Manchester Metropolitan University

Project Description

The organisation and use of bittorrent data on the web.

Project Abstract

To explore the use of different information retrieval methods by the bittorrent file sharing community.

The objectives of the Study are:
1. To document and review the current methods in place to retrieve bittorrent data.
2. To identify how users employ the above methods when sharing new bittorrent material.
3. To identify user trends and behaviour when locating, assessing and selecting bittorrent material.
4. To measure how successfully the information retrieval needs of bittorrent users are fulfilled at present.

The methods to be used in the study are as follows:

1. Compile a checklist of currently used bittorrent website features and functionality. Use this list to evaluate and compare the ten largest bittorrent websites, ten smaller bittorrent sites and the bittorrent �search engine� sites currently available � thought to number around eight at present. (Objective 1)

2. Record the data available for all the torrent files uploaded to at least two different sites within a twenty-four hour period. This will include the torrent filename, category within website, size and filenames of the material being shared. Using a set of criteria similar to the Dublin Core set of elements, record occurrences of different types of descriptive data and, where possible, accuracy. Collect usage statistics of torrent files when it is first made available and also three days and one week later. (Objectives 2, 3)

3. A questionnaire for bittorrent users will be designed to determine their use of different information retrieval methods, criteria for selection and activity within the community. This will be made available via a form on a website and advertised via several bittorrent forums and mailing lists. Results will be collected after a week or longer, dependant on the response. (Objectives 2, 3, 4)

Surveys released for this project:
Retrieval of Online Bittorrent Material 90
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