Visualising information flow

Henk van den Berg, Digital Archiving and Networked Services of the Netherlands (KNAW)


September 24, 2015. 15.00-17.00 hrs. at the eHumanities Group

Visualizing information flows in a Trusted Digital Repository

Despite the advances in policy and practice for data sharing, surprisingly little is known about the uses and users of digital data archives, about relationships between users and the staff of data archives, or how these behaviors vary by discipline, geographic region, policy, and other factors. We present an exploratory study of DANS, the Digital Archiving and Networked Services of the Netherlands, with the goal of identifying methods for studying the contributors, consumers, and role of archivists in digital data archives. Starting with transaction logs that serve management purposes, we present estimates of the distribution of uses and users of DANS. Units of analysis necessary to study user behavior, such as dataset, file, user, creator, and consumer, are difficult to glean from logs that were not designed for these inquiries.

This presentation is based on a research project in collaboration with Christine L. Borgman, Andrea Scharnhorst, Herbert Van de Sompel and Andrew Treloar.



Henk van den Berg was educated in the visual arts and in the last decade of the passed century worked with computers and painting machines. As a financial administrator at KNAW he soon picked up programming and worked as a software developer and systems designer at DANS. The last two years he took first steps in the realm of data science, exploring the feasibility of a small data deluge at DANS.