The Finishing Touches

The Fife Ness paper has all of the usual additions of a paper publication: acknowledgments and references and so on, but it also has one or two extras. Because it may well be read by people who are not familiar with the mesolithic and lithic technology, a glossary has been included. In future this should be unnecessary as new papers can link back to glossaries in earlier publications. The development of a European electronic archaeological glossary with which RCAHMS is involved may also render individual glossaries redundant.

Links were also added to related Web pages that deal with mesolithic material. Thus, readers of the Fife Ness Report can access other mesolithic papers in electronic publications like 'assemblage', and they can visit museums with related displays such as the Kilmartin House Museum. In addition, links were provided to Canmore and other Scottish archaeological institutions.

Finally, it is possible to download a version of the text. This takes some time, but it does mean that individual readers can print out their own copy of the paper. The paper copy obviously lacks the elements of the Internet version, such as the animated map and the ability to query the catalogue, but it does provide the basic text and it is clearly very important for those people who wish to make use of a publication over and over again. Few people would wish to have to access Internet Archaeology every time they need to check a minor point. Thus, the Fife Ness paper can also fill a space on a bookshelf, and be passed to friends, even where the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal does not reach. This download was a requirement of the funding body, Historic Scotland, who wished to have something concrete for their money. It is an interesting measure of how hard we find it to measure publication 'in the ether', but I think it is a valuable addition to the electronic paper and one which future publishers might consider as a standard. Much discussion has been generated by the recent considerations of electronic publication in Internet Archaeology 6, and the problem of the way in which funders measure 'value for money' in discernible pages has been brought up by Walker (email communication) amongst others. The use of standard downloads would solve this problem as well as providing citable page references for those who wished. In the future, enterprising Internet publishers may even provide cheap binders with their own logo for readers who wish to make paper copies.


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Last updated: Mon Sept 6 1999