3.2 Information policy in development-led archaeology

Note 5: There are exceptions to this process, for example if the expected cost for a survey is limited to a certain amount the procurement process may be omitted.

Swedish development-led archaeology is regulated by the Heritage Conservation Act (SFS 1988:950) and executed by the CABs in each Swedish county (21, as of March 2015). DL archaeology is organised as a service market. Land developers have a responsibility to consult CABs in advance in order to determine whether a planned project might involve a site of historical interest. If the project involves such a site, but the CAB still judge the area to be appropriate for land development, the CAB starts a procurement process. Archaeological firms, foundations, and authorities compete on the tenders on economic and scientific criteria with the winner getting to undertake the survey (Note 5). DL archaeology surveyors report to the CABs in accordance with 'scientific principles'. Finds are deposited at a regional or national museum, depending on the type of finds and the Swedish History Museum's deposition decision (SFS 1988:950).

Note 6: This analysis is limited to section 8.1 'Rapportering' (sub-sections 8.1.3 and 8.1.4 excluded), pp. 99-106. The guidelines for DL archaeology from 2012 still refer to the previous version of the Heritage Conservation Act [Swed. Kulturminneslagen]. In the new Heritage Conservation Act (SFS 1988:950) [Swed. Kulturmiljölagen] DL archaeology is covered in the same paragraphs (10-13 §§), with several additions, however (SFS 2013:548, Law on changes of law (1988:950) concerning cultural heritage etc.).
Note 7: An evaluation of the current enforcement regulations from 2007 was published 2012 (Riksantikvarieämbetet 2012b). New enforcement regulations are scheduled (by 16 March 2015) to be issued 1 July 2015. New guidelines for DL archaeology will follow.
Note 8: Additional instructions for completion of specific forms are issued by the National Heritage Board. These instructions are outside the scope of this study.

The Swedish Government has delegated to the National Heritage Board the power to issue enforcement rules (KRFS 2007:2), which further detail the application of the heritage legislation. Additionally the National Heritage Board publishes guidelines for the implementation of the Heritage Conservation Act (Riksantikvarieämbetet 2012c) (Note 6). The enforcement rules are judicially binding whereas the guidelines are not. Even though the guidelines are not binding de jure, we have included them in this analysis since they are more recent and more detailed, and provide an additional level of interpretation of the (in a strict sense) judicially binding enforcement rules (Note 7). The guidelines mention surveyors (DL archaeology professionals) and 'other interested readers' (our translation) as target groups for the guidelines (Riksantikvarieämbetet 2012c, 7). The guidelines also go into further detail on how DL archaeology should be undertaken, from permit applications to the reporting of completed surveys (Note 8). Those involved in the guidelines are the National Heritage Board and the CABs, which implement the heritage legislation on a regional level. Information preservation institutions are also involved as receivers, both the ones receiving the 'full' survey documentation and the institutions receiving the mandatory deposits.

The articulations of information policy in the guideline text focus on the creation of documentation. The concept 'reporting' is defined (section 8.1), and the text also expounds on the importance of the forms and the quality of documentation in order for it to achieve its goal: to give stakeholders 'meaningful knowledge' (our transl.) (sections 8.1; 8.1.1). In addition, the documentation is decreed to serve as a basis for synthesising research, a role used as an argument for standardisation (section 8.1.2). Reports should also function as pointers to source materials such as literature, maps, objects, and laboratory reports (section 8.1.2).

Note 9: FMIS is the National Heritage Board's heritage information system [Swed. Riksantikvarieämbetets fornminnesinformationssystem Fornsök]. The FMIS form is used to collect information on a survey for registration in FMIS.

CABs oversee report quality principally by specifying requests for documentation in contracts, and then following up on how surveyors fulfil these requests (section 8.1). The primary means for the surveyors to ensure the quality of the documentation is to report their findings (beyond the mandatory FMIS form (Note 9), survey documentation, and report) according to the needs of their selected target groups e.g. by producing journal articles, anthologies or monographs for researchers; public lectures, guided tours or newspaper articles for a public audience (section 8.1). The guidelines advise the contractors to produce a reporting plan and, if necessary, to revise it after the survey (section 8.1). The guidelines also emphasise how the quality requirements also encompass oral presentations and images (8.1.2).

