i. Major objectives
During its second year the project maintained four major objectives: (1) the production of a regular electronic journal; (2) the development of a detailed description of the process of establishing and managing an electronic journal; (3) the definition of a suite of access and navigation tools that will allow readers to use the journal; and, (4) to make a contribution to cultural change through the increased use of electronic media.
By the start of our second year the journal's infrastructure, including staffing, committees, refereeing system, and editorial policy were in place. These systems have been maintained throughout our second year of operation with minor modifications.
ii. Main activities
Our main activities during our second year have been focussed in several areas:
production of Issues 2 & 3, modifying our plans in the light of feedback from Issue 1
soliciting high quality papers for subsequent issues
evaluation of usage of Issue 1, through focus groups, and examination of registration and web access statistics
marketing the journal (with production of a project publicity leaflet) and contributing to the process of culture change through advertising (traditional and through use of appropriate mailbase lists), conference papers, and liaison meetings with key archaeological bodies.
addressing technical and editorial issues, such as recommendations for bibliographic referencing, user registration procedures, and developing standard letters for copyright permissions
dissemination of lessons learnt from experience to date
developing our longer term thinking about the project, with consideration of archiving, continuation funding, and exit strategies
iii. Project outputs
In line with these activities, our main outputs have been:
publication of Issues 2 & 3 (see Appendix I for contents list)
a considerable resource of 13 papers offered to the journal to appear in subsequent issues (this only represents the papers that have been accepted through the initial stage of concept refereeing and are now being worked up for publication) (see Appendix II)
an interim evaluation report, included as section 3 of this second annual report
a number of published papers and conference presentations (Appendices III-IV), as well as less quantifiable contributions to culture change in attitudes of archaeological funding bodies (English Heritage and Historic Scotland) and of the archaeological profession in general to electronic publication.
iv. Particular successes
We have been heartened by the positive response to Issue 1 of the journal, both within and outwith the archaeological profession. In February 1997 the Journal was given a Platinum Award by NetGuide, and it has also received extremely positive reviews in the traditional scholarly journals (eg Dallas 1997 - see Appendix X).
We have been surprised by the large number of registered users which the journal has attracted by only its second issue. By the end of August 1997 the number of registered readers will have exceeded 4,200. These figures are larger than any national UK archaeology print journal and on a par with the largest international archaeological print journal (Antiquity). In the year from 1 August 1996 to 31 July 1997 the journal's web pages received 119,240 successful requests for pages from 17,915 distinct hosts (see Appendix XII).
Staffing and skills range: The editorial procedures and staff put in place during Year One have served us well but our experience has emphasised the wide range of skills required for the production of an electronic journal. Fortunately, our staffing arrangements have given us the flexibility to fulfil these roles through employing consultants and contract staff:
(A) Ambassadorial & proselytising role. The Managing Editor and other members of the journal's Steering Committee, Editorial Board and Technical Panel have represented the journal at archaeological and eLib-related meetings. A number of conference presentations have been given to disseminate information about the journal and to maintain its high profile within the discipline (see Appendix III).
(B) Liaising with authors and commissioning copy. The Managing Editor is now employed for 1.5 days per week with his key roles being in liaising with authors, and providing editorial direction, as well as maintaining a high profile for the journal.
(C) Technical development. Several papers have required the development of specialised cgi scripts for distribution maps and time line or database queries. We have built up a pool of skilled consultants who can be called upon to provide imaginative solutions to technical challenges. Technical aspects are to be developed further in future issues with the introduction of video and sound, for example.
(D) HTML editing. Once papers are submitted the Assistant Editor plays a key role in marking them up for publication and converting them to a consistent house style, preparing images, as well as continuing liaison with authors and academic referees. The Assistant Editor is now employed for 4 days per week.
(E) Copy editing. Once papers are in their final web realisation there is still a considerable task of copy editing and checking to ensure high standards of grammar and comprehension. We have been fortunate to be able to secure the services of a local academic editor who has recently gone freelance, for an average of 1 day per week, to carry out final copy editing.
(F) Translation. As it is our agreed editorial policy to accept papers in all major languages (with an English summary) we have faced a significant problem in finding copy editors and translators to provide English summaries. Again we have been fortunate in securing the services of a local French language translator, and have relied upon a Dutch speaking referee to deal with our only other foreign language paper to date.
(G) Financial management. A project secretary is employed for 0.5 days per week to maintain the project accounts and deal with the administration of the project management committees
Clearly the management of such a wide range of staff has also placed particular demands on the project co-directors, and necessitated regular (fortnightly) meetings of a project Executive Committee. The project Steering Committee, Editorial Board and Technical Panel have also provided valuable support and advice roles.
