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A couple of things came down the RSS pipe today that seemed well worth a comment.

The first, courtesy of Lisa Spiro, is a nice piece of research which perfectly illustrates the point I made in the Athens Paper: New Media sources (in this case, Wikipedia) look set to increasingly compete with traditional ones, even in academia. Why and what this might mean for the future are things she discusses in a thoughtful and interesting post.

This makes it all the more encouraging that Internet Archaeology are once again using the power of their format to do something interesting. The beauty of a Web resource is that they can mash up their own content to make it easier for users to find just what they want – something particularly valuable in a journal with such a wide remit. In this case they’ve gathered together all their Roman papers, but they say it’s “the first of what we hope to be many themed content pages”. I certainly hope so too :-) But hey, that’s still only broken down by themes that the IA editorial committee find interesting. How about a Tag cloud of keywords? or even (whisper it low) community tagging…?

Oh, and two other niggles, guys: 1) Breaking papers into sections is fine for the web but a real drag when all you want to do is print it out and read it over a cup of tea. Surely a PDF download is easy to create for most of the articles? 2) Like a lot of other folks, Zotero RDF has revolutionised my citing. Or at least it has for IT texts – one search, one click and I have all the details. Sadly, Archaeology has lumbered along behind as ever and I almost inevitably have to type in citations by hand. Perhaps IA could lead the way in this too? Don’t take this as a whinge though – you’re still my favourite Arch/IT journal :-)

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3 Comments

  1. Hey, it’s OK for you academics… some of us don’t get free access to Internet Archaeology!

  2. An extremely relevant point. Which is why even more imagination on IA’s part cld make it the first _open_ peer-reviewed internet journal in archaeology. Now that really would be something. Alternatively, us academics can sit back and scratch our heads in wonder at just how it is that Wikipedia marches remorselessly on… (hint: they have a non-discriminatory readership policy)

  3. I’d echo Jo’s important point – Internet Archaeology is expensive! At nearly £40 per volume that’s beyond what most non-academic archaeologists (i.e. most archaeologists..) can afford.

    I used to enjoy reading it when I was at university, but there’s no chance of that now.

    And so the cycle continues…


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