15. Tradition and Divide in Archaeological Publication
Camilla MacKay [+]
Bryn Mawr College
Here the author considers new methods for publishing and the evolving scholarly record as they relate to field and survey archaeology. Electronic publication in archaeology, exposing corpora of material faster and in far greater volume than printed publications, should enable rapid access to information that can promote and facilitate complex scholarly questions, especially comparison of data across sites. But challenges abound and successes are, arguably, few: electronic publication of born-digital data has often been undertaken in a way that is demonstrably unsustainable and unstable. Data can remain unused (or useless) in the absence of curation and explanation, and, crucially, the long-form narrative. In many ways digital publication of archaeological data has progressed little in recent years while traditional forms of long-form scholarship remain strong. Yet open access to these narrative publications, especially in conjunction with linking to data repositories, may help institutionalize acceptance and use of stable data repositories.