Introduction. The concept of paradata has received increasing attention in recent information scholarship. The literature however shows considerable disagreement about what paradata is and how it can be purposive. The aim of this paper is to facilitate the use of the resources and analytical impetuses offered by the concept of paradata by providing an explanation to what paradata is in operational terms. Method. The examination of paradata is based on a scoping review of 53 scholarly texts that varyingly engage with the concept. Analysis. The reviewed texts were analysed using a concept-analysis framework focusing principally on discerning the main descriptive features of paradata and prevalent instances of use and usefulness. Results. The paper shows what the key elements, relationships, use-cases and uncertainties of paradata are. Conclusions. Findings support a media-archaeological view of born-digital artifacts, and bibliographical archaeology is shown to provide a programmatic approach in identifying significant archaeological characteristics among artifacts that have yet to be exhaustively studied.nificant archaeological characteristics among artifacts that have yet to be exhaustively studied.
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