There is geographical variation in the level of what is currently being published. In England and Wales a detailed summary publication is often accepted. In Scotland fairly full publication is the norm. In the Republic of Ireland anyone who wants to excavate has to acquire a licence, the requirements for which will include the production of a full stratigraphic report for archiving along with a summary report to be published in the annual Excavations Bulletin. Northern Ireland operates a similar system, although there is no requirement to produce a full archival report.
In considering what formats would be acceptable, most favour either a brief report of the circumstances of the project, the main results and the contents and location of the archive, and/or a concise but full description of the primary data with indepth analysis and interpretation. Less popular are full description with minimal analysis; in-depth analysis with selective reference to the primary data; and provision of a synthetic, narrative history. Nevertheless, the fact that about a third of respondents selected the latter is significant, given that it marks a radical departure from the traditional model. In reporting recent/continuing work, over half favour brief reports which summarise the circumstances and objectives, the main results and the contents and location of the archive.
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Last updated: Tue Oct 21 2003