April 2010

The UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) earlier this month organized a workshop on the role and future of peer review in publishing, tenure and promotion. The working papers are now available online.

The topics of the working papers are: (1) Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Norms, Complaints, and Costs, (2) New Models of Peer Review: Repositories, Open Peer Review, and Post Publication Metrics, (3) Open Access: Green OA, Gold OA, and University Resolutions, and (4) Creating New Publishing and Peer Review Models: Scholarly Societies, Presses, Libraries, Commercial Publishers, and Other Stakeholders.

… there is a need for a more nuanced academic reward system that is less dependent on citation metrics, slavish adherence to marquee journals and university presses, and the growing tendency of institutions to outsource assessment of scholarship to such proxies. Such a need is made more urgent given the challenges to institutional review of assessing interdisciplinary scholarship, new hybrid disciplines, the rise of heavily computational sub-branches of disciplines, the development of new online forms of edition-making and collaborative curation for community resource use, large-scale collaborations, and multiple authorship.

Ithaka has published a new report: Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies. I quote:

“This fourth in a series of surveys conducted over the past decade examined faculty attitudes and behaviors on key issues ranging from the library as information gateway and the need for preservation of scholarly material, to faculty engagement with institutional and disciplinary repositories and thoughts about open access.  For the first time, we also looked at the role that scholarly societies play and their value to faculty.


Following an initial introductory letter, survey questionnaire booklets were physically mailed to 35,000 faculty members in September 2009. A total of 3,025 complete responses were received and tabulated, for a response rate of approximately 8.6%. Demographic characteristics, including discipline, are self-reported. In 2006, we deposited the dataset with ICPSR for long-term digital preservation and access, and we intend to do so again with the 2009 dataset.


Full Report (PDF)

Key findings of the Faculty Survey 2009 include:

Basic scholarly information use practices have shifted rapidly in recent years and, as a result, the academic library is increasingly being disintermediated from the discovery process, risking irrelevance in one of its core areas.

Faculty members’ growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.

Despite several years of sustained efforts by publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others to reform various aspects of the scholarly communications system, a fundamentally conservative set of faculty attitudes continues to impede systematic change.”

There are two webinars left that you can sign up for:

“Chapter 2: The Format Transition for Scholarly Works - April 29

Chapter 3: Scholarly Communications - May 5

Just a post to share a draft of a paper authored by myself, Tom Eliot, Sebastian Heath, and Sean Gillies (lots of thanks to them; they are dream co-authors!). I presented it at the CAA meeting in Granada.

The paper describes using Atom feeds for helping content escape scientific / archaeological collections. We looked at how Atom feeds can be used to help third-parties annotate resources obtained from other collections. These annotations (using some common vocabulary) can be useful for looking at a research question like trade and exchange.

Here’s the paper (pdf).

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is currently holding its Spring Meeting in Baltimore. As usual, several of the speakers are of interest to us. When I was going through the schedule, these jumped out at me:

  • M. Page (Emory University), “Mapping the Sanctuary of the Great Gods”: about an important Hellenic and pre-Hellenic religious sanctuary on the island of Samothrace; “It is through an amalgamation of hypermedia, computer-aided design (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), 3D modeling, and cartographic representation techniques that the project seeks to analyze, document, and communicate the convergent research of both recent and past expeditions …”
  • M. Hoogerwerf (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and R. Brandsma (University of Amsterdam), “Scientific Data and Electronic Publishing: Examining Two Projects – Publishing Enhanced Publications Using Repository Infrastructure”: “The SURFshare program, comprising all Dutch universities, has created a common repository infrastructure that facilitates researchers’ ability to share and access scientific and scholarly information.” “… creation of a publishing and archiving infrastructure for enhanced publications for the new open access e-Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries (JALC).”


Crossposted from the Heritage Bytes blog

Guide to Authors/Presentations

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Browse the items below (2 pages), or use the following links to go directly to an item. Comments are welcome.

Please visit us at the SAA meeting in St. Louis: Room 227 (AC), on Thursday from 10:45 AM–12:45 PM.

Sara Ayers-Rigsby. Issues of Access Does Publicly Available GIS Information Help or Hinder the Archaeological Record? (here).

Caroline Beebe. The Chau Hiix Archive: Principles, Problems, and Solutions. (here).

Mike Cannon, et al. The Milford Wind Corridor Project: Adventures in Digital Data Recovery Reporting. (here).

Lori M. Jahnke. Changing scholarly communication: the implications of granting copyright for born digital objects. (here).

Erik N. Johanson, et al. PIDBA: Challenges Related to the Curation and Dissemination of Paleoindian Data at a Hemispheric Scale. (here).

Eric C. Kansa and Joshua J. Wells. Quantity has a Quality all its Own: Archaeological Practice and the Role of Aggregation in Data Sharing. (here).

