Raw Data Now!

mhall@berkeley.edu mhall@berkeley.edu
Sun Mar 22 20:28:51 CET 2009

Hi Steko,

> Mark,
> the relative wealthiness of other disciplines if compared to archaeology
> is an undeniable truth, but:
>       * this doesn't apply for ALL of archaeology. In fact there are
>         archaeological research projects that involve dozens of people
>         and organizations that actually have lots of money (from private
>         foundations or from governments)

Sure, but I would have to ask, how much of the archaeology in Italy (I'm
assuming you are working in Italy due to your email address, far enough if
it is a bad assumption)is developer funded?  And what laws are there in
place to insure "standards" for developer funded archaeology?  While I'd
have to dig around on the SAA and RPA websites, well over half (probably
over 75%)of the archaeology done in the USA these days is
CRM/rescue/developer funded.

For myself, for the last decade or so, for one reason or the other, I've
focused on doing geochemical studies of pottery, lithics, etc.  Many CRM
firms, while they might want the analyses done, aren't really willing to
pay for it or are very reluctant to pay even for equipment time. Stupidly
I guess, in the past, all too often, I took an archaeometric job more for
interest than $$$, and hoped I wouldn't loose too much money.

>       * it should be also remarked that in any project, there is always
>         some cost for publication to take into account: if a large
>         project has not publication costs in its budget, it could be a
>         problem of bad planning choices

Well, this also gets into the standards and laws concerning projects.  All
too many projects in California just have a copy of the report filed with
the State Data center and the SHPO Office.

>       * just like Open Source, Open Access doesn't mean "free as in
>         beer", even though we all know that for Free and Open Source
>         Software this applies for many end users. Someone has to get
>         things done in order for an e-journal to be online, with a
>         serious peer review workflow, etc, and that someone clearly has
>         to be paid. So it's clear that somebody has to pay.

But by the same token though, when I review for Elsevier or Wiley, or so
of the smaller independent journals, I receive no compensation. I see
reviewing as a professional responsibility and a way to enforce some
standards, etc.
Admittedly, I do agree with you on the person getting paid who does the
lay-out, etc.

> It's great to see that PlosOne has interest in archaeology (I follow it
> from the very beginning and I'm happy all the times I can read some
> paleoanthropology, palaeopathology or palaeo-x there), and I think the
> "only" major problem would be acceptance of such a revolutionary medium
> by the archaeological (academic) community.

Well, you have the British InterArch or Internet Archaeology journal which
has been slowly gaining status.

Best, Mark Hall

More information about the Archaeology mailing list