Note 10: For archiving in Antikvarisk-Topografiska arkivet (ATA).

One section of the guidelines focuses on distribution, publication, and dissemination. Survey documentation (Swed. 'basdokumentation', e.g. maps, drawings, images, lab. results) only needs to be sent to preservation institutions in the case of an excavation (Swed. 'särskild undersökning'). For desk-based assessments and field assessments (Swed. 'särskild utredning' and 'arkeologisk förundersökning') only the reports are required. The materials should be sent as print and digital (PDF) copies to the CAB, the land developer, the regional museum and the National Heritage Board (Note 10) (section 8.1.5). The 'shall' (Swed. 'ska') in the guideline text has the status of a strong recommendation, but is not a mandatory principle.

CABs, regional museums (when operated as government authorities) and the National Heritage Board are, as government authorities, subject to national directives for record-keeping (Swed. 'diarieföring') in accordance with the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (SFS 2009:400). However, the general record-keeping of authorities differs from the principles of the preservation of documentation for cultural heritage and research purposes. The records of government authorities may be removed after appraisal in accordance with the Archives Act (SFS 1990:782), based on the evaluation of the records for organisational purposes and with respect to their value to cultural heritage and for research. For each DL archaeology undertaking, the CAB should therefore designate an archive to be responsible for keeping the material for these purposes.

The long-term preservation of part of the materials is ensured by mandatory deposits of printed reports to the National Library of Sweden, six specified university libraries and the National Parliament Library (section 8.1.5). It is important to note that the Law Requiring Mandatory Deposits (SFS 1993:1392) is narrower than the guidelines directing surveyors to send documentation to the CAB, the land developer, the regional museum, and the National Heritage Board. The mandatory deposit requirement is that one copy of each printed text or document intended to be disseminated should be sent to each of the depository institutions. Hence, depending on the interpretation by the surveyor, the mandatory deposit may include reports but not any additional survey documentation. The implication of these guidelines is, at least hypothetically, that the 'full' documentation of archaeological investigations is submitted to institutions that are not required to keep the documentation. The reports, and the selection of survey documentation represented therein, are hence, through the Law Requiring Mandatory Deposits (SFS 1993:1392), the documents with the best outlook for long-term preservation.

Articulations regarding digital formats and information channels are issued in the context of dissemination. The guidelines advise surveyors to disseminate reports in digital format (specified as PDF) as a complement to paper reports, and emphasise that disseminated files should be of good quality (section 8.1.5). Notably, more specific guidelines for the digital DL archaeology information are to be found in an appendix on guidelines for archiving (Riksantikvarieämbetet 2012a). The characteristics of the digital information thus appear to be more pressing in the archiving situation than with regard to use and users' comprehension. Further, surveyors' websites are considered valuable channels for information dissemination and communication ('to create dialogue', our translation, p.105) (section 8.1.5) and implies a readership beyond those immediately involved in the survey process.

In summary, the guidelines describe information policy on creation (sections 8.1, 8.1.1, 8.1.2), dissemination (sections 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.5) and preservation (section 8.1.5). The guidelines also operate on a meta-level, giving directions about the planning for and evaluation of documentation (sections 8.1, 8.1.2). The policy specifications are a mix of practical suggestions, reminders of legal requirements (e.g. about the mandatory deposits) and sentences such as:

Reporting from a survey should be usable now and in the future. The best materials and methods for preservation should be used for reports and documentation aimed to be preserved. (Riksantikvarieämbetet 2012c, section 8.1.5, p.105, our transl.)

These types of formulations do not give directions for specific measures (other than to use the best materials and methods), but appeals to professionals, often working in corporate for-profit organisations, to implement an affordable best practice.