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Paper: Better Living Through Metadata: Examining Archive Usage
Volume: 475, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXII
Page: 167
Authors: Becker, G.; Winkelman, S.; Rots, A.
Abstract: The primary purpose of an observatory's archive is to provide access to the data through various interfaces. User interactions with the archive are recorded in server logs, which can be used to answer basic questions like: Who has downloaded dataset X? When did she do this? Which tools did she use? The answers to questions like these fill in patterns of data access (e.g., how many times dataset X has been downloaded in the past three years). Analysis of server logs provides metrics of archive usage and provides feedback on interface use which can be used to guide future interface development. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is fortunate in that a database to track data access and downloads has been continuously recording such transactions for years; however, it is overdue for an update. We will detail changes we hope to effect and the differences the changes may make to our usage metadata picture. We plan to gather more information about the geographic location of users without compromising privacy; create improved archive statistics; and track and assess the impact of web “crawlers” and other scripted access methods on the archive. With the improvements to our download tracking we hope to gain a better understanding of the dissemination of Chandra's data; how effectively it is being done; and perhaps discover ideas for new services.
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