This is a pretty interesting idea. What would it entail taking arXiv as a role model?
What is arXiv?
Like SSRN, arXiv is a digital repository. They are both examples of Green OA — a type of open access where authors deposit versions of their work so that they can be accessed by readers for free. What version of an article makes it into the repository depends on which publisher you’re working with, but almost all of them allow authors to deposit the original submission: no peer review, no mark-up, no type setting. Others are more generous, a few even allow the post-print to be deposited. It just depends, if you want to go Green do some research on your publisher’s homepage or ask a company rep.
Green OA is frequently contrasted with Gold OA, where the author submits to a journal that makes the final product available to readers for free, examples include HAU and Cultural Anthropology. Again, there is great diversity among Gold OA publishers just as there is among Green repositories but we’re not getting into that here.
arXiv is Green OA, it is a pre-print repository but of a particular kind. If you’re at an elite or second tier R1 you probably already have access to a repository through your institution. However many of these institutional repositories (IRs) share a common problem, faculty participation is low. Some universities have attempted to address this with OA mandates, but this is not always sufficient to change faculty behavior. People are really busy, or maybe they don’t see the value in access. Perhaps they think someone else will do it for them, or are mistaken about their author’s rights. For whatever reason many people who can go Green choose not to.
The generally poor showings for institutional repositories has lead some in the digital libraries field to argue that IRs are not the way forward for Green OA. Instead they anticipate that disciplinary repositories (DRs), sometimes called subject repositories, will be more successful. Perhaps in our neoliberal world faculty are less tied to their institution than their discipline? Both SSRN and arXiv are DRs. Continue reading →
This post is part of this month’s analog/digital series and the second post discussing my work as an archaeological illustrator in relation to analogue and digital media. In the previous post I outlined my mostly analogue workflow with some digital skeuomorphs and explored the differences between illustration and 3D modeling. Here I’d like to share some ways I’ve recently expanded my use of the digital in my workflow and explored a constructive interplay between the digital and analogue.
I am the site illustrator for Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic archaeological site in Turkey. I started working there in 1999 as an archaeobotanist, and since 2007 I’ve been the project’s illustrator. Every summer I spend about two months drawing artifacts and recording on-site features. Over the years I’ve seen the project transition from entirely analogue recording to a mix of digital and analogue, until it has become almost entirely digital in some trenches. At this point the project employs tablets, laser scanners, and even drones. Dr. Maurizio Forte’s team from Duke University and Dr. Nicoló Dell’Unto from Lund University have spent the last several years testing these digital technologies on site. Until recently my work has mostly been unaffected by this transition to digital, I’ve carried on with my analogue workflow on a parallel track (see my earlier post for some advantages to analogue media in illustration). But over the last couple years several situations have arisen where I have had to re-evaluate my approach and consider integrating some of these new digital methods.
For example, this past summer I was tasked with illustrating a large, fragile lump of molded plaster in the shape of a head with painted ochre designs. I sat in front of the head with all my drawing tools laid out, picked up my pencil, and stopped. The plaster feature had already been 3D modeled by Dr. Dell’Unto and photographed by site photographer Jason Quinlan from every angle. What was my analogue pencil and paper drawing going to record that these other digital methods hadn’t already? Why illustrate?
The photo was taken at the dawn of the new year, 2016. It is a snapshot taken at a home in Islington, North London. I was using my old BlackBerry, which I prefer to a touch phone. It captures, albeit in a grainy style, a generational dynamic. The child is mediating the moment of Big Ben chiming, not just through he television, but capturing it on his smartphone. The woman, my generation, is peering through the window. She is about to open it to hear the fireworks of celebration over the Thames a short drive away. I am working constantly with the dance of technologies fading, disappearing, and resurging. And a quest for authenticity. This photo captures something of my own sense of time passing, through the filter of technology.
Christine Finn is a journalist, writer, and creative archaeologist. She has written and presented on computers as archaeology since 2000, when serendipity led her to San Jose, California. Her book, “Artifacts: an archaeologist’s year in Silicon Valley”, on the material culture of the dotcom boom and bust, was published by MIT Press in 2001, and is now an ebook. She is author the author of “Past Poetic: archaeology in the poetry of WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney (Duckworth) and her authorised biography of Jacquetta Hawkes, a 20 year literary excavation, will be published in the summer. She has also contributed to the Sunday Times, Guardian, Wired, BBC, and Edge.org. As an artist she has made site-specific works in the UK, Italy, and the US, and received seven Arts Council England funding awards. She is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Reuter Inst for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.
I am an archaeological illustrator and in this post, as part of this month’s analog/digital series, I’d like to discuss my work in relation to analogue and digital media. My job includes recording on-site features, drawing artifacts, and creating reconstruction illustrations of architecture, people, and activities. I also help researchers think through their data and raise new questions during the illustration process. Until recently I would have considered my illustration practice wholly analogue. I feel most comfortable working with pencil, paint, and paper. When I first started producing archaeological illustrations (about 10 years ago), the only digital part of my workflow was at the end, scanning my hand drawn images and cleaning them up in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for eventual publication. The image below is an example of this process.
Since then, there has been a gradual creep of the digital into my workflow. I now continually switch back forth between analogue and digital methods when making an illustration. After an initial sketch by hand, I scan the image, then play with the composition digitally, perhaps print it out again and draw on top of my print, scan it again, etc. I continue this back-and-forth until I have a preliminary drawing that I am happy with and that incorporates any comments or corrections from my clients. I’ll then complete the final art in an analogue medium with digital details and final flourishes. This combination of analogue and digital production is fairly straightforward, a skeuomorph of strictly analogue processes.
Archaeology has a long tradition of using visual representations to depict the past. For most of its history, images were done by hand and based on artistic skills and conventions. But the last fifteen years, we have witnessed 3D models take over archaeological visualization. It is interesting to note that while hand-drawn depictions tend to show human figures and seem to be associated with scenes of “daily life”, virtual reconstructions mostly show architectural remains and public spaces, usually devoid of people and objects. Yet, authors state that their intention is to represent the past.
My field of research is what we now call Virtual Archaeology, but I started investigating when we still talked about “VR applications in Archaeology”. I have seen it become mainstream and evolve; and I wonder why after almost twenty years of technological improvements and theoretical debate, virtual reconstructions are still empty. Especially in comparison with drawings. Do the virtual and the physical have implicitly different goals? Are they subject to different perceptions or expectations by researchers and/or audiences? Have they received different historical influences? Maybe technological capacities still play a role?
This is the first in a series of posts, coordinated with Colleen Morgan, on the relations between analog and digital cultures. Over the next month, through the contributions of a variety of archaeologists, we will explore the concept of materiality in an age where the nature of ‘the material’ is rapidly shifting. How do physical materials and digital materials shape one another? How does experimentation with the digital rethink the dimensions of the analog, and vice versa? How, if at all, do we distinguish between one and the other – and is this even necessary (or possible) today? How have our understandings of ‘the real’ – of ‘things’ and ‘facts’ – of presence and the body – of aura and authenticity – been shifted by interactions between physical and digital materials?
As the premiere scholars of materiality, archaeologists are well-versed in the continuities between, and changes to, artifacts. Here, we probe their boundaries through discussion of our engagements at the intersections of the analog and the digital. I begin with some critical comments on mobile apps: oft enrolled in visitor experiences at archaeology and heritage sites, are these digital tools actually valuable?