Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 663–681

Other People’s Data: A Demonstration of the Imperative of Publishing Primary Data

  • Levent Atici
  • Sarah Whitcher Kansa
  • Justin Lev-Tov
  • Eric C. Kansa


This study explores issues in using data generated by other analysts. Three researchers independently analyzed an orphaned, decades-old zooarchaeological dataset and then compared their analytical approaches and results. Although they took a similar initial approach to determine the dataset’s suitability for analysis, the three researchers generated markedly different interpretive conclusions. In examining how researchers use legacy data, this paper highlights interpretive issues, data integrity concerns, and data documentation needs. In order to meet these needs, we propose greater professional recognition for data dissemination, favoring models of “data publication” over “data sharing” or “data archiving.”


Data integrity Blind test Faunal analysis Legacy data 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Levent Atici
    • 1
  • Sarah Whitcher Kansa
    • 2
  • Justin Lev-Tov
    • 3
  • Eric C. Kansa
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.The Alexandria Archive InstituteSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Statistical Research, Inc.RedlandsUSA
  4. 4.School of InformationUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations