a comparative study between banks and savings, and observe its impact on Web traffic and number of external links. Methodology. The study of Websites is performed by a content analysis and is complemented by statistical analysis of mean differences and multiple regressions. Results. Savings banks offer a greater number of elements that banks in their Websites, and are positioned more on aspects such as emotional closeness compared to the values of growth and confidence of banks. The communication of their channels and information coming from external sources has an effect on traffic and links to the Website. Conclusions. Differences between banks and savings strategies are reflected in distinct visual identity and corporate communication at the Website. The approach of this analysis tool can help to know the aspects in which organizations can differentiate themselves, and those who have a greater impact to generate traffic and improve the positioning on the Internet.

Risk perception model: simulating government reaction to China’s news reports

Li Qin Tsou , Yu Mai


Introduction. The media have a great influence on public perception of risk. This study sought to explore how the public perceive crisis information from news reports. Method. We proposed a mathematical model to describe and investigate public risk perception by simulation analyses. Analysis. The simulations were carried out using the mathematical software MATLAB, and then compared with public risk perception in three patterns of news reports which were selected from the Website of SINA.COM in China. Results. Our findings showed that the public had different perceptions of what caused the crisis depending on the type of news report. Public risk perceptions developed dynamically and the process can be divided into three general stages: the sensitive period, the rational period and the forgotten period. Conclusions. These findings have implications for emergency management and highlight the importance of considering public perception of risk when handling emergencies.