Involving readers: One of our key reasons for preferring an on-line delivery rather than CD-ROM was to encourage the on-line discussion of papers and the development of dynamic commentaries. Although there has been some discussion of specific papers these have so far been on generalised mailbase lists (britarch) rather than the project mailbase list (intarch-interest). From Issue 3 we have agreed to attempt to "seed" discussion by the circulation of edited referee's comments to see if this will generate a higher level of debate.
Charging policy: The journal initially planned to charge subscriptions by Issue 2. Given that charging is still against the Internet culture and that there was resistance to charging from within the archaeological community, plus the potential costs of managing a subscription system, we have held back from developing a subscription base in the expectation that alternative funding models such as institutional site licenses and/or publication subventions from research funding bodies may be more acceptable and cost-effective (see below).
Technological change: One of our major challenges has been to support a range of delivery platforms. We have had to accept that many of our users have limited access to hardware and may not have access to the latest generation of web browsers. Therefore we have had to be deliberately cautious in introducing novel technological features, such as frames or Java applets that would not be supported by many browsers. Whilst we will be developing our approach as the standard available technology increases, we feel that it will be inevitable that our journal must remain a step behind the state of the art and must be known for quality rather than cutting edge technological innovation.
ii. Influences of elib and other programmes
Initially preservation and archiving was a key challenge which faced the journal. We have been fortunate in that since the Arts & Humanities Data Service (AHDS) Archaeology Data Service is also based in the Department of Archaeology at York University we have been able to enjoy a good relationship with this project and secured an early agreement to archive the journal. Our liaison with the ADS has also been instrumental in our development of a clear policy for the demarcation between archiving and publication, and its application to archaeology, discussed in Alan Vince's editorial to Issue 2.
From an early stage we were concerned with the development of appropriate technical standards for electronic publication and welcomed the appearance of the eLib standards document which was reviewed and adopted by our Technical Panel.
Contact with the ADS as well as other eLib developments has also been important to the development of our thinking about metadata and we have agreed that from September 1997 each article in the journal will be enhanced with Dublin core metadata (as defined by the AHDS/UKOLN resource discovery workshop report).
Given that we developed a user registration system from Issue 1 we have been excited by the development of the JISC Athens Authentication project and hope to participate in this programme as a test site in the second stage early in 1998.
iii. Changes to our plan
Frequency of issues. Initially we had ambitious plans to publish four issues per year by our second year. Issue 1 gave us a more realistic idea of the time taken to prepare a contribution for electronic publication. A single monograph-sized contribution to Issue 1 with large numbers of illustrations took several months of editorial time to prepare, although the time spent has been justified by the number of hits this paper has subsequently received. In the light of experience we have now modified our schedules to "close" issues twice per year, although contributions are mounted and announced as they are ready to preserve the immediacy of publication. With current staffing levels we estimate that this should allow us to publish c.6 contributions per issue, or 12 per annum, dependent upon the size and complexity of the contributions. The adoption of an elastic model for the publication of an issue has allowed us to maintain considerable flexibility in our work schedules. We have also tried, in so far as is possible, to shift the burden of preparation onto the author, including generation of the HTML, scanning of images, and checking and confirmation of copyright for all images. This should be easier as technological awareness becomes more widespread.
Penetration of North American market. We have been surprised by the extent of our readership in North America, despite the fact that Issues 1 and 2 have a very European content. Issue 3 has a wider range of papers of interest on both sides of the Atlantic and we are planning a major North American launch at the Annual Society of American Archaeology meeting at Seattle in March 1998.
Introduction of reviews section. We always intended to carry reviews of software and CD-ROMs, but publishers have been slow to offer material for review. We have now appointed an Honorary Reviews Editor, Dr Gary Lock of Oxford University, who will take an active role in soliciting reviews. Our first reviews will be published in Issue 3.
Charging policy. As noted above our Steering Committee decided to hold back from the introduction of subscriptions. Instead we have explored alternative funding models such as publication subvention. Our conclusion is that this is a viable model but that it will require 2-3 years before there has been sufficient cultural change to make this a realistic source of full funding. This is partly because it will take a while to build up a funding base that will support the necessary staffing levels, and partly because of the credibility problems that face any new academic journal. Before research funders are prepared to invest in Internet Archaeology they have to be satisified that the journal is going to be permanent and that it maintains a high academic standard. In the meantime we plan to apply for continuation funding from eLib.
iv. Unexpected opportunities/outcomes
We have already noted that we have been heartened by the willingness of the archaeological community to take on board electronic publication. We have now been joined by a second archaeological electronic journal, Assemblage, produced by postgraduates at the University of Sheffield with a more "popular" slant, and we believe there are plans to launch comparable journals in other countries.
