Institute of Archaeology



Publishing Power | Wed Dec 18 09:30:00 | Room 826

Publishers and editors together form one of the most powerful gate-keeping groups in archaeology and academia more broadly. In this session, we invite authors, editors and publishers to discuss the power imbalances in publishing practices, both in the current landscape of neo-liberal universities and throughout the professionalization of archaeology during the twentieth century, and to explore what measures can be employed to bring about more publishing parity. Potential topics for discussion include:

How can we ensure that under-represented groups have equal access to publishing?
What data exist to explore issues of diversity amongst e.g. authors, editorial boards, reviewers, commissioning editors etc?
What are the relationships between moves to ‘decolonise’ curricula and publishing?
Are there models and approaches in different disciplines from which archaeology might learn?

Open Access (including, but not exclusively, Plan S)
What might an Open Access future look like for archaeology?
Would an Open Access future entrench current power imbalances or bring about more equality?
Are there different sets of issues for e.g. journal and book publishing?
To what extent might this be driven by current or future REF plans?

Data sharing
Who has financial access to digital repositories such as the Archaeology Data Service?
How do issues of career precarity link to data sharing?
In what ways and to what extent are senior gate-keepers in journals playing a role in improving data sharing?

There are significant access problems around language – are there potential tech solutions to these issues?
Canon vs textbooks vs public-facing (trade) books
Who gets to write the key parts of the canon?
Are textbooks and public-facing (trade) books of more importance for wider communication of archaeology?
But under-respected within academia?
What are the relationships between publication venue, publication format, accessibility and curriculum development?
What are the power networks controlling inclusion or exclusion from reading lists?

Session timetable
9:30 | Zena Kamash, Royal Holloway University; Lisa Lodwick, University of Oxford

Publishing Power: the power nexus in 21st century academic publishing

This paper acts as an introduction to the session Publishing Power, and aims to set out the major power inequalities in contemporary publishing. Academic publishing is often veiled in secrecy, yet different actors have a range of powers over what gets published, by whom, and where. In this introduction, we will provide a brief overview of some of the key current issues in publishing, for example the impact of Plan S, the Open Access Monograph Review, UKRI and REF Open Access policies, peer-reviewing and the increasing adoption of metrics. In addition, we will reflect on data relating to some of the current inequalities in current publishing practices, relating to gender and ethnicity.

9:40 | Amara Thornton, University of Reading

Canonising Archaeology? a publishing history

In 1930 the archaeologist Stanley Casson wrote a short book for Ernest Benn's Sixpenny Library". Casson's Archaeology was part of an innovative paperback interdisciplinary series of introductory texts to various academic and popular subjects written by 'experts'. At the time, Casson was Reader in Archaeology at Oxford University, but also a writer and burgeoning radio broadcaster. Casson's text shows the integration of the discipline and profession of archaeology into public cultural and intellectual life. Drawing on research for Archaeologists in Print: Publishing for the People, this paper will examine the history of popular archaeology publishing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of critical development in and institutionalisation of archaeology. It will present some of the key publishers who worked with archaeologists to produce texts and series that aimed to capture and 'canonise' archaeological research for a wide audience. It will explore the role of genres and forms of publishing – from books to serials and periodicals – to evaluate the modes by which archaeology was communicated. The paper will argue that in order to understand the structure of archaeology's literary 'canons', one must look beyond scholarly journals and publishers and see a wider history of communication. In order to construct more inclusive canons for the future, we should acknowledge and learn from those that existed in the past.

10:00 | Andrew Reinhard, American Numismatic Society

How to Publish Original Archaeological Research without Paying Open Access Fees

As more academic journals appear as online-only or have an online digital edition, the more opportunities there are for scholars to publish their work as Open Access, breaking down barriers such as paywalls, embargo periods, and access limited to those privileged with either institutional access or the ability to either receive or purchase print editions of the work at the time of publication. Unfortunately, many journals (or the companies that publish them) either refuse to offer articles as Open Access, or charge authors fees to cover the cost of production thereby recovering imagined lost revenue. Charging authors to publish their work in a Tier 1 or 2 peer-reviewed journal is both immoral and unnecessary and runs counter to one core mission of research: to publish it as quickly as possible to as wide an audience as possible. Publishers can do better, and authors have a choice on where and how to publish their work without having to pay for it out of their own pockets.

For ten years as the publisher of both the American Numismatic Society and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, I have been able to publish archaeological research as Open Access without charging authors anything and without losing revenue. My presentation will explain to publishers how to do this and will show authors how to negotiate for no-fee Open Access publication, destroying the power imbalance between the publisher and the published.

