Linking the virtuous circles: Citation and Tracking Re-use.

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The ADS has (for nearly 25 years!) been providing free access to resources deposited with us. We put them online in open/accessible formats, people use them, and people cite them. We know people use them because we have data on page views and downloads. Some things are used a great deal; often high profile research resources that always gain alot of mentions in literature and social media. Others have more of a cult following, but are still used sporadically.

All these access statistics always make a good basic demonstration of impact; we can pass them onto project funders and stakeholders to demonstrate quantitative success. However the follow-up questions normally enquire as to “who” is using this data, and for what purposes. The ADS have many ambitions in regards to its (meta)data, but facilitating and demonstrating this re-use is a high priority. Over the last year I’ve had a chance to think more about what we could and should be doing, and how it can help us, our users, and depositors make more of the situation…

The key to this are the Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) we use. For those unaware, ADS use DataCite DOIs through our membership of a consortium lead by the British Library. We create DOIs for:

  • All our deposited collections
  • Upon request, distinct entities within a collection
  • All unpublished reports
  • Journal articles

These DOIs are registered with DataCite, and in doing so we also pass on key metadata for the Object (who created it, when it as created, where it realtes to etc). This metadata is then searchable in the DataCite interface, alongside records from other repositories that are part of the DataCite community such as Zenodo or Dryad.

When users use ADS resources they should be citing the DOI. For example when using material from the ever-popular Roman Rural Settlement project, any use of the data should follow our guidelines, for example:

Martyn Allen, Nathan Blick, Tom Brindle, Tim Evans, Michael Fulford, Neil Holbrook, Lisa Lodwick, Julian D Richards, Alex Smith (2018) The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: an online resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1030449

Or for a Journal article:

Sparey-Green, C. (2002). Excavations on the SE defences and extramural settlement of Little Chester, 1971-2. Introduction. The Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 122. Vol 122, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.5284/1066616

There are tools available from DataCite to reformat these into nearly all forms of Bibliographic reference, but it’s important to emphasise that any citation or reference should include the DOI and not the URL that appears in a web browser. For example it should be https://doi.org/10.5284/1066616 and never https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/library/browse/details.xhtml?recordId=3202768

Why? Primarily the DOI is persistent. No matter what happens to ADS applications in the future (for example an update to the Library may lead to us not using details.xhtml any more), a reference to the DOI will always take you to where the content is. Secondly, and most inportantly in this case it allows us, via a range of tools, to identifiy where our DOIs are being used.

One such tool is the DataCite Event API, a prototype developed in collaboration with Crossref to track citations of DataCite DOIs quoted as sources in academic papers. A quick search of this for ADS DOIs shows for example:

In this case the paper ‘Approaches to Interpreting Mesolithic Mobility and Settlement in Britain and Ireland’ published in the Journal of World Prehistory cited Wessex Archaeology (2006). Engand’s Historic Seascapes Final Report https://doi.org/10.5284/1007741.

In addition, there’s also the incredibly powerful CrossRef Event Data, a set of APIs that captures and records events that occur all over the web. This includes not only published articles but also Twitter and Wikipedia (including WikiData), So for example I can see

In this case, the Wikipedia article on the Sutton Hoo helmet cites Martin Carver’s data from the The Sutton Hoo Research Project https://doi.org/10.5284/1000266

Capturing this sort of reuse, and mentions of resources in Twitter conversations (919 and counting) is to my mind a useful indicator not only of reuse, but a glimpse into the sort of conversations people may be having about our digital Objects.

The next step is for us to build a method to pull data from these APIs and incorporate back into our metadata as a dynamic process. This would mean that this page (for example) https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/romangl/metadata.cfm is refreshed with information where we can demonstrate that https://doi.org/10.5284/1030449 is ‘Cited By’ XXX. Who knows, this could even be extended as an option to email a deposition when their data has been cited so that they know their data is being actively used.

Which brings me back to the title of this blog. The idea of a virtuous academic circle lies at the heart of what it is to publish – you publish your words/data, someone else uses it and cites it, you know they’ve used it (however this may be), this encourages you to publish more as you know your work must have some value. It also taps into what is at the core of what the ADS was set up to do: the archive/record is there to be used and maybe (hopefully?) reinterpreted and re-purposed. The archive needs to be used, otherwise there is arguably no point in having the archive.

However, without wanting to mangle my shapes, I think this model is more complex and more in-line with the sort of graph theory / social network analysis that is now de riguer. It’s good to know where our resources are being cited, but there’s a whole bigger world of possible study. What sort of Journals are ADS resources cited in, what sort of ADS resources are cited (e.g. is anyone citing the raw data?), what topics do these represent, who is citing etc etc. There’s material there for a new wave of study about citation habits and biases, or at the very least a PhD…

Anyway, for this to happen please remember to cite the DOI!

Our Tweeted Times for #FestivalOfArchaeology

As part of the CBA’s #FestivalOfArchaeology in 2020, I spent a light-hearted day revisiting some of Internet Archaeology’s and ADS’s milestones. I also asked those whose paths intersected and crossed ours to join in and share memories.

We’ve made a compilation for your enjoyment.

Continue reading Our Tweeted Times for #FestivalOfArchaeology
Cartoon showing the way to a data repository.

Guidelines for Depositors, a reintroduction

The first half of 2020 has been an interesting one for sure. We’ve been working from home with our partners, children, and kettles as coworkers and we’ve begun to look at how information is presented on our website.