We have been pleased to have been offered three highly prestigious archaeological projects for electronic publication: Beirut, Stonehenge and the Tower of London. We are currently negotiating the publication rights and hope to publish them in future issues. It is interesting to note that in the latter two cases the costs of preparing the archives for electronic publication are likely to go to the contractor carrying out the fieldwork and responsible for preparing the report. (In most cases they will take the forms of grants from the private developer or government agency concerned.)
v. Learning experience
As predicted, the major lesson has been the time taken to adequately prepare a contribution for electronic publication in comparison with traditional models of scholarly publication. This has led us to try to shift the onus for several stages of the production process onto the author.
It is also clear that the running of an electronic journal requires a very diverse set of skills.
Evaluation of the Internet Archaeology has been undertaken in several ways:
I Evaluation workshops
II Examination of access statistics
III Informal feedback
IV Feedback via the Journal's mailing list, intarch-interest
V Feedback to and from the Steering Committee
VI Feedback to and from the Technical Panel
VII Feedback to and from the Editorial Board
See Appendix XI for an extended report on evaluation activities and feedback throughout the reporting year.
The results of the evaluation programme are considered under the following headings:
II Cultural change
VI future scenarios
VII contribution to overall project goals
The journal is managed by a consortium of departments of archaeology in higher education and by the Council for British Archeaology and the British Academy. This involvement in the archaeological community ensures the spreading of awareness of the benefits of electronic publication.
Other forms of raising awareness include talking to significant national organisations, lectures and seminars at archaeological conferences (including the annual conferences of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, the Society for Museum Archaeologists, and the Association of Archaeological Illustrators) as well as attending other events such as Libtech 1996, the Launch of the Arts and Humanities Data Service, and the EVA97 conference.
iv. Cultural change
Through the programme of attending conferences and of evaluation workshops the Journal is contributing to cultural change. The attendance at conferences raises the profile of the Journal, and prompts archaeologists to think about how they can use the Journal. There is the effect of both raising appreciation of the electronic format, and of triggering new ideas of how to present archaeological information. The archaeological organisations and individual in contact with the journal show a keen appreciation of the benefit of electronic publication, and recognise that it will be a major way of disseminating the results of archaeological studies.
Through the evaluation workshops direct feedback about the Journal has been gained (see Appendix XI, section 2.1 for full details). The Journal is appreciated for its obvious advantages of being able to present information in a fluid manner, being available over the Internet at any time, and being a relatively quick form of publication.
Promotion and marketing has continued throughout the year, with the Journal's staff attending various conferences and events to raise awareness of the Journal. Two issues have been put onto the Web, with papers being added as they have been completed. The importance of producing a regular journal, and its profile being kept high is recognised. The Journal's email list, intarch-interest, is used to announce new papers, and details of any events that the Journal is attending. The list is also used to promote discussion about the papers.
Via the web sever, the usage statistics, in many formats, can be assessed (see Appendix IX, and Appendix XI, section 2.2), and the number of registered users is recorded on the home page of each issue, as well as the main home page of the Journal itself. These show a strong interest in the Journal, as well as its usage throughout the World. The Journal, as might be expected, is used mainly by the Higher Education community, however, there are a significant number of hosts which indicate at wider audience.
viii. Future scenarios
The Journal will continue to produce Issues at a rate of two per year. Each issue contains about five distinct papers. Innovative papers which exploit the facilities of the Web are continually sought, so that the Journal continues to lead the field in electronic publication. It is intended to incorporate the newer features of the Web (such as Java Applets and Frames) where appropriate.
The evaluation programme will continue with evaluation workshops, which have the effect of not only raising the awareness of the journal at large, but of gaining important feedback. At a later point, when enough feedback has been gained by people using the Journal, more intensive focus groups will take place (see Appendix XI, section 4.0).
ix. Contribution to overall project goals
The Journal is continuing to maintain its pace of both production of Journal Issues, and raising awareness of electronic publication in archaeology and the wider Higher Education community.
Publication of Issues 4 & 5. Our main objective for the next reporting period will be the publication of Issues 4 & 5 of the journal.
Increase of international coverage of the journal with a North American launch. It is our intention to expand the international coverage of the journal and to increase our penetration of the large Internet using community in North America. This will hopefully increase both the number overseas contributors and readers. We also hope to extend our foreign language coverage in future issues.
Development of negotiations for publication subvention with national archaeological funding bodies. As our credibility as a respected and permanent journal of record is established it is our intention to moved towards a mixed funding model by starting to raise revenue from publication subventions, and to establish the journal as a charitable trust.
ii. Planned changes in overall direction
Fundamentally, work on the project has reinforced our earlier plans although our staffing plans have continued to evolve to support the range of skills required.
iii. Development beyond project time frame
As mentioned throughout this report the focus of our efforts has been on the development of a journal which will be viable beyond the three years of initial support. The current view of our Steering Committee is that we have already made substantial inroads on traditional publishing practices by influencing publication policy and have begun to contribute to a culture change within the key archaeological funders. However, they believe that we will need to seek additional support for 2-3 further years in order to consolidate our position and develop alternative sources of funding from within the archaeological profession, for which we must increase our credibility as a permanent feature on the publication landscape. The only way which we can do this is
to continue to publish high quality scholarly articles,
to continue to develop models for the publication of archaeological fieldwork, particularly excavation, and
to continue to demonstrate the advantages of electronic publication over traditional models.
