Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Search Heuristics for Digitized News Archives

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Murray Dick


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This case study is concerned with methods for finding often hard-to-find visual material in digitized newspaper archives. In 2005, I started research on a monograph, The Infographic: A History of Data Graphics in News and Communications, concerned with how infographics have informed the public through history. At the time, this was an underexplored field, and so my data gathering was largely an exploratory exercise. Here, I will set out a series of four problems that gave rise to an initial set of orienting decisions that in turn helped to frame the research design in this project. These were to do with definitions, existing literatures (particularly sociologies and histories of newspapers), technological affordances (how digital archives are used in different contexts, rather than how they may be used), and the practicalities of professional, academic research. I will then outline how each of these decisions (which in turn guided my assumptions) shifted as I began the process of putting my research design into practice, using a range of methods in data gathering. I conclude by exploring the problems I encountered, and both how I attempted to overcome them, and what I subsequently learned from the process of doing research, before setting out a framework of techniques (or heuristics) that may be used for more effective and efficient research into any type of visual ephemera stored in digitized newspaper archives.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dick, M

Publication type: Online Publication

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Doing Research Online

Year: 2022

Acceptance date: 07/09/2021

Publisher: Sage Research Methods

Access Date: 17.03.22


DOI: 10.4135/9781529799231