Monday, 20 October 2014

It’s Open Access Week! An overview of OA publishing in archaeology: an interview with Professor Alan Outram

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its eighth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access.

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research- has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted but  what are the direct and widespread implications for OA publishing in archaeology?

We asked Professor Alan Outram (University of Exeter, UK) the co-editor of new OA journal Science and Technology of Archaeological Research, how to publish OA and the different considerations there might be for the archaeology community.

Professor Alan Outram
 Are there particular reasons why archaeology benefits from OA publishing?Archaeology has a large base of amateur/avocational support, in terms of volunteering, donors and general interest. OA publishing allows these valuable groups greater access to archaeological works, which can only increase interest and support. Archaeologists also work all around the world, often in places where local universities might struggle to fund appropriate digital access to subscription journals.

Why publish Gold OA? (funding requirements, broader readership, possibly higher citation, public information)
Open Access publishing is widely accepted to increase both readership and citation levels. It also allows access to a wider set of readers, including those not affiliated to institutions, or those whose institutions cannot afford expensive subscriptions. Increasingly, many funding bodies also require outputs that result from their support to be made freely available through OA. But why choose to pay for ‘Gold’ OA? The ‘gold’ route has some significant benefits, including the immediate open access availability, instead of waiting until the embargo periods of subscription journals to pass. The ‘as published’, properly typeset versions of papers are also made freely available, whereas many subscription journals retain copyright on those and only allow the author’s typescript versions to be made available. ‘Gold’ OA also has the significant benefit of using the publisher’s digital platform for the journal, which increases visibility, and ease of location and use.

What sort of archaeology is most likely to have funding for OA publishing?
Archaeological research funded by research councils is most likely to already have funding for OA. Projects where public impact is a key concern are also more likely to have built in the cost of open access publishing. These factors will depend very much on the policies of the country in which you work.

How much does it cost in general?
Costs to publish a Gold OA article vary widely, but are generally between $1000 to $3000 in the sciences and rather lower in the humanities and social sciences, $99 to $1500.

How does one find funding for that cost?
This will vary considerably, depending upon the country in which you are based. In some countries, for instance the UK, Universities have been given a stream of funding to help cover OA costs for existing research grants. It is also increasingly possible to build OA publishing costs into grant applications, as a valid line item. In some cases, Universities and other research organizations will have put aside some of their own funds to support OA, as they wish to invest in the benefits of increased citation and better public impact. Certainly, some individual researchers even invest in OA themselves, because of the increased exposure it gives to their work.

Who can advise me on how to obtain funding and how to pay?
Your librarian would be a good place to start for advice on local policies and funding.

As one of the Editors of a brand new OA journal in the science and technology of archaeological research, what do you anticipate the challenges will be?
The world of journal publishing is in a transitionary phase, with different models of publishing now competing. Hence, there is the challenge of convincing people that your journal’s model is the right one for their paper. Science and Technology of Archaeological Research offers rapid OA publishing within a rigorous framework of international peer-review, so I think it is a very attractive option. My job is to set the right tone from the outset. Publication with us needs to be fast and efficient, but high standards need to be maintained. Open access must not be confused with vanity publishing! 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Brandy is dandy, wine is....awesome! Distilling the Peruvian wine and brandy industry

This month’s Digging Deeper article investigates a topic close to ours and many an archaeologist’s heart .... booze. 

Why? Well wine not! *hiccup*

The article, from the Journal of Field Archaeology, explores the archaeological and historical investigation of the flourishing wine and brandy industry in the Osmore (Moquegua) valley of far southern Peru, or also known as the Moquegua Bodegas Project.

The Moquegua Bodegas Project took place across six summer field seasons between 1985 and 1990, and began with surveys that led to the identification of 130 wine hacienda sites. Subsequent mapping and shovel testing focused on 28 of these sites and more extensive excavations were undertaken at four of them.

The article provides a descriptive overview of all the hacienda sites including discussion on their physical structures, layouts, and sightings in the valley.
You can read the article abstract below:

Spanish colonial settlement of the Moquegua valley of far southern Peru was oriented economically toward production of wine and brandy. A total of 130 wine hacienda sites (bodegas) can be identified there, primarily on the basis of adobe structures on hills bordering the valley. These sites had both residential and “industrial” functions, and their arrangements can be described by four site plans or layouts.

This article describes the “industrial” sectors of the sites, particularly the facilities for wine and brandy making (crushing tanks) rooms holding earthenware fermentation jars, distillery apparatus, and the functionally “specialized” site plan. Facilities were arranged spatially to incorporate gravity flow in moving liquids. The technology and organization of wine-making at the Moquegua sites evince similarities not only with Spanish models, but also with much earlier Roman wine-making.

The article is now available to read online for free, so pour yourself a large glass, sit back and enjoy. Cheers!

Monday, 6 October 2014

It's California Archaeology Month!

California Archaeology Month poster

Ah October, the time of autumn leaves, Halloween and ... archaeology?? 

Yes that’s right it’s California Archaeology Month!

Sponsored by the Society for California Archaeology (SCA), this October various historical societies and state federal government agencies around California will celebrate Californian archaeologists and all things archaeology!

So what is California Archaeology Month?