|Dr Michael Heyworth||Dr Julian Richards||Dr Seamus Ross|
|Council for British Archaeology||Department of Archaeology||Humanities & Advanced Technology Information Institute|
|Bowes Morrell House||University of York||University of Glasgow|
|111 Walmgate||The King's Manor||6 University Gardens|
|York YO1 2UA||York YO1 2EP||Glasgow G12 8QQ|
|tel 01904 671417||tel 01904 433930||tel 0141 330 4980|
|fax 01904 671384||fax 01904 433902|
|email email@example.com||email firstname.lastname@example.org||email email@example.com|
27 August 1997
Submitted: May 1997; Published: May 1997; Words: 1,597 (10.4KB); Images: 0 (0)
The need for the solid modelling of structure in the archaeology of
Submitted: November 1996; Published: April 1997; Words: 10,916 (78.2KB); Images: 19 (262KB)
Iron Age and Roman copper alloys from northern Britain
Submitted: July 1996; Published: April 1997; Words: 76,997 (625KB); Images: 258 (1.66MB)
The `chaine opÃ©ratoire' approach to lithic analysis
Submitted: September 1996; Published: April 1997; Words: 9,126 (72.0KB); Images: 47 (473KB)
Enhancing the record through remote sensing: the application and integration of
multi-sensor, non-invasive remote sensing techniques for the enhancement of the Sites
and Monuments Record. Heslerton Parish Project, North Yorkshire, England.
Dominic Powlesland, James Lyall & Danny Donoghue
Submitted: January 1997; Published: April 1997; Words: 10,857 (88.1KB); Images: 25 (643KB)
Why metadata matters in archaeology
Alicia Wise & Paul Miller
Submitted: April 1997; Published: April 1997; Words: 5,995 (48.4KB); Images: 1 (22KB)
Submitted: August 1997; Published: August 1997
Publishing archaeology on the web: who reads this stuff anyway
Alan Vince, with Julian Richards, Seamus Ross & Mike Heyworth
Submitted: May 1997; Published: July 1997; Words: 10,484 (104KB); Images: 1 (10.7KB)
CÃ©ramique en pays sereer et tumulus sÃ©nÃ©gambiens [The pottery of the Sereer and
the tumuli of Senegambia]
Submitted: February 1997; Published: August 1997; Words: 9,228 (76.9KB); Images: 32 (620KB)
A gazetteer of Sub-Roman Britain (AD 400-600): the British sites
Christopher A Snyder
Submitted: March 1997; Published: August 1997
Fish remains and humankind: 1
edited by Andrew Jones & Rebecca A Nicholson
Andrew K G Jones & Rebecca A Nicholson
Submitted: September 1996; Published: August 1997; Words: 369 (3KB); Images: 0 (0KB)
Some remarks on seasonal dating of fish remains by means of growth analysis
D C Brinkhuizen
Submitted: September 1996; Published: August 1997; Words: 7211 (46.0KB); Images: 0 (0KB)
Cranial osteology of the redear sunfish; examples from the American Midwest
Mona L Colburn
Submitted: September 1996; Published: August 1997; Words: 3641 (25.6KB); Images: 14 (170KB)
Pike (Esox lucius) in Late Medieval culture: from illiterate empericism to the literate traditions
Richard C Hoffmann
Submitted: September 1996; Published: August 1997; Words: 9776 (69KB); Images: 0 (0KB)
A simple machine for bulk processing of sediments
David J Ward
Submitted September 1996; Published: August 1997; Words: 4880 (32.9KB); Images: 2 (78.9KB)
REVIEW: Perseus 2.0: Sources and Studies on Ancient Greek Culture CD-ROM
reviewed by Harrison Eiteljorg, II
REVIEW: FieldWorker Advanced 2.3 and FieldWorker Pro 0.91 reviewed by Nick
Ryan, Jason Pascoe and David Morse
|Archaeological excavations in the Souks area of downtown Beirut 1994-95||D Perring, H Seeden & T Williams|
|Les nécropoles à incinérations gallo-romaines du grand-duché de Luxembourg- Premiers resultats d'une recherche en cours [Gallo-Roman cremation cemeteries in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - Initial findings of current research]||Michel Polfer & Jos Thiel, Luxembourg|
|Excavations at West Heslerton, Yorkshire||Dominic Powlesland, Heslerton Parish Project, UK|
|Two south-east Spain middle palaeolithic sites with Neanderthal remains: Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo and Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Quipar||Michael Walker & Josep Gibert, Spain|
|Etruscan pottery from the Albegna Valley/Ager Cosanus survey||Phil Perkins, The Open University, UK|
|The Romanisation of provincial art: the mosaics of Roman Britain||Nancy Mactague|
|Medieval Islamic pottery||Robert Mason|
|A dated typology of eighteenth to twentieth century grave markers in Britain||Harold Mytum, University of York|
|Prehistoric environments of the East Midlands, UK||A G Brown, University of Exeter|
|Archaeology and the law in Britain: an Internet digest||John Carman, University of Cambridge|
|Graphical analysis of regional archaeological data: site typology to explore the Neolithization proces in the South-east of the Netherlands||M Wansleeben and L B M Verhart, Leiden University, The Netherlands|
|The United Kingdom Ceramic Thin-Section Database||Kate Steane, Barbara Precious & Alan Vince, City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit & the University of York, UK|
|Fish remains and humankind: 2||edited by Andrew Jones & Rebecca A Nicholson|
15th-16th: Alan Vince spoke at the Society for Museum Archaeologists 1996 conference in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
`Internet Archaeology', Keynotes, 23(1), October 1996, The University of York Computing Service, 7.
