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making it up
#1
Good idea. The standard of some of the reports in SMR/HER's that I've visited is appalling. On the other hand some are very good and worth a look by the interested public. It would certainly be a shortcut to educating the public about standards in the industry.Big Grin
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#2
Afternoon Merc sire.Trust all is well in your world! I agree wholeheartedly- there have to be checks and balances but unfortunately, it just does`nt seem to happen.If the tenet provided by the IFA(police ones own line managers) is going to set the scene then-lets do it.Big Grin

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#3
This approach can be achieved more easily than you may think - in some instances local Her's have begun to put their reports online (those that are no longer bound by client confidentiality presumably).

For example - Worcestershire CC apparently have many reports downloadable from their website, though at time of writing I've not actually checked it yet so I don't know the exact link, but if you Google the Council website and follow the links it should be findable easily.

I must admit I think this is definitely the way forward - easy access for everyone
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#4
The Oasis project allows this for some areas.

http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/project/oasis/
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#5
Yeah, but these schemes allow access to the good reports. What I'd like is the public getting access to the really shameful ones.
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#6
A couple of points: the person accesing your reports may well be a professional or commercial rival, who could find a distinct advantage to turning someone in for creating an obviously faked report.

The other point is that archaeological data is very structured, so you can pick up when something doesnt feel right, and see where potential mistakes may lie. To actually fake data convincingly would require more effort that writing up the report properly in the first place. That is not to say that the quality of reports can't be improoved, and the opening up of the grey literature on the internet will certainly improove standards....
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#7
Tile Man-Hi, hope your well? I`m afraid there are those who can fake data very convincingly.In the retrieval phase and the publishing phase.One of my main points here is that a priori, curators largely (some almost exclusively) rely upon published reports as an indicator of the unit/individuals competence and professionalism.Not quite good enough I`m afraid.There are also some curators that allow some truly shocking garbage onto the archive. While curators are as under-resourced as they are and, tethered to the political agendas of elected representatives, standards will be breached/ignored/misinterpreted.I think that as members of the public, we all have the right to question where our money is going.We all have the right to question "best value" too.Big Grin

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#8
Tile Man-Hi, hope your well? I`m afraid there are those who can fake data very convincingly.

No faking data convincingly is not easy ? as I have said archaeological data is very structured which is how mistakes can be spotted in published material. This is not to say that the standards of reports couldn?t be improved by public and indeed academic scrutiny, such as that carried out by Richard Bradley. However I have seen, and get to see a lot of reports at all levelsthrough my professional and research activities, and I wopuld say that standards have tended to improove over the last 20 years, with honorable and dishonorable exceptions...

If you have evidence of faked data then please report it to the relevent authorities


In the retrieval phase and the publishing phase.One of my main points here is that a priori, curators largely (some almost exclusively) rely upon published reports as an indicator of the unit/individuals competence and professionalism.Not quite good enough I`m afraid.

Please can you supply the reference and evidence for this ? are you aware of a survey of how curators work which has quantified this attitude?

There are also some curators that allow some truly shocking garbage onto the archive.

Such as? I think that you can indicate an opinion about public domain literature and as mentioned above increasing amounts of reports are available on the web for public scrutiny, which is always a good way of keeping high standards..

While curators are as under-resourced as they are and, tethered to the political agendas of elected representatives, standards will be breached/ignored/misinterpreted.I think that as members of the public, we all have the right to question where our money is going.We all have the right to question "best value" too.

I like the way that you have seperated elected representatives from 'the public' whom they represent...

Well according to many local representatives ?best value? means having no curatorial service at all, after all it isn?t a legal requirement. given the continued friction over council tax rises then I doubt that within 5-10 years we will have anything recognisably like a curatorial service anywhere unless this problem is tackled at a national level.
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#9
Evening tile-man.Yes archaeological data is very structured.I produce it for a living.On curators-can you provide evidence to the contrary?Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators check context sheets, drawings or matrices? Are you telling me that curators are so embedded in the fieldwork of units that their perception of standards are accurate?Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators stand and watch the work carried out by units? At the most, I have only ever seen a curator spend two hours on site.By on-site I do mean a swift walkies with the director before lunch in the pub.References and evidence? If the profession took IFA standards seriously enough, we would surely be rolling in references relating to the real current state of play.My big mouth got me into trouble some time ago when a particularly naff unit were named on here. My post at the very least prompted the local curator to question the competence of said unit working in his/her area.About time too I reckon.Bajr is and, has been a forum where individuals can offer opinion and, insight into their own little worlds. I`m afraid Tile-man that not everyones perception is the same as yours.I do however concur with your last paragraph.A question for you sir-as tax-paying members of the public, perhaps you would explain to us just how curators ensure standards in the field?

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#10
Going back to the publication of grey lit on Oasis

Quote:quote:Yeah, but these schemes allow access to the good reports. What I'd like is the public getting access to the really shameful ones.

Oasis, while not being perfect, shouldnt just be used for including the 'good' reports. As a rule my unit creates an oasis reference, and attaches a .pdf report for every single funded project (even when its just a case of 'looked in hole, saw bugger all' - which seems to be my luck recently).

Why do we do this? Its in the curatorial brief and spec and as a result all our work is open to public scrutiny, not just the curator.

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