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Empire of Dirt: time to call time on commercial archaeology in Northern Ireland?
#41
Hmmm this has prompted me to actually have a look at OASIS. I haven't worked much in the UK, but was filling in those forms happily for a few sites last year, didn't really know what they were about. That kind of led me to ADS and through their to some very unappealing PDF's of some uninspiring testing reports I had written. I see... but can someone just explain where OASIS stops and ADS starts because I'm confused!
An archive of over 18,000 pieces of grey literature is one hell of a resource but I would see the problem being one of quality control. If we go with this model, as suggested above, then can we really say the responsibility of the commissioning company has been properly discharged? Who has checked the report, has it been edited, has the site been given enough care and attention by someone with the suitable level of knowledge, and has the post ex analysis been done? If all those things are standard conditions of entry then wonderful, but then if that standard has been reached the material is ready for proper publication, so why not go the whole hog? I also think the companies are missing a trick in regards to their staff, in terms of boosting moral and strengthening loyalty the management should consider spending a few quid publishing things, most of us get a buzz from seeing our stuff in print.
Ramblings almost over... for the couple of reports I had written last year that I found on ADS then it's actually the perfect home for them, they are of almost zero interest or significance, and I think in Bob's article he struggles to establish how many reports out of the total would be worth publishing. But those that are, and even if we assume its just 15% or even just 10% should be published. The only people who don't benefit from that are tight fisted company owners and they, frankly, can go f**k themselves with a breadknife Big Grin
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#42
Quote: lets see how much the copyrighted wiffle is valued at
mines valued at almost nothing and thats kind of my point. I totally agree that what I produce would I expect to get nothing from royalities. As Achilly island points 18,000 pieces of
Quote:almost zero interest or significance
I havent paid a penny to create this collection and I dont care much for it but they have got my stuff off me for free, but it must cost somebody to keep it and presumably that can be defined as "demand". Just on principle I would like measure this demand by economic means as I know of no other way to measure it. But it seems to me and I am unsurprised by stuarts observations about "quality control" but then stuart falls into the same lack of quality control inherant in
Quote: I also think the companies are missing a trick in regards to their staff, in terms of boosting moral and strengthening loyalty the management should consider spending a few quid publishing things, most of us get a buzz from seeing our stuff in print.
that might result from the control of "demand". Demand my friends for publication is measured by royalties. The form, structure, content, of these 18000 things are produced without any concern that it might be of any interest to anybody. Basically all oasis is is vanity publication and the same can be said for most excavation publication too. Pdurdin wants to talk about dissemination. I dont see how produceing some publication for which there is no demand is much in the way of dissemination. which is why archaeology should take payment for copyright to the coal face of digging. Every post hole description should be in the compertition to find that best seller.


Just as another aside, in my contenplation that if the presance of one of my grey literature reports could be construed as a gift to oasis I just wondered what the tax implications could be. Came accros this http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/guidanc...ctionc.htm but whats a grey literature report worth?
Reason: your past is my past
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#43
Can I rail against OASIS, while I admire the idea, the form is over the top and impossible to use for any project that crosses council boundaries! I am also concerned as to whether it will always remain a free service...we're giving these guys a lot of information for free! Remember the ADS launched a consultation last year to evaluate how much the service is worth and what would you pay for it!
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#44
I think OASIS works ok for its purpose (access to a library of reports) but it is clunky in terms of finding material, especially by locality. I would hope that online HERs providing direct links from sites to the relevant OASIS reports would provide a better query/map search interface.
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#45
Of course thats the user interface...but drilling into the data is a pain!

I think any decent HER with the right software could do it better and cheaper....and I run one!
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#46
I can but agree. - being one of the co creators of the ( never made it past beta... as nobody wanted to fund it, as OASIS was so good, and they were about to do this anyway - still waiting! not bitter) Open Archive.

The data needs to have an access interface that works. and I also hate duplicate data. ie a postcode a county a town a lat long a coord... -- this can all be derived from a single drag and drop map interface. even for an area project.

ahem...

see here. http://www.openarchive.co.uk

anyway... back to the topic. I actually agree very much with Stuart that how many are worth taking to full publication.

others however, could be... and they can be flagged as such. I also agree about the quality and editing. often poor or non existant. recently read one where the report could have been a sythesis of what was happening in the area... but no... it was dull trench measurements.. and no discussion... other than to say... " sod it... nufink worth bovering about... dig away my hearties"

Quality counts. -- or should.
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#47
dont go down the oasis could be better but its still great that "publication" can be solved for archaeology because someone apparently makes it free to put a documant on the web. That only so far seems to works if the authors of the documants are not paid for it and in the case of oasis because they have not bothered to investigate charging because that have been absolutly subsidied through government grant. Its not sustainable particularly if it is not statutory. (two- I want to be paid).Be interesting to know how who ever holds that record presents it to the REF excersise http://www.uel.ac.uk/ref/about.htm. All of the university field archaeology units publication used to contribute to the REF insider trading bullpoo.

Quote:Of course thats the user interface...but drilling into the data is a pain!

I think any decent HER with the right software could do it better and cheaper....and I run one!
every single aspect of oasis is wrong because it is not subject to demand and nor would any run by a HER if it did not establish a charge based on demand. Oasise/HER are driven purely by their source of revenue. Both most certainly did not invent grey literature which should be remembered for tax purposes is paper based in this country (see statements about vat). Once grey literature used to produce about 15 copies, now around my way about three if you archive. Oasis in terms of paper copies has actually reduced dissemenination by about 80% pdurdin will be sad to know. What you used to do was give away double copies if you could but you still ended up with half left in a cupboard. And that was the sum total of the demand. Ha ha as if drilling into the data was a pain it is non existant. As far as I am concerned grey literature originated from notes made by museum archaeologists mostly on card indexes...yes hosty now theres a requirement to ten different geolocation statements which I always insist on getting wrong.


I would be interested to know archaeologyexil who the pays for the cheaper HER software running. Do you charge to use the smr and Do you think that royalties should be paid to the authors of the documents that you have copies of documents that you nominally have deposited with you to substantiate that a planning condition has been discharged by a planning officer. I always find it interesting to observe the nervousness when photocopying is involved. Does your council pay anything to these people http://www.cla.co.uk/licences/licences_a...he_licence

And a big by the way I still stand by the mantra that I dont need to see a single bloody document, web or paper to undertake a field evaluation. Please quote law if you want to reply to that one or stop me from doing one as they say in the vernacular.
Reason: your past is my past
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#48
Unitof1 Wrote:And a big by the way I still stand by the mantra that I dont need to see a single bloody document, web or paper to undertake a field evaluation. Please quote law if you want to reply to that one or stop me from doing one as they say in the vernacular.
and do you think this fact (along with a couple more i might get banned for) might have something to do with your lack of work?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#49
but this is where I cross over from lack of work to a vocation.
Reason: your past is my past
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