ADS News - ISSUE 25

Director's Foreword | ADS Update | ADS-easy | UK Projects | European Projects | Collection Highlights | Prize Quiz |

Director's Foreword

Julian Richards
Professor Julian Richards

ADS Director
Julian and Brian Cantor

Looking back, 2012 was an extraordinary year for the ADS. Our host organisation, the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The nomination statement highlighted the impact of the work of the ADS and Internet Archaeology and in February I had the honour of going to Buckingham Palace with Brian Cantor, York’s Vice-Chancellor, to be presented with our award by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh.
In July the ADS was awarded the British Archaeological Award for Best Archaeological Innovation 2012, for our Grey Literature Library. The library now stands at over 18,000 reports and the award was bestowed for our use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to provide a permanent citation for each report, and a geospatial search facility to make it easier to find relevant reports.
ADS receiving BAA2012

Finally, in December, the ADS was awarded the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Decennial Award for the most outstanding contribution to digital preservation over the last decade. The shortlist also included the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the International Internet Preservation Consortium, so ADS Deputy Director Catherine Hardman and I were delighted to receive our award from Dame Lynne Brindley at a ceremony at the Welcome Institute.

Looking forward, however, there is still a lot to achieve and new challenges ahead. The heritage sector as a whole remains in recession and with public sector cuts and pressure on local government archaeologists and contractors there is a daily risk of data loss. In the university sector there have also been casualties and closed departments, but on a more positive note
there is a renewed emphasis on digital preservation, as well as encouragement to cite datasets and link to publications.

DPC Decennial Award

In April 2011, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) set out its research data management expectations for institutions in receipt of EPSRC grant funding, which included the development of an institutional ‘Roadmap’. Most universities are now grappling with the challenge of setting up an Institutional Repository. As archaeologists we need to emphasize the added value and impact that follows from data aggregation and re-use in a discipline-focused data archive, as well as the risk of consigning data to dark archives. The ADS is working with many universities to allow them to ‘outsource’
the long term access and preservation for the archaeological research data produced by their academics, whilst facilitating
universities to harvest an index record so that an institutional view can also be maintained. We are also working with publishers
to encourage authors to deposit supporting data with ADS and to link to it from their articles. In pursuing these new initiatives
we hope that 2013 will be as rewarding as 2012.

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