You may or may not have come to our site to find out guidance on depositing data. In that quest, you may have found a document/guide that was spread across several webpages, with no images, an over eager table of contents, and a reminder it was written in 2015. Well, you’ll be happy to know, that it’s gotten a bit of a face lift.

So without further ado, allow me to reintroduce yourself to our Guidelines for Depositors.

Continue reading Guidelines for Depositors, a reintroduction

We passed! Great result from CoreTrustSeal accreditation

CoreTrustSeal

As many of you will have seen on social media last month, it is with great pleasure that the ADS can announce that it has been awarded CoreTrustSeal (CSA) certification. This is a massive achievement for a small digital repository, based out of four small rooms in the ‘tumbledown’ King’s Manor in York (well at least under ‘normal’ circumstances) and represents the culmination of many hours, weeks and months of hard work by all repository staff.

Continue reading We passed! Great result from CoreTrustSeal accreditation

I hit save so it’s preserved right?

No preservation format is perfect. While physical mediums such as paper can last centuries under proper conditions, it is that qualifier that is key to its longevity. Everyone has seen what can happen to paper when it gets wet. Similarly, there are many horror stories of corrupted files that have helped create sceptics for using digital preservation over physical preservation. 

We have had 4000+ years to develop strategies to conserve the ‘written’ word and less then 50 for methodologies to preserve digital data.  However, as long as digital data is properly cared for, there is no reason that it too cannot last just as long.

There are two types of digital data; born digital which is data that has never been in a physical format or digitised data which was originally a physical before begin converted.  Both types of face similar problems and today I‘m going to talk about one of the more hidden killers of digital data: data degradation.  

©xkcd, Digital Data
Continue reading I hit save so it’s preserved right?

Changes to the ADS Library

The scholar, Periander in his library with printed text. Reproduction after a woodcut, 1488-89. Credit: Wellcome Collection
CC BY.

Since a Beta release back in March 2017 we’ve received a great deal of feedback on the ADS Library application. We know it’s used intensively, with over 120,000 downloads in 2019, but as with any IT application there are places it can be improved!

For the uninitiated, the ADS Library was the outcome of a Historic England funded project to ensure the longevity of the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB). BIAB had traditionally been maintained by the CBA, with records added into the database by hand from extant sources (see Heyworth 1992). As this approach became less sustainable in the digital age, it was also deemed advisable to combine this dataset with the growing number of digital unpublished reports and journals and monographs held by the ADS, the former mainly derived through material uploaded to the OASIS system. This was also an opportunity for the ADS to align its records with BIAB, and to have a single interface to cross-search all written works it held (traditionally, files from unpublished and published works sat in different databases). Having a unified database, with access to free copies of published and unpublished reports has also been in line with Historic England’s HIAS Principle 4: ‘Investigative research data or knowledge should be readily uploaded, validated and accessed online’.

Continue reading Changes to the ADS Library

IWD2020

The strength of the ADS has always been the people who work here. As a team, we accomplish a lot. Out of the existing cohort of 13 staff, eight are female. Individually, and as a group, these women bring an array of knowledge, skills, and commitment without which we would be diminished. To coincide with International Women’s Day 2020, and in mind of its mission “To celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology“, it is an opportune moment to celebrate our female staff. Even those who think they know the ADS, should read on to discover the vast array of expertise at hand (listed in alphabetical order)…

Continue reading IWD2020

The Redesign Continues

Hello all, and thank you very much for your feedback to our website redesign survey, they have been really helpful in the redesigning of the website. We are happy to now say its beginning to be built! However, if you would like to take part in the survey there is still time to provide your input.

Survey: https://york.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2lUFXuzQEg3pntb

Our work is currently concentrating on the menu to make the new design accessible, mobile-friendly and intuitive. An early peek of the new clean and sleek design can be seen below.

I hope that you are as excited about the design as we are! We are hoping that the new design will be completed soon providing you, our users, with a full preview and the opportunity to comment on the design before we launch.

Once again we would like to involve you in this part of the project so keep your eyes peeled for our posts on the design process, social media polls and other opportunities to get involved. And do tell us what you think of the new simpler menu design in the comments below.

ADS Homepage Redesign

Here at the Archaeology Data Service, we believe that the way in which we connect to the past truly matters, and as a result, we are redesigning our website’s homepage.  For the first stage of this, we will be carrying out a survey into how you, the user, use the website and if there are any elements you would like improved or added. 

Follow this link to tell us your opinions: https://york.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2lUFXuzQEg3pntb

The second stage will involve having a sneak peek at the designs and offering your opinion on them in terms of what you like and dislike.

So get ready for your opportunity to be involved in redesigning the face of our business, for we believe every story is important. If you have any questions we are always very willing to answer.

Homepage design

World Digital Preservation Day 2019: the ‘Bit List’ vs Archaeological Data

The Archaeology Data Service would like to wish everyone a very happy World Digital Preservation Day. We’re excited to be raising awareness of Digital Preservation and celebrating the work that we do.

We’re looking forward to reading the DPC’s new edition of the ‘Bit List‘ of Digitally Endangered Species released today and hearing about how our fellow archivists and the #DigiPres community are participating.

We thought we’d address a few of the ‘endangered species’ of file formats on this year’s list and see how they relate to the data that we receive as an archive for archaeological data.

Continue reading World Digital Preservation Day 2019: the ‘Bit List’ vs Archaeological Data