Open Access: Freedom of Information, Peer Review

Stephen D Stead (Southampton University); Julian Richards (University of York)


With the increasing democratization of archaeological data through the use of the World Wide Web it is important that robust mechanisms for exposing, discovering and reusing it are made available. This theme aims to explore in both theory and practice the latest developments in this area. The theme will have a number of papers covering the concepts, technologies, management approaches and leading examples in this exciting field. A key discussion will be the role that WAC should play in setting the standards and best practices.

Sharing data brings new responsibilities for data producers to explain how the data was derived in order that potential re-users of the data can know if it is fit for their (re)purpose. This brings an important area of current research to the fore; the analysis and presentation of digital provenance. Papers, demonstrations and workshops that explore this challenging aspect of our digital output are welcomed.

Just as the producer of digital data has new responsibilities so does the consumer. Much of our academic kudos is derived from the publication of synthetic reports of our research but little is derived from the publication of the data on which those reports are based. We need to have a robust discussion about how to cite data sets and give their immense potential due recognition. At the Computer Applications in Archaeology Conference (CAA 2012) a new “Recycle” Award was instigated to recognize the value of research reusing older data sets. Should WAC also look towards recognizing this aspect of research?

Other topics for contributions can include but are not limited to:

  • Linked (Open) Data
  • Uniform Resource Identifiers
  • International Documentation Committee of ICOM
  • “Cloud” Computing
  • Specific software


The integration and management of archaeological datasets

Julian D Richards, (University of York, United Kingdom); Franco Niccolucci, (University of Firenze, Italy)


Archaeology needs research infrastructures which preserve primary research data and make it available for others to re-use. This session will explore national and international initiatives to provide such research infrastructures. It will consider various issues and underpinning approaches, including Open Linked Data, the federation of digital repositories, and the need for permanent digital object identifiers.

– Julian Richards “Digital Research Infrastructures in European archaeology”
– Michael Charno, Stuart Jeffrey, and Julian Richards: “Linked data at the ADS”
– Leif Isaksen, Elton Barker and Simon Raine “The Pelagios project”
– Sorin Hermon “Towards an integrated repository for research and management of archaeological 3D assets”
– Graeme Earl “Datapool: the relationship between institutional and discipline based repositories”
– Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Adela Sobotkova and Shawn Ross: “FAIMS & Open Source Applications in Archaeology”