To whoever in their ultimate wisdom decided to change too much on the NAA site,
The current (more or less overnight) upgrade to the NAA site has left me with a few questions:
It was only about 5 months ago when a question was asked re persistent links (http://forum.naa.gov.au/forum/topics/how-do-i-cite-a-url-to-a-speci...). I cannot believe that the NAA did not know that within a short time these links would not work anymore and wasn't honest about the limited lifespan of their answer.
Q1: Why didn’t the NAA retain these persistent links parallel with the current ones?
For some reason the fact sheets seem to have disappeared, most likely replaced by not-as-clear alternatives. The Boer war is one example: https://www.naa.gov.au/explore-collection/defence-and-war-service-r.... Okay, the fact sheets were not not pretty, but they were concise and the tables gave an easy overview.
Q2: Are the fact sheets still accessible? (Note: even this forum doesn’t know that they have disappeared. On http://forum.naa.gov.au/page/about-recordsearch is a dead link to Fact sheet #10)
Q3: Why isn’t Victoria included on the new Boer war info page? It used to be on the fact sheet.
PS I know there is an international tendency to move towards prettier looking sites, but this does not always mean that things will be better. I suspect that usability testing gets skipped nearly all of the time.
Andrew - thanks for summarizing It is some help.
Is NAA working on a strategy to address persistent links?
Many/most archival institutions already have a solution, sometimes a 3rd party solution (some for over a decade). NAA customers want to be able to use NAA as a reliable source and it isn't reasonable/sustainable to expect the customers to redo URLs every time there is a technology change.
P.S. - I think I finally managed to find & replace all my broken links - about a month of effort.
Thanks for your feedback.
At the moment our focus is on migrating content from other NAA websites into the new corporate website. However, I have passed your feedback onto the relevant team here for consideration.
A fact sheet that I personally used most often was the Montevideo Maru fact sheet - links to several extremely useful digitised files that are NOT accessible from the Montevideo Maru website. An alternative to restoring that content would be to incorporate the info into the Montevideo Maru website.
Thanks for letting us know Mark. As I mentioned further upthread we will be reviewing older content and migrating it to the new website over time, so knowing what people need or use is valuable.
In the meantime you can view the old Fact Sheets through the NLA's website archive:
I suspect that if the NAA staff had read your recent two posts (October 28, 2019 at 19:15 and Dec 5) instead of browsing them that the SODA link problem would have leaped out and bit them on the nose.
In both the links you provided by cutting and pasting from their site the n in naa is missing so obviously the link will fail.
For example QUOTE The series links from SODA (i.e. format= "www.aa.gov.au/cgi-bin/Search?Number=") still don’t work and there is STILL NO NOTICE to warn/inform users. UNQUOTE
Given that the NAA is world famous for errors in dates and spelling in their catalogue, and having a SODA site that provides lots of redundant information, but not the critical information, on many files it does not surprise me that such an obvious error would exist in their web links.
It all comes down to proof reading and Quality Management, neither of which the NAA believes in.