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. The paper is published in an Open Archaeology-themed special issue of World Archaeology (ironically, a closed-access journal). For those who can’t get past the pay-wall, Eric has archived a preprint. Abstract:
The rise of the World Wide Web represents one of the most significant transitions in communications since the printing press or even since the origins of writing. To Open Access and Open Data advocates, the Web offers great opportunity for expanding the accessibility, scale, diversity, and quality of archaeological communications. Nevertheless, Open Access and Open Data face steep adoption barriers. Critics wrongfully see Open Access as a threat to peer review. Others see data transparency as naively technocratic, and lacking in an appreciation of archaeology’s social and professional incentive structure. However, as argued in this paper, the Open Access and Open Data movements do not gloss over sustainability, quality and professional incentive concerns. Rather, these reform movements offer much needed and trenchant critiques of the Academy’s many dysfunctions. These dysfunctions, ranging from the expectations of tenure and review committees to the structure of the academic publishing industry, go largely unknown and unremarked by most archaeologists. At a time of cutting fiscal austerity, Open Access and Open Data offer desperately needed ways to expand research opportunities, reduce costs and expand the equity and effectiveness of archaeological communication.