10:20 | Leah Hewerdine, Royal Holloway

Breaking down the barriers in grey literature and publications

Public outreach with developer-funded sites is not standard practice and, as a result, the only information potentially available to the interested onlooker is the final site report or publication. Government policy on the Historic Environment prescribes that preservation by record is the agreed alternative to preservation in situ for developer-funded archaeology and the National Planning Policy Framework requires that these records be made publicly accessible (DCLG 2018, p.56.199). These unpublished client reports, aka ‘grey literature’, certainly fulfil government policy requirements but are not written with a wider audience in mind. Grey literature is freely available, however, online and via the Archaeology Data Service. These reports may be too technical in language and presentation for multiple publics and published material, such as monographs, pose similar issues. This can further sever the public from engaging with their local historical landscape. Previous research has found that there is widespread dissatisfaction among archaeologists with grey literature reports and publications (Jones et al., 1999), but there has been little research into how the public engage with this material. I have conducted focus groups with multiple publics to investigate the barriers that exist within grey literature and publications that effect understanding, engagement and enjoyment. This paper will discuss these findings and suggest what measures can be taken to remove these barriers and improve accessibility for multiple publics.

Department for Communities and Local Government. (2018) The National Planning Policy Framework. London
Jones, S. et al. (1999) ‘From the Ground Up: The publication of archaeological projects’, https://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue14/4/concsum.html

10:40 | Usama Gad, Ain Shams University

Eurocentrism In Print And Digital Papyrology: Decolonizing A Troubled Archive And A Narrative Of Knowledge And Power

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the founders of papyrology built a massive archive of Egyptian papyri to support their research and teaching with original artefacts. The dispersed collections of these papyri is, to me as an Egyptian scholar of Greco-Roman Egypt, a troubled archive with a complex legacy of imperialism and colonialism. Building upon my experience over the past two decades at the leading Egyptian institution in this field i.e. Ain Shams University in Cairo and using print and digital specific samples from this archive, I will seek to explore and to illustrate some of the papyrological scholarly injustices visible in archaeology and modern academia, such as Eurocentrism, marginalization of underrepresented groups scholars and scholarship invisibility. The case of Egypt and the Egyptians in this regard is extremely illuminating and telling. Theoretically and practically, the epistemological dilemma of papyrology is too clear to be ignored. While the body of knowledge in this discipline was, and to a larger degree still is, produced by Western individuals and institutions of higher education and culture, its archive is an Egyptian archive of historical documents. National societies both sides of the globe became recently extremely critical of the contaminated body of knowledge produced in this field, of the injustices of imperialism, colonialism, nationalism and of Eurocentric narrative of the human past. The result is a fierce struggle for financial recourses and for existence, in which only individuals and institutions committed to public (and global) access to education and knowledge will survive.

11:00 | Elizabeth Brophy, John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Thinking about Open Research: Accessibility, Transparency, and Impact

Open Access has been a key talking point in academic research for the last twenty years, but in the past 12 months has come to dominate the conversation. Despite this apparent focus, it is important to remember that many scholars are not familiar with the context of OA, and that it is only one very prominent spoke in a larger wheel that is better termed Open Science or Open Research.

Open Research is a wider concept that encompasses not only Article Publication (Open Access) but also Data, Peer Review, Collaboration, and Tools. In this talk, I propose to contextualise Open Access within Open Research and outline the developments happening now in the journal publishing landscape. I will also discuss the future development of Open Research in scholarly communications and specifically think about what this might mean for the varying disciplines within the Archaeological community.

11:20 | BREAK
11:50 | Daniel Stansbie, Cotswold Archaeology

Open access, open data, open standards (?): sharing data generated through developer funded archaeology in the United Kingdom

The last decade in British archaeology has seen an increasing overlap between developer funded and academic archaeology with the development of the so called ‘ big data’ projects, which have used huge amounts of developer funded data to develop groundbreaking new syntheses, particularly for the Roman period. It now seems to be almost universally accepted that ‘big data’ has been a good thing and that the future of developer funded data must be open access. However, behind the scenes there is still a good deal of disagreement over how this open access future is to be achieved; for example, whether through bespoke databases hosted on websites such as the ADS, or through the uploading of grey literature reports without supporting data to the websites of individual organisations. Should data standards be enforced? And if so how? Through the peer review of supporting data sets? Or should we all just learn to live with ‘characterful data’ – relying on future, yet to be realized machine learning algorithms to make our data sets talk to each other? This paper will explore some of these issues using a ‘big data’ case study developed as part of the English Landscapes and Identities Project and comparing this to the speaker’s experience of generating data within a large developer funded commercial practice.

12:10 | Meredith Carroll, Manchester University Press; Daniel Stansbie, Cotswold Archaeology; Luiseach Nic Eoin, Nature; Leah Hewerdine, Royal Holloway; Andrew Reinhard, American Numismatic Society

Panel discussion

13:00 | END