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"The Organisational Impact of an Archive of News Subtitles: Usefulness and Accessibility." C. Hicks. M. Halvey. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2019. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

In acknowledgement of the fact the broadcast archive footage can be difficult to access for external users, this exploratory research considers the possibility of utilising subtitle files as an alternative means of obtaining relevant content. This research takes place within the context of STV news, a Scottish broadcasting company which has a wealth of historic subtitle files that are preserved but largely untouched in an unused archive.

The aim of this research was to discover what steps need to be taken in order to transform subtitles from a secondary support medium of communication into a useful resource in their own right. This involved the creation of descriptive metadata to make the content contained within the subtitle files discoverable. By doing this, the intention was to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement, from which future research could draw upon.

It was discovered that subtitles have potential value as a source of proxy content. However, the characteristics of subtitles, as a textual medium that also represent audio content, brings together a unique combination of features. The metadata originally created needs further refinements before an accessible subtitle archive could be successfully established and maintained.