Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 663–681 | Cite as

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

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

Abstract

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.”

Keywords

Data integrity Blind test Faunal analysis Legacy data 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Abbas Alizadeh (University of Chicago) for making this dataset publicly available and encouraging our use of these data. We also note that this study would not have been possible without Jane Wheeler’s original analysis, and her contribution is recognized in Open Context, where a copy of these data is published and archived. We wish to acknowledge and thank three anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved the presentation and the strength of this paper. This study is part of a broader endeavor exploring user needs in archaeological data sharing, carried out by the Alexandria Archive Institute and funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership program.

References

  1. Alizadeh, A. (2008). Chogha Mish II: The development of a prehistoric regional center in lowland Susiana, Southwestern Iran. Final report on the last six seasons of excavations, 1972–1978. Chicago, Illinois: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications volume 130.Google Scholar
  2. Amorosi, T., Woollett, J., Perdikaris, S., & McGovern, T. (1996). Regional zooarchaeology and global change: Problems and potentials. World Archaeology, 28, 126–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atici, L., Lev-Tov, J., & Kansa, S. W. (2010). Chogha Mish fauna (overview). (Released 2010-08-24), in: Atici, L., Lev-Tov, J., Kansa, S.W. (eds.), Open context. <http://opencontext.org/projects/497ADEAD-0C2A-4C62-FEEF-9079FB09B1A5>. California Digital Library Identifier <ark:/28722/k2v97zq9g>.
  4. Carraway, L. N. (2011). On preserving knowledge. American Midland Naturalist, 166, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chaplin, R. E. (1971). The study of animal bones from archaeological sites. London: Seminar Press.Google Scholar
  6. Clutton-Brock, J. (1975). A system for the retrieval of data relating to animal remains from archaeological sites. In A. T. Clason (Ed.), Archaeozoological studies (pp. 21–34). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  7. Costello, M. J. (2009). Motivating online publication of data. BioScience, 59, 418–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis, S. (1987). The archaeology of animal bones. London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Driver, J. C. (1991). Identification, classification and zooarchaeology. Circaea, 9, 35–47.Google Scholar
  10. Gamble, C. (1978). Optimising information from studies of faunal remains. In J. F. Cherry, C. Gamble, & S. Shennan (Eds.), Sampling in contemporary British Archaeology (pp. 321–353). Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  11. Gobalet, K. W. (2001). A critique of faunal analysis; inconsistency among experts in blind tests. Journal of Archaeological Science, 28, 377–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grigson, C. (1978). Towards a blueprint for animal bone reports in archaeology. In D. Brothwell, K. D. Thomas, & J. Clutton-Brock (Eds.), Research problems in zooarchaeology (pp. 121–128). London: University of London.Google Scholar
  13. Harley, D., Acord, S. K., Earl-Novell, S., Lawrence, S., & King, C. J. (2010). Assessing the future landscape of scholarly communication: An exploration of faculty values and needs in seven disciplines. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/15x7385g (accessed October 7, 2010).
  14. Hesse, B., & Wapnish, P. (1985). Animal bone archaeology: From objectives to analysis. Manuals on archaeology 5. Washington: Taraxacum.Google Scholar
  15. Kansa, E. C. (2010). Open context in context: Cyberinfrastructure and distributed approaches to publish and preserve archaeological data. The SAA Archaeological Record, 10, 12–16.Google Scholar
  16. Kansa, S. W., & Kansa, E. C. (2011). Beyond bone commons: Recent developments in zooarchaeological data sharing. The SAA Archaeological Record, 11, 26–29.Google Scholar
  17. Kansa, E. C., Schultz, J., & Bissell, A. N. (2005). Protecting traditional knowledge and expanding access to scientific data. International Journal of Cultural Property, 12, 285–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kansa, S. W., Atici, L., Kansa, E. C., & Meadow, R. H. (in preparation). Guidelines for collecting and disseminating zooarchaeological data, from the field to the Web.Google Scholar
  19. Kintigh, K. W. (2006). The promise and challenge of archaeological data integration. American Antiquity, 71, 567–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klein, R. G. (1989). Why does skeletal part representation differ between smaller and larger bovids at Klasies River Mouth and other archaeological sites? Journal of Archaeological Science, 16, 363–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Klein, R. G., & Cruz-Uribe, K. (1984). The analysis of animal bones from archaeological sites. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Lev-Tov, J., Atici, L., & Kansa, S. W. (in preparation). A cooperative study of faunal remains from Chogha Mish, Iran after 40 years of data in the wilderness.Google Scholar
  23. Lyman, R. L. (1994a). Quantitative units and terminology in zooarchaeology. American Antiquity, 59, 36–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lyman, R. L. (1994b). Vertebrate taphonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lyman, R. L. (2008). Quantitative paleozoology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meadow, R. H. (1978). “Bonecode” a system of numerical coding for faunal data from Middle Eastern sites. In R. H. Meadow & M. A. Zeder (Eds.), Approaches to faunal analysis in the Middle East (pp. 169–186). Cambridge: Peabody Museum, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  27. Meadow, R. H. (1980). Animal bones; problems for the archaeologist together with some possible solutions. Paleorient, 6, 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nature Editors. (2009). Data's shameful neglect. Nature, 461, 145.Google Scholar
  29. O'Connor, T. P. (2003). The analysis of urban animal bone assemblages: A handbook for archaeologists. York: Council for British Archaeology.Google Scholar
  30. Onsrud, H., & Campbell, J. (2007). Big opportunities in access to "Small Science" data. Data Science Journal, 6, 58–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reitz, E. J., & Wing, E. S. (2008). Zooarchaeology (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Richards, J. (2004). Online archives. Internet archaeology http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue15/richards_index.html (Accessed on: March 18, 2008).
  33. Ringrose, T. J. (1993). Bone counts and statistics: A critique. Journal of Archaeological Science, 20, 121–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Silver, I. A. (1969). The ageing of domestic animals. In D. Brothwell & E. Higgs (Eds.), Science and archaeology (pp. 283–302). London: Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
  35. Snow, D. R., Gahegan, M., Giles, C. L., Hirth, K. G., Milner, G. R., Mitra, P., et al. (2006). Cybertools and archaeology. Science, 311, 958–959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Speth, J. D. (1983). Bison kills and bone counts. Decision making by ancient hunters. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Thomas, K. D. (1996). Zooarchaeology: past, present, and future. World Archaeology, 28, 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Turner, A. (1989). Sample selection, Schlepp effects and scavenging: The implications of partial recovery for interpretations of the terrestrial mammal assemblage from Klasies River mouth. Journal of Archaeological Science, 16, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Uerpmann, H.-P. (1973). Animal bone finds and economic archaeology: A critical study of ‘osteo-archaeological’ method. World Archaeology, 4(3), 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Uerpmann, H.-P. (1978). The KNOCOD system for processing data on animal bones from archaeological sites. In R. H. Meadow & M. A. Zeder (Eds.), Approaches to faunal analysis in the Middle East (pp. 149–167). Cambridge: Peabody Museum, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  41. Wheeler Pires Ferreira, J., Atici, L., Lev-Tov, J., & Kansa, S. W. (2010). Chogha Mish fauna (released 2010-08-24). In: Atici, L., Lev-Tov, J., Kansa, S.W. (eds.), table generated by: Open context editors. Open context. <http://opencontext.org/tables/39fd14fe7196aea0821ce8c7e08251f8> California Digital Library Archival Identifier < ark:/28722/k2c824d31>.

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