Guest post by Katherine Spielmann, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University School of Evolution and Social Change When I decided to retire I was faced with making seven seasons of Southwestern excavation data and many, many years of analytical data available to our profession. I spent much of Fall 2015 making that happen through uploading multitudes of excel spreadsheets, associated coding keys, and reports to tDAR.
We’re excited to be travelling to Lincoln, Nebraska later this week for the 74th Annual Plains Anthropological Conference.
Did you know that if you have digital resources in tDAR you can find out how many people have viewed or downloaded your files? Here’s how to see your usage stats: Log in to tdar Navigate to a resource of yours that you would like to see stats for (you can view an individual resource as well as a collection or project). Click on “usage” on the secondary menu bar. For individual resources you will see a line graph displaying views and downloads for the resource’s history.
Sometimes you might add a file to tDAR and discover later that you need to replace it. Maybe you found a better scanned version of the document, or maybe you added new data to a data set. In any case, replacing a file in tDAR is easy, and as long as your new file doesn’t exceed file size range of the previous file there is no charge. First, you will need to log in to tDAR and navigate to your resource.
Even though the weather is still sizzling and it feels like summer will never end, school is back in session here at ASU this week. It seems like a great time to remind you that tDAR is a fantastic resource for teachers and students alike. Educators at all levels can search tDAR for photographs and maps to enhance lectures. We have hundreds of real data sets that can be used in classroom exercises. There are even some sample assignments (another) in tDAR, and we would love to see more.
A search in tDAR is likely to reveal a large number of resources that you plan to explore as part of your research. Did you know you can download your search results as an Excel file? It is easy! After you have performed your search, simply click on the “Download these results -> to Excel” link on the left-hand column of the page. Your search results will begin to download immediately. Use this to create a bibliography or update your bibliographic software (e.g. Endnote).
This post was written by guest author Kyle Bocinsky. A database of 32,863 tree-ring dates from across the southwestern United States—the largest and most comprehensive of its kind to date—is now available through tDAR. To build the database, we started with a smaller database gathered by Mike Berry and the Dominguez Anthropological Research Group and added several thousand dates from archaeological projects across the Southwest.
There are a few funding opportunities with deadlines this spring that we’d like to share with you. Cultural Resource Fund Phase II Grants, Due February 15th The Federal Communications Commission and seven Class I freight rail have created the Cultural Resource Fund to support Tribal and State cultural and historic preservation projects. You must be among the eligible tribes or States to apply (see here for eligibility).
We recently made a change to the way we share new resources in tDAR. In the past, our Twitter account announced each new resource as it was made live. Moving forward, we’ll do a weekly round-up and let you know what new resources were added to tDAR during the previous week, with a link to a collection in tDAR where the enthusiastic user can see them all! Our weekly post will attempt to highlight the breadth of new materials by featuring a few of the newest resources.
We’ve got great news! We have reduced prices significantly. As of 14 July 2015, it costs only $10 to upload a single file (up to 10MB) to tDAR. This is a significant decrease compared to the former price of $50 per file. In recent months, we undertook a careful evaluation of operating costs and reviewed the consistent stream of new tDAR clients and DIY digital preservation customers.
We are back in Tempe after a whirlwind week in San Francisco for the annual Society for American Archaeology meetings. It was a pleasure to meet so many tDAR users and contributors (current and future) face-to-face! If you were a presenter at this year’s meetings we hope you will take advantage of the SAA 2015 tDAR Abstract Project.
We are gearing up for the San Francisco SAA meetings and we want to see you! You can find us at our booth in the exhibit hall (#501) from 9AM to 5PM Thursday through Saturday. We have a lot to share—first and foremost, if you haven’t seen tDAR live and in action one of our expert digital curators will be able to walk you through finding materials in the archive, as well as the simple steps necessary to preserve a digital file.
Modern archaeological investigations both produce and rely upon digital data: photographs taken in the field, GIS information, analytical and descriptive data sets, project reports, etc. These new data add to an existing, although underutilized, backlog of archaeological information, some of it in digital formats, some not.
The Society for American Archaeology supports a generous tDAR benefit for student members, and time is running out to take advantage of this offer for 2014! All SAA student members are eligible for a voucher that allows them to upload three files (totaling 30MB) to tDAR, valued at $150. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop good digital archiving habits, and to preserve and make accessible your archaeological information. Students have used these in a variety of ways.
If readers are at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in New Orleans now, they can visit the Center for Digital Antiquity table in the exhibition area. Executive Director Frank McManamon will be there throughout today and Saturday morning. Feel free to stop by for a quick consult on digital curation or to find out more about Digital Antiquity and tDAR.
Digital Antiquity staff will set up in the exhibit hall in Greenville, South Carolina at the South Eastern Archaeological Conference. Stop by our table to learn about tDAR to preserve and share your archaeological information! We’ll be available Thursday through Saturday morning and giving away daily prizes. We look forward to talking with you.
Digital Antiquity and ASU Libraries just submitted a project proposal to the The Knight Foundation Knight News Challenge, and we need your help to get our project funded.
Earlier this week NPR’s All Tech Considered explored the question, “How Long Do CDs Last?” Since the 1990s an increasing amount of data began to be stored on CDs. According to Michele Youket, a Library of Congress preservation specialist quoted in the story, there is considerable variation in manufacturing standards for CDs. This means there aren’t standard tools for preservation that will work on all CDs.
There are lots of reasons to backup your data, including protection from loss, accidental damage, or device failure, or to simply have access to older versions in case of mistakes. Good backup practices require maintaining multiple copies of the data, ideally in physically different locations. If you’d like more information on backup procedures (or horror stories!), review the Guides to Good Practice. Importantly, storage media (CDs, Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, etc.
In a recently published paper in American Antiquity, Kintigh and colleagues describe an effort to identify “What are archaeology’s most important scientific challenges?” This question was posed to the archaeological community to crowd source key themes, and the results were used to inform and augment the topics developed by an esteemed group of scholars. The top 25 “grand challenges” they identified are replicated at the end of this post.