Friday, December 14, 2012

Federal departmental websites


Just looked at <> and noticed some significant, and less than wonderful, changes to this site. It seems to only list current (2011-2012) publications and the 'meaty' information that we rely on as librarians is harder to find. Can anyone shed light on this?

Listing only current publications is a standard that all government websites are supposed to be moving towards. The current federal government web standards emphasize that only "current" or recent information should be available on government websites; older information should only be available in designated "archives" (what those are exactly wasn't made particularly clear). Or at least, the web standards that were current eight months ago emphasized including only current or recent information (CLF2 and WCAG [Common Look and Feel for the Internet 2 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines]).

It certainly looks different though. Try looking under "Forms, reports, guides" just under the red maple leaf at the top. Then look at the twin menus "Find, about" and select "Reports and statistics" on the "Find" side plus a topic. That brings up reports from many dates, with the older reports labelled "ARCHIVED." Archived reports have appeared on the Statistics Canada website for quite a while already.

I did a search, filtered the results by type (Reports and statistics again), sorted by date, and found the the oldest item retrieved dates from 2001. It's not apparent, I guess you have to work harder to find older content. It's impossible to know whether everything is still there without a significant investment in time so I'll leave it at that.

I think your meatier information resources can be found by opening up the link at the bottom for Publications. There you've got a rich menu on a large variety of topics etc. Industry Canada had a rich trove of working papers and I don't see a direct link to these. I did use the term in the Search box and found listings. But I'm not sure of the file path as set up on the new site.

The Govt. has been revamping its sites for a long time. Usually the substance is still there but the navigation of the site changes.