Just in time for Love Your Data Week, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) announced today the publication of the provisional digital version of Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town (2014). The volume, which is the first of a series on Pyla-Koutsopetria, is co-authored by William Caraher, David Pettegrew and R. Scott Moore and is published in ASOR’s Archaeological Report Series. Check out Caraher’s own announcement of the book, which provides several helpful examples of how the digital version allows for enhanced understanding of the book, as well as important considerations for the future, such as the need to link not only from the book to the data, but from the data back to the book; the expanded research opportunities in being able to link to other related content across the web; and increasing the discoverability of digital content. And then check out the actual digital volume, which is available for free download (just become a friend of ASOR, which is also free!):
The digital version of the volume includes hundreds of links to the archaeological data produced during the pedestrian survey of 2003-2011, published on the web in Open Context. The dataset in Open Context includes survey units, objects, typologies, phases, and images, all with their own unique and stable URI and citation information. In his introduction to the digital version, Caraher explains that this integration of the original volume with the digital content means that “the reader can now “drill down” into the data through hyperlinked text in a pdf version of the book,” allowing them to “view the various digital archaeological objects that form the basis for the arguments advanced in this book.”
Caraher emphasizes the provisional status of the digital book, as it is an attempt at the “retrofitting of a traditional, analogue text with a layer (literally as well as figuratively) of links to our published digital material.” The PKAP volume is one of many diverse approaches to integrating conventional (print) publication with related web resources that cannot be accommodated by conventional publication formats. Moving forward, new publications should consider how they can construct their narratives to seamlessly integrate with supporting relevant data and digital content located across the web. Just as importantly, managers of web resources need to consider how they can best build their content and services to support and integrate with synthetic publications.
Also check out Bill Caraher’s January 2017 blog post on this topic.