New Paper: Slide Decks as Government Publications

I’m excited to share that I have a new paper out, Slide Decks as Government Publications: Exploring Two Decades of PowerPoint Files Archived from U.S. Government Websites, in the journal Archival Science. This paper is a collaboration between myself and Jonah Estess. If you don’t have access to the final version, you can see a preprint of the paper here. It was a lot of fun to work on and I’m thrilled to see it up in print. As a side note, the team at Archival Science was really great to work with. We got really thoughtful peer review feedback and the paper is a lot stronger for it. Below is the abstract, and some images from the piece.


Over the last three decades, US government agencies have published hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of PowerPoint files on the web. Hundreds of thousands of these files have been captured and preserved in web archives. With that noted, it remains difficult to find and interact with these files. This paper analyzes a public dataset of 1,000 PowerPoints from US government websites in the Library of Congress web archives to explore the properties of these kinds of files. This publicly available dataset published in 2019 includes a random sample of a thousand files from the more than 300,000 files that purport a PowerPoint media type in the Library of Congress web archives. The study focuses on characterizing the nature of these publications, the extent to which embedded metadata in these documents could be used to improve access to them and exploring what properties of these files are likely to be important to future users. Exploring these data provides a means to begin to understand the value and nature of PowerPoint files as a format of government publishing and government records.

Gallery of Images and Figures

We included a number of images from specific archived gov PowerPoints and some charts illustrating trends in the data which I’ve pulled out into the image gallery below.