Originally posted at blogs.it.ox.ac.uk on January 5, 2017 by Martin Wynne. IT Services at the University of Oxford has decided to delete a large number of historical blogs, and this is one of a number of posts related to the Oxford Text Archive which are being re-published here, after being laboriously retrieved from the archive provided by the Wayback Machine.
Analysis of the logs for downloads of resources from the Oxford Text Archive in the calendar year 2016 reveal a continuing increase in usage. A few years ago there was a big leap in downloads thanks to the ingest of a large number of texts from the Text Creation Partnership which became available via the OTA, when it became legally possible to share them openly.
Other factors aiding increased usage of the OTA include:
- BNC free for download: during 2016 the British National Corpus was made available for direct download without having to fill in a form and wait for authorization, and as a result downloads continue to increase;
- Freeing the texts: an ongoing programme of reassessing legacy data, and, where possible, removing access restrictions;
- Higher visibility: resource discovery via the CLARIN Virtual Language Observatory, which aggregates OTA records and offers a new way for users to find the texts;
- Shibbolization: a small number of resources are available currently for UK users only, but also slowly being opened up Europe-wide thanks to the CLARIN and EduGAIN;
- More digital research: demand grows as more users in the humanities start to engage in digital scholarship.
The grand total for the discrete downloads of resources from the Oxford Text Archive was 1263810, or 1.26 million. Each of these represents the successful download of the content of a resource, and the numbers were calculated after filtering out all hits from spiders, crawlers, robots and other automated processes, and ignoring failed downloads. The total is an increase of around 38% on last year’s total. Of these 395812 could be identified as originating from users in the University of Oxford, approximately 40%, and more than double the number from last year. Of the total downloads, more than 99.6% were direct downloads of resources made available at open URLs, the rest made up of the various resources where access restrictions require authorization.
Here are this year’s top ten:
|Number of downloads||Title||Author||ID||Class|
|9313||The poems of John Keats||Keats, John, 1795-1821||3259||text|
|8351||VOICE: Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English||Barbara Seidlhofer||2542||corpus|
|6543||British National Corpus, XML edition||BNC Consortium||2554||corpus|
|4936||British National Corpus, Baby edition||BNC Consortium||2553||corpus|
|4616||The four seasons, and other poems. By James Thomson||Thomson, James, 1700-1748.||3549||ECCO|
|4407||An account of the proceedings against the rebels, and other prisoners, tried before the Lord Chief Justice Jefferies: and other judges in the west of England, in 1685. for taking arms under the Duke of Monmouth. … To which is prefix’d, the Duke of Monmouth’s, the Earl of Argyle’s, and the Pretender’s declarations, that the reader may the better judge of the cause of the several rebellions.||4431||ECCO|
|3696||Beggar’s opera. Libretto.||Gay, John, 1685-1732||3257||text|
|3663||New York newspaper advertisements and news items: 1777-1779||3151||text|
|3613||The history of the most noble Order of the Garter: Wherein is set forth an account of the town, castle, chappel, and college of Windsor; … To which is prefix’d, a discourse of knighthood in general, … Collected by Elias Ashmole, … The whole illustrated with proper sculptures.||Ashmole, Elias, 1617-1692.||5268||ECCO|
|3564||The peerage of Scotland: containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that Kingdom. … By George Crawfurd, Esq;.||Crawford, George, fl. 1710.||5301||ECCO|
There is also a table with the top 20 downloads of 2016. Overall, more than 36000 different resources were downloaded.
The table below shows the most popular items with access restrictions, which required an online application and manual authorization before they could be downloaded. There were 4401 of these downloads – over the year an average of more than ten per day which needed to be manually authorized by a member of staff. Last year there were 3681. Some tf the resources below were made freely available during the year, and so were accessed via direct download as well.
|Number of downloads||ID||Title||Notes|
|2664||British National Corpus, XML edition||2554||Also 3543 direct downloads and 356 via Shibboleth|
|320||British National Corpus, Baby edition||2553||Also 4439 direct downloads and 176 via Shibboleth|
|236||The Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese||2474|
|111||Helsinki corpus of English texts||1477|
|97||British Academic Written English Corpus||2539||Also with 663 direct downloads|
|97||Complete corpus of Old English: the Toronto dictionary of Old English corpus / compiled by the University of Toronto Centre for Medieval Studies||0163|
|74||Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence (PCEEC)||2510|
|67||British Academic Spoken English corpus||2525|
|55||Cat on a hot tin roof / Tennessee Williams||1233|
|43||A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 (CED)||2507|
|43||British National Corpus Sampler||2551|
|43||The York-Toronto-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English prose (YCOE)||2462|
|31||Dictionary of Old English Corpus in Electronic Form (DOEC)||2488|
There were 556 downloads from the experimental site hosted by the Oxford e-Research Centre, where users can download one of a small number of resources (of which the BNC is the most popular) by authenticating with their institutional single sign-on. This is an increase from 321 last year, despite some periods of down-time for the service. Only thirty-six of these downloads were from the University of Oxford.