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Topping Up your Credit (or how you can learn to stop worrying and love your data)

“Data that is loved tends to survive” (Kurt Bollacker, Data Scientist)

We all want better ways to make research data available and to give more credit to the researchers who create and share their data. Yet even when that hard work culminates in data being deposited in an accredited archive, the level of recognition and academic credit gained is still limited.

In an attempt to redress this, Internet Archaeology has established a series of peer-reviewed, open access ‘data papers’ where authors characterize the content and the re-use potential of a dataset they have deposited in one of a number of trusted digital archives (e.g. ADS, but also tDAR and Open Context in the USA for example) and describe it in a way that promotes data sharing and reuse.  After all, data generated in the course of archaeological research are just as valuable as the content of journal papers or monographs.
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Digital Romans

This is the first of a two-part blog – the second will be a more detailed overview of the technologies involved in the digital dissemination – on the ADS’s work on what is colloquially known as the Roman Grey Literature project, but more officially as The Roman Rural Settlement of Britain. The project is funded by English Heritage and the Leverhulme Trust and is collaboration between ourselves, University of Reading and Cotswold Archaeology, which aims to produce a new synthesis of the rural landscape through the analysis of developer funded fieldwork. Some may be familiar with an earlier associated project, which has been archived by the ADS doi:10.5284/1000418, if you haven’t already seen it it’s well worth a look.

Funerary pottery
3rd century AD Pakenham colour-coat beaker (left) and 4th century AD Nene Valley colour-coat pentice moulded beaker from excavations at The Babraham Institute, Cambridgeshire. Cambridge Archaeological Unit doi:10.5284/1001160

As with nearly all major research projects, the main outputs for this consist of the usual hard-copy publications including a monograph and various journal articles but in addition to these there will also be a project archive held with the ADS. As we’ve been involved in the project from the beginning the archive will be a great deal more than the usual ‘downloads’ interface. Hopefully by the end of the project (at the time of writing summer 2015) we’ll have in place a well-formed and meticulous archive to allow sophisticated reuse of the data and grey literature sources collected by the team, thus facilitating and encouraging further analyses by the archaeological community.
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DPC Decadal Award Nomination: ADS short listed amongst esteemed company.

The announcement of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) awards shortlist is always greeted with some excitement the digital community, but this year’s list was particularly well received here as the ADS due to our short listing in the ‘outstanding contribution to digital preservation in the last decade’ category. To be listed in such esteemed company as the International Internet Preservation Consortium, The PREMIS Metadata Working Group and The National Archives is an honour which reflects the hard work being carried out here at the ADS over the last 15 years. At the same time the nomination of subject specific data centre, the only one listed in the 2012 list, should be considered a tribute to the forward thinking attitude in archaeology and heritage management generally which places the discipline at the forefront on digital technology.

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