[Internet Archaeology]

Internet Archaeology: Data Papers

Updated December 2017 by Judith Winters

Sometimes the level of recognition gained from depositing archaeological research data with an accredited repository is limited, so in an attempt to redress this, Internet Archaeology is working with several trusted repositories, including ADS, tDAR and Open Context, to establish a series of published, peer-reviewed 'data papers'. You have put a lot of effort into creating your data and a data paper allows you to get credit for it, to publicise and share it with the community.

What is a Data Paper?

Data paper examples

A data paper is a short, peer-reviewed publication that is designed to raise awareness of a dataset and its re-use potential. A data paper describes the contents of a dataset (already or soon to be deposited with an accredited repository* and available for re-use), the methods used to create that dataset and, most importantly, what further avenues of research are possible. Data papers and data journals are gaining much traction across the science community at the moment and we acknowledge JOAD which has blazed the trail for archaeology data papers.

A data paper is an extension of the 'integrated publication' model IA has been developing with ADS since our very earliest issues, integrating data within the article narrative. It differs in that the article is much shorter (and so able to be published more quickly), and in that it explicitly credits the referee and makes their comments available to all. This feature is particularly helpful if you are looking for a dissertation or research topic as the referee statement points out potential areas of future research. A data paper may be used to complement and enhance a related IA publication or help add context to a standalone archive.

The main points that define a data paper are:

* ADS, tDAR and Open Context. Other trusted repositories will be added in due course.

How do I publish a data paper?

  1. You will have deposited or be in the process of depositing your dataset with an accredited repository*
  2. Contact the IA Editor to indicate your intention to submit a data paper and await acceptance in principle
  3. Write/rework your data paper structured as per the template below (many sections may overlap with the metadata already required by the repository). We do not envisage data papers being any longer than c.2000 words.
  4. Send your text to the IA editor: editor@intarch.ac.uk

What does the journal do?

The IA editor will arrange the peer review of the dataset described in your data paper. The editor will then arrange the copy-editing, formatting of the data paper, and its digital preservation. The editor will also organise and implement the cross-links between publication and archive, assign a DOI and co-ordinate publicity.

What if changes are required?

Where a dataset has not yet been deposited in an archive and where a data review indicates corrections should be made to the data, the IA editor will liaise with the author in order to ensure appropriate changes/notifications are dealt with. Where errors are identified in data already deposited with the archive and which cannot be dealt with in the data paper itself, the depositor may wish to liaise with the archive directly but should be aware that a revised archive is usually treated as a new deposit and charged accordingly.

The Template

A data paper is a statement on the content, context and the re-use potential of your data and should be structured using the following sections.

  1. Title
  2. Authorship (including contact details, and ORCID identifier)
  3. DOI of deposited dataset
  4. Content of the dataset
  5. Background to the dataset – include context, main aims/objectives of the dataset (and/or project) and general data methodology
  6. Summary description (if required e.g. if dataset is excavation data)
  7. Scope (incl. period terms or dates/geographical context. You should also note any data 'gaps'/what is not covered)
  8. Future work and Re-use Potential of the dataset e.g. avenues of possible further analysis, integration with other datasets etc.
  9. Details of how the dataset relates to other publications/archives (including physical archives)
  10. References
  11. Acknowledgements and Funding Statement. State either "This work was supported by the xxxxxxx [grant number xxxx]" or where work was not funded by any specific project grant, please use the following "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors."

All data paper submissions and queries should be sent to the IA editor: editor@intarch.ac.uk

What does it cost?

We charge a fixed fee of £250 plus VAT (or $/€ equivalent). This figure allows us to cover all the required editorial and technical work including cross-linking and digital preservation. Invoicing will be arranged following a successful referee stage. Costs can often be covered by your research grant, a departmental research award, or via institutional block grant for APCs (Author Processing Charges). Fees are reviewed annually.

Authors should be aware that all digital archives will have their own deposit procedures, licences and/or charges that will lie outside the journal's control. Authors should consider the impact such requirements may have on timing and planning of their data paper.


Internet Archaeology is an open access journal. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI.
University of York legal statements | Terms and Conditions | Citing IA