Judith Winters *

Cite this as: Winters, J. 2003 Editorial, Internet Archaeology 13. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.13.8


The first article to be published in this issue was a research article by Symonds and Ling on concepts of time and travel in early medieval England. The authors focus on the production and consumption of artefacts, specifically pottery, in Anglo-Scandinavian Lincolnshire and used approximations of distance based on road and river routes, as well as the estimations of the time it took to travel along those routes during the early medieval period, to analyse the pottery distribution in Lincolnshire. An interesting element of the publication was the inclusion of a 'Java' map interface designed by the authors which mimics the interactive abilities of a GIS and allows readers to investigate the patterns of data for themselves.

The other articles in this issue could be termed technical papers and their focus is more on the tools and methods of analysis. Very different in scope, they range from software developed for recording animal bones (Harland et al.), to the recording of human bones (Roksandic) to Internet software developed for radiocarbon wiggle-matching (Christen) and making internet resources interoperable (Fernie). In retrospect, the underlying theme of all of these articles is the importance of standards in exploring from the same platform a variety of data and information. It is something of a truism these days to acknowledge the burdgeoning wealth of digital data, but implementing standards in our tools and methods of analysis is of such obvious importance. We are bound to see more developments in these fields but the articles published here take up the challenge. As the tools and methods described are adopted, they will surely form the solid foundations of future archaeological investigation.

Behind the scenes: marketing and a new subscription model

Internet Archaeology has recently been successful in a bid to the University of York's Proof of Principle (POP) Fund for help in market research and the technical enabling of a new subscription model - a further step in turning the journal into a fully self-financing operation.

Currently Internet Archaeology offers subscriptions on the basis of annual 'packages' of two issues and subscribers (both institutional and individual) have permanent access to the issues they buy. The POP support will help to fund the marketing of the journal but will also enable the development of a 'pay-per-article' subscription system. The subject of pay-per-article opens up a further series of technical and commercial models as well as new prospective institutional marketing areas for the journal, such as Schools, Further Education and Public Libraries, where perhaps budgets for purchasing entire issues may not be available. It also will have an impact on individual subscriptions when students, researchers and interested amateurs will get the opportunity for cheaper access to specific journal articles. I will keep you posted on how things develop in this area over the coming months. All announcements will be posted to the intarch-interest list.

Behind the scenes: technical

Changing hardware and software is an ongoing and core issue to face when it comes to electronic publishing. Internet Archaeoolgy is currently undertaking migration of the many interactive article datasets from MySQL into Oracle and Cold Fusion middleware. Of course this work only affects the underlying technology delivering the datasets - the content is not altered in the slightest during this work. The articles whose databases have been migrated so far include: Tomlinson and Hall (issue 1), Perkins (issue 4), Polfer and Thiel (issue 4), Wickham-Jones and Dalland (issue 5), Vollbrecht (issue 8) and Steptoe (issue 11). The rest of work is scheduled to be completed during the next couple of months and I am happy to report that once again no real problems are being encountered.

This is the fifth time a major migration of the software or hardware used to serve the journal has been undertaken. This work serves as a clear demonstration that without active curation and migration, electronic journals that offer up the variety of data and non-text elements that Internet Archaeology does simply cannot be published and left, but that they must be actively maintained and supported (by real people) throughout their lifetime. My thanks go to Jo Clarke and Tony Austin from the Archaeology Data Service for all the technical support they provide to the journal.

Behind the scenes: people

We waved a fond farewell to Maureen Poulton our administrator in September 2002 who left for pastures new to do a History degree. Maureen was with Internet Archaeology since the early eLib days and was an essential and invaluable contributor to many journal matters. She made an especially great job of getting journal subscriptions off the ground. Donna Page is the journal's new administrator. Donna has extensive experience working in the HE sector and was programme adminstrator for the Virtual Society? programme. Donna works for one day a week on journal matters (she works for the Archaeology Data Service for the other four). It was always going to be a difficult task but Donna has almost seamlessly taken over from Maureen and we all enjoy having her around the office. Welcome Donna!

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Last updated: Fri Apr 11 2003