Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 04, 2008

Classifying archaeologists by their data sharing habits

Charles Watkinson, Only Panthers Share Archaeological Data, Charles Watkinson's blog, April 1, 2008.
... But let's move back to the examples of good sharers Sebs brings up; Jack Davis with PRAP and MRAP, Ian Hodder at Çatalhöyük, Martha Joukowsky at Petra, and Brian Rose at Troy. Let's face it, Sebastian, these are legendary names, the "gray panthers" who have nothing to prove. Tenured, funded, at the top of their profession, they have little need for further reward, have access to some of the best minds around to help shape their data for other users, have less need than others to retain the right to priority, and are savvy in their abilities to navigate the intellectual property minefield. If you are a powerful feline, the obstacles to data sharing drop away.

When we talk about sharing, we need to look more at scholarly behavior at the starting-out level. Think graduate students and untenured faculty, the baby armadillos and raccoons rather than the panthers of the scholarly ecosystem. With their institutional repositories standing largely empty, libraries are currently puzzling about why these first "net gen" grad students and junior faculty aren't loading up university servers with data sets, conference presentations, articles in progress, course materials, and all the other good digital stuff a lively intellect produces. A glance at [Christine] Borgman's book [Scholarship in the Digital Age] may suggest some simple truths about motivations, disincentives, and the law of the grasslands.
Tom Elliott, Bill Caraher, and Eric Kansa continue the taxonomizing.