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3 reasons to visit the Open Context booth at the SAA meeting

At this year’s SAA meeting in San Francisco, Open Context will have it’s first-ever exhibit hall booth! Swing by booth #603 to say hello! If you need a reason to visit, here are three: “I have questions (or suggestions) about data publishing!” Many people have data they want share, but questions about how to go about it. We’re happy to talk about your data sharing concerns and help you understand what kind of time and effort will go into publishing your data.


The DINAA project had a very successful reception at the 79th Annual Society for American Archaeology conference in Austin, TX last month. With several presentations spanning traditional conference papers, posters, and a lightning talk at the Digital Data Interest Group meeting, conference-goers were provided with no shortage of opportunities to learn about multiple aspects of the project and its implications for the future of archaeological research. Papers: David G.

DINAA Poster Symposium Sneak Peek

Here’s the first of several posters about the DINAA project that will be presented at the SAAs this week in Austin. About the Poster: Yes, this poster is printed on fabric. With a tip from a colleague on Twitter, we discovered Spoonflower, a company that prints on fabric. What a result!! The fabric poster is on wrinkle-free material, the colors are accurate, and the printing is as sharp as if it were on paper.

Publish or Perish 2014, Resurrected Online

On February 13-14, the IFHA Project at UC Davis hosted the first Innovating Communication in Scholarship (ICIS) conference. The theme this year was Publish or Perish – the Future of Academic Publishing and Careers. Open Context’s Eric Kansa attended the conference as a panelist in the session “Beyond Journals & New Forms of Digital Publishing.

Celebrating a Year of Open Data

2013 has been a really big year for open data. In February, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a new mandate for open access to peer-reviewed outcomes of federally-funded research, including publications and data. The various agencies have been exploring how they will enact this new policy, and have welcomed input from the public. Beyond these developments on the federal level, many institutions have shifted gears to promote the free exchange of data.

Florida and Georgia Site Files Launch DINAA Project

The continent of North American has a long and rich history of human occupation spanning more than 13,000 years. The Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA) is a multi-institutional project to help make the history of settlement in the Americas accessible to everyone. The two-year project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, began in September 2012.

Recommendations on Ethics, Sustainability, and Open Access in Archaeology

In the article On Ethics, Sustainability, and Open Access in Archaeology available in the September 2013 issue of the SAA Archaeological Record, co-authors Eric Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Lynne Goldstein provide recommendations to the SAA for improving access to research results in archaeology. The authors welcome comments on the following five recommendations: Gain experience with Open Access. The SAA needs to better understand the opportunities and costs associated with Open Access.

Comments on OSTP Open Data Policy

Today, Open Context’s Eric Kansa spoke (via phone) at the meeting on Public Access to Federally-Supported Research and Development Data and Publications: Data, hosted by the National Research Council of the National Academies. The meeting, taking place May 16-17, is hearing invited and public comments on the White House OSTP memo on expanding access to data resulting from federally-funded research, with the aim of informing agencies as they develop policies in response to the memo.

Lessons in Data Reuse, Integration, and Publication

On April 17, members of the Central and Western Anatolian Neolithic Working Group met at Kiel University to participate in the International Open Workshop: Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes III. Working group participants presented their hot-off-the-press analyses of various aspects of integrated faunal datasets from over one dozen Anatolian archaeological sites spanning the Epipaleolithic through the Chalcolithic (a range of 10,000+ years).

New data publications in Open Context highlight early globalization

What does a fragment of a Canton blue and white porcelain plate from the early 19th century in Alaska have in common with a stone jar from the mid-18th century Northern Mariana Islands? Give up? Both were published in Open Context this week! The two projects these objects come from also share a common theme— documenting early globalization in the greater (much greater!) Pacific region.

Decoding Data- A View from the Trenches

This has been a busy data month for me, as I prepare zooarchaeological datasets for publication for a major data sharing project supported by the Encyclopedia of Life Computable Data Challenge award. The majority of my time has been spent decoding datasets, so I’ve had many quiet hours to mull over data publishing workflows. I’ve come up for air today to share my thoughts on what I see as some of the important issues in data decoding. Decoding should happen ASAP.

New Publication on Open Access and Open Data

Eric Kansa’s hot-off-the-press paper Openness and Archaeology’s Information Ecosystem provides a timely discussion of how Open Access and Open Data models can help researchers move past some of the dysfunctions of conventional scholarly publishing. Rather than threatening quality and peer-review, these models can unlock new opportunities for finding, preserving and analyzing information that advance the discipline.

Digital Humanities Conference in Berkeley

The 2012 Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Conference and Joint Meetings will take place at School of Information at UC Berkeley from December 7th to December 9th, 2012. The conference is hosted by the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) and the School of Information at UC Berkeley. The main theme is New Horizons: Information Technology Connecting Culture, Community, Time, and Place. The program is packed with presentations on various digital heritage topics.

Cyberinfrastructure in Near Eastern Archaeology

At the 2012 ASOR meeting in Chicago last month, the AAI co-organized (with Chuck Jones, ISAW) and presented in the second of a 3-year session Topics in Cyberinfrastructure, Digital Humanities, and Near Eastern Archaeology I. This year’s theme was From Data to Knowledge: Organization, Publication, and Research Outcomes. Presentations and demonstrations took place two back-to-back sessions.

Workshop Develops Infrastructure for Archaeology in Australia

AAI’s Technology Director Eric Kansa is currently in Sydney attending the Stocktaking Workshop of the Federated Archaeological Information Management System project (FAIMS). FAIMS launched in the summer of 2012 with a major grant from the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources program (NeCTAR), an Australian government program to build new infrastructure for Australian researchers (working in Australia or abroad). By the end of the project (Dec.