Observed in October, to integrate with California’s school curriculum on Native American and California history, California Archaeology Month is dedicated to promoting the preservation of the country’s heritage.

Exhibitions and presentations will take place around the state in order to reach out to the public
with information regarding the nature and sensitivity of cultural and heritage resources in California and their accomplishments and challenges.
It aims to show that archaeology is not only a way for people to learn about their place in history but can increase interest in education and environmental concerns.

Find out more about the Archaeology Month on the SCA web page

How can you get involved?

Each year, the SCA publishes an Archaeology Month Poster using contributions from state and federal agencies and member donations, and also makes available a comprehensive Archaeology Month Resources Guide. The posters are distributed to local, state, and federal agencies and private entities to help promote the preservation of California’s archaeological heritage. You can order the poster from their website.

Or why not make Archaeology Month a state-wide celebration by having an event or activity in your county that highlights the fascinating things we learn from archaeology?
You can find ideas or how to volunteer and participate here.

Not wanting to miss out on the celebrations, we’ve given you free access to Volume 4 issue 1 of California Archaeology which you can find here.

Happy California Archaeology Month from

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Call for papers: TAG 2014 Debate on the Instrumentalisation of Archaeology

Welcome to the TAG 2014 debate on the instrumentalisation of archaeology! 

This year the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference will be hosted by the University of Manchester between 15 and 17 December 2014.

Starting with the motion ‘This House believes that archaeology should NOT be instrumentalised’ we anticipate a lively debate!

This session takes the form of a House debate focusing on the instrumentalisation of archaeology, which has always been an aspect of the discipline but that has grown apace in recent years with the popularity of Public Archaeology, Community Archaeology and archaeologies with a ‘social purpose’ at their core.

There is much to extol in archaeological projects and practices that benefit communities and individuals in the present, as will be demonstrated in this session by those who position themselves in favour of the instrumentalisation of archaeology. Nevertheless, caution is required in ostensibly subjugating archaeology to political, economic, social and even psychological ends. Contributors arguing that archaeology should NOT be instrumentalised will take to task the role of archaeologist-as-social-worker and the potentially deleterious effects of aligning archaeological enquiry with political agendas (aka, archaeology-as-agitprop). In so doing, questions will be raised concerning the ethics of archaeologies that are primarily driven by national socioeconomic agendas and the institutional policies of funding bodies. Should archaeology be independent of these agendas? Or is an archaeology that is more integrated into societal issues and engages with contemporary discourses a more relevant one? Ultimately, the debate over instrumentalisation has at its core what we as archaeologists believe is the role of our discipline in the contemporary world and how this might change in the future.

Deliberately provocative, the purpose of this session is not to dismiss or discredit social-purpose archaeologies but rather to encourage critical appraisal of the parameters of praxis.

Contributors are invited to present ‘For’ or ‘Against’ the House in order to progress debate in an open, inclusive and mutually respectful arena. Please be aware, speakers need not feel constrained to present a personal position: devil’s advocates most welcome! In addition to formal papers active participation will be sought from the floor and delegates are encouraged to come prepared with ‘points of information’.

The session will be live tweeted #instruarch and proceedings of the session will be published; to this end, discussion is under way with the editors of the Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage.

Confirmed contributors:

John Carman, University of Birmingham
Gerry Wait, Nexus Archaeology
Sarah May, Heritage for Transformation
Kenneth Aitchison, Landward Research Ltd
Paul Belford, Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (Discussant)
Expressions of interest should be directed to the session organisers by Friday 10th October with confirmed paper titles and abstracts will be required by 31st October. 
Tara-Jane Sutcliffe and Sarah Howard
Session organisers

Monday, 22 September 2014

KIVA seeks new Acquisitions Editor

KIVA: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History is the premier archaeology journal of the American Southwest. Co-published by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, it was founded in 1935. This world-renowned journal is currently accepting applications for a new Acquisitions Editor. Read on to see if you or a colleague would be a good fit for this position, and help us spread the word among the archaeology community.

About the Position
The editor will spearhead the publishing process by working with a book reviews editor and the Maney team. Although the Society is based in Tucson, the editor will be an independent contractor and may reside elsewhere. The editor will have a working relationship with the Society’s Publications Committee and Board of Directors through a contract covering three volume years. Responsibilities of the editor will include maintaining the established high quality of the journal. External advice and consultation are available through an Editorial Advisory board appointed by the editor.

Editor Responsibilities
The editor accepts and solicits manuscripts and coordinates the review, editing, and proofing of four issues per volume year; each issue is about 120 printed pages. Specific duties include Spanish abstract acquisition, maintaining communication with authors, reviewers, the occasional guest editor, and the Publications Committee. An online submission and refereeing site uses Editorial Manager Software to facilitate article tracking and publication. Maney Publishing provides training for both systems. The editor will coordinate with a guest editor for the upcoming 100th Anniversary issue scheduled for 2016.

The ideal candidate has a background in Southwest archaeology, history, ethnography, or related discipline. Please visit for additional information.

The start date for this position is March 1, 2015. Please submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae no later than November 1, 2014 to:

Dr. Jenny L. Adams, chair Kiva Acquisitions Editor Search Committee
Desert Archaeology, Inc.
3975 N. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716