`New electronic journal funded by eLib programme', Yorkshire Library News, 77, August 1996, The Library Association, Yorkshire and Humberside Branch.
`Recent publications on post-medieval archaeology: Internet Archaeology', Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Newsletter, Second Series, 43, summer 1996, 8.
`Internet offers many electronic journals of preservation interest', NCPTT Notes (National Center for Preservation Technology and Training), 15, December 1996, 8.
Mike Heyworth, Seamus Ross & Julian Richards, 1996 `Internet Archaeology: an international electronic journal for archaeology', Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia, 28, Interfacing the Past: Computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology CAA95, edited by Hans Kamermans and Kelly Fennema, University of Leiden, 517-23.
Mike Heyworth, Julian Richards, Seamus Ross & Alan Vince, 1996 `Internet Archaeology: an international journal for archaeology', Archaeologia e Calcolatori, 7, 1195-1206.
Alan Vince and Sandra Garside-Neville, 1997 `Publishing multimedia in archaeology', EVA '97 London conference proceedings: electronic imaging and the visual arts, forthcoming.
Mike Heyworth, Julian Richards, Alan Vince & Sandra Garside-Neville, 1997 `Internet Archaeology: a quality electronic journal', Antiquity, forthcoming.
Publishing archaeology on the web: who reads this stuff anyway
Alan Vince, with Julian Richards, Seamus Ross & Mike Heyworth
'A step beyond reading in archaeological publication', a review of Internet Archaeology, issue 1 (1996), by Constantinos Dallas, Archive and Museum Informatics, 11: 55-64, 1997
Evaluation of the Internet Archaeology has been undertaken in several ways:
2.0 FORMS OF EVALUATION
Two full workshops were undertaken, and one informal drop-in session was run. The workshops were carefully planned and had a questionnaire to be filled in at the end of the session. The same questionnaire (Figure 1) was used for both of the workshops, to provide comparable information.
Please fill in the boxes below, and feel free to add any other comments at the bottom of the page.
Thank you for your help.
|Home Page||Easy to understand, well laid out||Confusing|
|Table of Contents||Easy to understand, interesting||Cluttered|
|Registration||Understood what this entailed||Was not sure of implications|
|Finding your way around||Easy||Difficult|
|Organisation of the whole journal||Well organised||Confusing|
|Illustrations||Effective & appropriate||Poor & inappropriate|
|Structure of the articles||Logical||Confusing|
|Would you prefer an electronic journal to a traditional hard copy journal?||Yes (very enthusiastic)||No (not enthusiastic)|
Your specific comments:
Please comment on the content of the articles, any specific problems encountered, your feelings in general about the journal, and anything else you think relevant to help improve the journal.. Also, if you have any comments on how this Workshop was run, please note them down or tell us. Continue overleaf if necessary.
2.1.1 University of York undergraduates
In October 1996 a forty-five minute workshop was run from within an information technology course. There were twenty-two students in their second year of the BA Archaeology degree, who were learning about the sources of information on the Internet. This meant that the students were broadly familiar with how to navigate their way round the Internet, but probably did not know much about electronic journals. It was evident that there were a mix of abilitities - from the highly computer-literate to the computer phobics. The age ranged from about eighteen to the late twenties.
At this point, there was just one issue of the Journal to look at. However, this contains key presentation methods such as VRML, databases that could be interrogated via cgi scripts and many colour images and maps. Also, the registration module was in place. The Home Pages, consisting of information about the management structure, the staff, the formation of the Journal, access statistics, forthcoming papers, and so, were also in place.
Very little introduction was given to the Journal, other than to state what its purpose was. The students were given the aim of registering, so that they could go on and browse the papers. All were successful in registering, though there were some problems with the username and password, which they confused with their University network logins. Only one person wasn't sure what the implications of registering were.