Christopher J. Parr. Keeping Things Simple: Archaeology, the Army, and “Lil’ Benny 2.0″. (here).

Julian Richards, et al. Digging into Data: Text mining of archaeological grey literature. (here).

Dean R. Snow. Making the Most of Cyberinfrastructure. (here).

Glenn Strickland. The Integration and Interpretation of Archaeological Data through Three Dimensional Multi-component Digital Spatial Modeling. (here).

Judith van der Elst and Heather Richards-Rissetto. Rethinking Digital Data Collection and Dissemination from a User Perspective. (here).

Willeke Wendrich. W.M. Keck Program in Digital Cultural Mapping at UCLA. (here).

Stephen J. Yerka, et al. Curing the Data: Managing Information Systems and Digital Data at Tennessee’s ARL. (here).

SAA/DDIG Symposium: Curing the Data: Managing Information Systems and Digital Data at Tennessee’s ARL

Curing the Data: Managing Information Systems and Digital Data at Tennessee’s ARL

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Stephen J. Yerka (1), Nicholas P. Herrmann (2), and Mathew D. Gage (1)

  1. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Department of Anthropology, Archaeological Research Lab
  2. Mississippi State University, Starkville, Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


The Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL) at the University of Tennessee actively incorporates archaeological technologies into various educational, public, and private projects. In addition, ARL pursues research opportunities, which will benefit from the integration of digital technology. Potential conflicts relate to a varied stakeholder interface that requires malleable but secure access to cultural resources data including artifact databases, geophysical and GIS layers, and various state and federal historic properties’ site file information. This paper examines the benefits and challenges facing an academically based archaeological research laboratory through the development of an archaeological information system (IS).

Download full paper (here).

The Integration and Interpretation of Archaeological Data through Three Dimensional Multi-component Digital Spatial Modeling

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Glenn Strickland, M.A., R.P.A.

University of Mississippi


Parchman Place Mounds (22-Co-511) is a Late Mississippian mound group located in the Yazoo Basin of northwestern Mississippi. The area between the two largest mounds within the complex, identified as the A-B Swale, is digitally rendered into a three dimensional multi-component spatial model. The completed rendering merges data from archaeological excavations, geophysical prospecting, and artifact analysis. The combination of these diverse datasets into a single integrated model serves to substantially increase the capability of spatial analysis and archaeological interpretation.

Download full paper (here).

The Milford Wind Corridor Project: Adventures in Digital Data Recovery Reporting

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Mike Cannon, Ph.D., R.P.A (mcannon@swca.com), David Reinhart, Tanya Johnson, Heather Stettler, Sarah Creer, and Deb Jensen

SWCA Environmental Consultants, Salt Lake City


For the “new energy economy” Milford Wind Corridor project, SWCA is attempting to use “new digital media” to produce a data recovery report and public interpretive material that are more user-friendly than the typical CRM document. Issues encountered in developing these materials range from agency acceptance, to selection of appropriate formats for different purposes, to management of a far more complex editorial and production process. Though there are added costs, the benefits of digital CRM reporting should include more appeal to the general public, greater research utility, and better dissemination of the results of technology-intensive analyses like visual impacts assessment.

Download full paper (here).

Quantity has a Quality all its Own: Archaeological Practice and the Role of Aggregation in Data Sharing

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Eric C. Kansa (1) and Joshua J. Wells (2)

  1. UC Berkeley, School of Information
  2. Indiana University South Bend, Department of Sociology and Anthropology & Department of Informatics


Archaeological information on the Web is changing in ways that impact archaeological practice. Technical standards, copyright licensing, and Web services all blur boundaries between disciplines and organizations. They also make data aggregation easier. Consequently, the scope of “archaeological data” may grow beyond traditional field, survey, and collections data. Aggregators can also document how data are combined, navigated, and used. In other fields, aggregation services evolve into primary channels for information retrieval. Because aggregators enjoy increasingly privileged positions in new information environments, this paper explores documented benefits and drawbacks of imminent issues affecting archaeological research opportunities, professional expectations, and ethical challenges.

Download full paper (here).

Changing scholarly communication: the implications of granting copyright for born digital objects

For the 2010 SAA / DDIG Electronic Symposium

Lori M. Jahnke

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Changing modes of scholarly communication that incorporate digital methodologies prompt the question of whether or not born digital objects should receive copyright under the Library of Congress system. This change in procedure could have a profound impact on the preservation of digital data, the development of standards, and the distribution of databases as born digital objects. Although copyright ostensibly protects the intellectual creator, it can facilitate information monopolies that stifle scholarly communication. This paper provides a critical review of the legal, social, and academic implications of copyright for born digital objects versus pursuing open access models of publication.

Download full paper (here).

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