The majority of students found the Home Page and the Table of contents easy to understand. Some students did find navigation a little difficult, but none said it was impenetrable. The organisation of the Journal was found to be acceptable. The illustrations were well received, with only one person having reservations. The structure of the papers was understandable. When asked about whether they would prefer an electronic journal to a hard copy journal there was a mixed response. However, the Journal's overall impression was very good.
Some students added comments of their own. One student found the 3D image (the VRML file) difficult to control at first, but she soon got the hang of it. Another student could see that the keyword search facility would be very useful when there were more issues to search. One student professed to be very enthusiastic about electronic journals, but whilst she had free access to it (as a student). Other comments were:
" looks really good and useful"
"excellent facility for writing essays and research, as well as general interest"
"overall effect promising"
"no criticism yet, feel as though I've just scratched the surface"
It is clear that some students could see the advantages of an electronic journal, and appreciated the features within the papers. A graph showing students replies to the questions about the Journal is shown in Figure 2.
2.1.2 York Archaeological Trust - professional archaeologists
This workshop was run in April 1997, and was somewhat different in nature from the first workshop. Whereas the participants for the first workshop were at least broadly familiar with the Internet the same could not be assumed with those attending the second. This consideration was taken into account by giving over part of the workshop to introducing the participants to web browsers and sources of archaeological information on the Internet. The later part of the session was devoted to browsing the Journal.
There were fifteen participants, with an age range from the late twenties to the early fifties. Some were from departments of the York Archaeological Trust (YAT) that use computers every day and are obviously very computer literate. Others have only a passing contact with computers. Their status was mixed, ranging from senior managers to junior officers. Their specialisations included graphics, finds, computers, editing, archives, and excavation. The session was particularly appreciated by the YAT Computing Manager as he was currently redesigning the YAT's web pages and had recently introduced email for all staff, and wanted to introduce people to the idea of the Internet.
By April 1997 there were two issues of the Journal available to browse, giving a broad range of subjects to investigate. The workshop was run in tandem with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), which provided two staff, both of whom helped to patrol the room and offer help to those who need it. The programme (Figure 3) allowed for a talk about browsers and how they worked, search engines, and web resources. The ADS also introduced their service, which complements the work of the Journal and was also highly relevant to the YAT, which is generating large amounts of computerised data. A short amount of time was allocated to the YAT Computing Manager in case he wanted to point out certain features that may be of particular use to YAT staff.
INTERNET ARCHAEOLOGY WORKSHOP
Tuesday April 22nd 1997
Room K120 at the King's Manor, University of York
9.00am - 12.00
Sandra Garside-Neville, Assistant Editor, Internet Archaeology
Paul Miller, Collections Manager, Archaeology Data Service
Alicia Wise, Data Coordinator, Archaeology Data Service
This workshop aims to introduce the participants to the electronic journal Internet Archaeology, and gather feedback about the content and presentation.
To set the journal in context, an introduction to Internet sources for archaeology will be given. This will be followed by an introduction to the Archaeology Data Service which will explain its role in archaeology and its relationship to the Journal.
The journal and its key features will be demonstrated, and then participants will have a chance to browse the journal. Finally, evaluation forms can be filled in and discussion will take place.
9.00 Welcome (Sandra)
9.05 Archaeology sources on the Internet (Sandra)
9.30 The Archaeology Data Service (Alicia & Paul)
10.00 Internet Archaeology (Sandra)
10.15 Participants browse the journal (Alicia, Paul, & Sandra)
10.45 Tea break in the King's Manor Refectory
11.00 Participants browse the journal (Alicia, Paul & Sandra)
11.30 Evaluation (Sandra)
11.45 YAT session (Mike Rains)
12.00 End of workshop
It was ensured that everyone had a computer to themselves so that the individual was free to use the machine how they wished. The introductory talk about archaeology sources was demonstrated using an LCD panel linked to an ohp and computer. This meant that the participants could see what to aim for on their own screen. To bypass any time wasting or confusion each computer was logged into the network before the participants sat down. Also, the temporary user accounts were already set up with bookmarks and a special hyperlinks file to point to the sources used (Figure 4). This made it initially easy to navigate and for time to be taken to explain the use of the web browser and explain the web concepts.
The ADS gave a short talk about their service, which YAT may want to consider using at some point. Most archaeological organisations produce digital records these days, but do not necessarily make arrangements for their curation and dissemination.
After a short lead-in lecture, where the main concepts of Internet Archaeology were explained, the participants were able to browse the Journal. Throughout the browsing time, the LCD panel was still working, and the screen was changed every now and then to a new picture or paper. Again, this gave people something to aim for, and the changes were often reflected on the participant's own screens. Whilst people browsed the speakers were on hand to answer questions or help with problems. Once or twice people had difficulties with understanding how to navigate through databases, but they soon got the hang of it when helped.
A total of ten people out of the fifteen who attended filled in the evaluation questionnaire at the end of the session. Their replies are displayed in Figure 5.
There was a positive response to the layout of the Home Page and the Table of Contents. Only one person expressed some doubts about registration, although the participants were told that they had to register and that the Journal was free. The Computing Officer was dubious as to whether beginners would overcome the obstacle of having to register. Navigation, structure and organisation of the journal were perceived well.
The illustrations did not score so well. Given that there were several people directly involved with the production of publications or illustrations, this perhaps was no surprise. In particular, one of the graphics officers had very high expectations of the images which were not met. The line drawings caused some concern, and to be utilising the Web fully it was felt that the user should be able to interrogate the object (whether drawn or photographed) from every angle. However, the maps were considered to be quite acceptable. In general, this aspect of the Journal scored quite low.
There were a range of scores for the question about preferring an e-journal to a hard copy journal. Obviously, there were mixed feelings about it, hinting at some reservations about the technology involved. However, the reaction overall was positive.
Written comments showed keen perception of the issues involved with producing an electronic journal. One person commented that the papers were for the most part not written for the Web and did not really exploit the medium. Another would have liked more pointers on how to download pictures and text as she realised that if the journal was accessed via a modem it would take a long time to read. She also wanted to be able to compare images side by side, perhaps using images from other sources. The comment was made that perhaps multi-column text might be easier to read.
In contrast to the Undergraduates, this group showed a much greater sense of what they wanted from a journal. This highlighted the need to hold workshops with other different groups of people, besides those in Higher Education, to gain further distinct perspectives.
2.1.3 Environmental Archaeology Unit Research Forum
On 30th October 1996 the Environmental Archaeology Unit (EAU) based at the University of York ran a Research Forum at The King's Manor where the Journal is based. The Journal had a paper (the Archaeobotanical Computer Database) which was of interest to the participants so a drop-in session was held at the lunch break to give participants a chance to view it. Only a few people attended, but one or two comments were made. In particular, one person said she thought it was an excellent resource, however, she would only be able to look at while she had free access to the Internet. She also observed that it would cost a lot to view the paper via a modem.
2.2 Access statistics
The Journal displays its web statistics at: http://intarch.ac.uk/news/accesstats.html. To give a broad idea of the statistics for the Journal, see below examples of daily, monthly and part of the domain statistics as at July 1st 1997:
Domain Report as at 1st July 1997, showing a small section of domains that host the Journal
The statistics are linked into the Journal's web pages so that any reader can view it. The statistics from the server have been closely examined in Alan Vince's paper that was given at the CAA 1997 conference in Birmingham and then published in Internet Archaeology, Issue 3 (http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue3/vince_index.html).
The number of registered readers is displayed on the Home Page for each issue of the Journal. In July 1997 the Journal reached a total of 3,600 registered readers.
It is clear that a particular advantage of an electronic journal over a printed journal is that the number of times the journal is consulted is recorded. The registered readership can be monitored for the amount of times they actually use the Journal and their habits when they do so. For example, do they browse, or concentrate on the pages and follow the structure of the paper? See Alan Vince's paper for a discussion of these questions(http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue3/vince_index.html).
2.3 Informal feedback
Informal feedback is counted as the comments, praise, criticism which are unsolicited. This arrives in various ways. The main way is via email, when contacts are made through numerous avenues - such as enquiries (often to do with electronic publishing in general) and the mailing list, intarch-interest. The following comments were received within the last 12 months:
Thanks Alan, now I have seen it I can see why I did not remember it ... it is not made up of any of my standard sequences of username/password cycles I tend to use ... this simple one was to good for me! ... well I will not forget it this time!!!! :-)
Thanks again and congratulations on such a professional site (as good a any of the
best on the www *****)
Regards [cut ...]
I am impressed by your on-line application to the field of archaeology. I have always been fascinated by the field but do to the occupation I was in never really got the time to play. Now I'm happy to say I have much more time and I'm in a place that I may get the chance to get involved in some of the fun. Being somewhat of a novice (is that an understatement) in the field, if I ask what sound like stupid questions, there not I'm just learning, but I'll take all the information you can give.
Keep up the good work and I'll be looking for to all the new information in the future.
Have a good day today and better one tomorrow!
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 666.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/
[Editorial note. I pass along the following message, addressed to registered users of Internet Archaeology, (http://intarch.york.ac.uk/), to encourage all Humanists to take a close look at this new online journal. Well worth the mouse-clicks and (if you live in Europe) also the connect charges for the local call. --WM]
iv) [cut ...]
Good morning Sandra, many thanks for the speedy reply to my request for more info re web pages. Haven't had time to look in depth at yours but first impressions are impressive. I like the scanned images-decent quality for a change. This whole field of e-publishing looks exciting, it is somewhere to publish 7000 post hole sections anyway! Will keep in touch, all the best with the next issue.
Conferences are seen as a priority to publicise the existence of the Journal and these are excellent places to receive informal feedback. One staff member was present at the Institute of Field Archaeologist's Annual conference in September 1996. Here, there were several computers available for use to demonstrate the Journal. Unfortunately, the computers were behind a glass panel, and it proved difficult to get people to come in and explore the Journal. However, any feedback received was positive. It is planned to be present at the conference again in September 1997, but a more noticeable format will be adopted in the form of a time-tabled workshop, along with the display computers.
2.4 Netguide Live Award
In February 1997 the Journal was given a Platinum Award by NetGuide which screened over 100,000 URLs and reviewed more than 50,000 sites. The Platinum Award went to only 5,000 of the Web's best sites.
This is what Netguide said about the Journal:
"Internet Archaeology, an online journal published by the University of York, features research documents of high-level, scholarly work. The seriousness of IA's purpose can be readily seen in articles from Issue One, one of which examines the uses of Geographical Information Systems and VRML in archaeological investigations. Another piece discusses excavation methodology. Researchers wishing to contribute material to IA can find guidelines here for submitting proposals. With expansive range and uncluttered design, Internet Archaeology reveals itself to be a well-documented, cleanly crafted vehicle for serious students of ancient cultures. 5 stars (out of 5) for Content and Personality and 4 stars for Design"
2.5 Steering Committee
The Steering Committee has met once since August 1996. Issues discussed, amongst other things, were the creation of a charitable trust, the creation of a worldwide editorial panel, and the changing of refereeing criteria.
2.6 Technical Panel
The Technical Panel has met on 23rd October 1996 and 21st January 1997. This Panel meets frequently due to the high technical demands of the Journal, though it is anticipated that it will meet less in the future. At present, the Panel provides advice and feedback on the introduction of new technology, such as Java applets, how papers should be cited, and the use of standards.
2.7 Editorial Board
The Editorial Board has met twice since August 1996, on 4th November 1996 and 16th April 1997. This Board discusses the broader issues of editorial policy and provides guidance on the format of new features.
2.8 Executive Committee
The Executive Committee meets on average twice a month, and is attended regularly by the Managing Editor, the Assistant Editor, the Project Director and the Project Manager. The Head of the Archaeology Department of University of York and a representative of the British Academy are also entitled to attend these meetings, but this rarely proves practical. These meetings discuss the day to day running of the Journal, and wider issues such as publicity, finances, etc. The suitability of papers for publication is discussed, and the appearance of the Journal is given close attention. This meeting is a key forum for the giving and receiving of evaluative feedback at staff level.
3.0 Integration of evaluation
The integration of feedback is an ongoing process. Questions and queries about all aspects of the Journal are constantly fed back to the various advisory bodies and considered frequently at Executive Committee meetings.
4.0 Future Plans
Further workshops are being planned. Particular user populations pinpointed for evaluation are:
Local society members: The population is likely to be older and may not be familiar with the technology involved. However, their views will be a valuable contribution, and running a workshop for this population will contribute toward culture change.
Smaller archaeological organisations: The YAT workshop involved members of a large organisation, where there specific departments covering excavation, archives, and publications. The smaller archaeological organisations are more typical of archaeological fieldworking, where staff are individually responsible for aspects of archaeological work - from excavation to archive or publication.
Post graduate students: This population will be very much concerned with research and will have particular needs. Access to the Internet will be relatively easy, and it is likely that they will be familiar with the technology
Undergraduates: The opportunity can be taken to integrate the Journal into the teaching of the undergraduates at the University of York. This will supply a useful source of feedback.
4.2 Focus groups
It is envisaged that the programme of workshops will continue for another year, so as to gain feedback from a wide cross-section of the population. From the results of the workshops, there may be further questions to concentrate on that could be best explored by focus groups. The format of these will be considered at the end of the next year.
Internet Archaeology staff will continue to promote the Journal and invite feedback at conferences in the coming year. There will be staff present at the Computer Applications in Archaeology 1998 conference in Barcelona, the Society for American Archaeology conference in Seattle, at the Institute of Field Archaeologists conference in Manchester, and at BULISC 97 in Bournemouth. Other opportunities to speak about the Journal may appear during the year.
The evaluation of the Journal is a constant process. Various avenues contribute to improving the deliverable product, and due consideration is giving to the feedback given by the various stakeholders in the project. The advisory panels provide vital ideas and comments about how to formulate the Journal. Workshops can explore how the end users approach the Journal and what they think of it. The programme of evaluation helps to keep the Journal moving forward, and stimulates change.
Web server statistics for Internet Archaeology
1 August 1996 - 31 July 1997
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