1 05 2012

Open Data in Archaeology
The AIA and Open Access: An Open Letter

From: Open Archaeology Working Group
To: Archaeological Institute of America

A recent editorial by the President of the Archaeological Institute of America, Elizabeth Bartman, made the claim that “the [AIA], along with our colleagues at the American Anthropological Association and other learned societies, have taken a stand against open access.” As might be expected, this has led to a degree of consternation among many of its members. After all, access to information is one of the most significant issues of our age and those who aim to restrict it should expect some opposition. Bartman is not objecting to freedom of speech, however, but ‘free as in beer’, in particular a proposed piece of federal legislation that would make archaeological scholarship ‘available to the public, on the Internet, for no charge’. This is not a simple issue and, as practicing archaeologists from the international community, we respect the AIA’s right to express such views. Despite this, it is our opinion that this proclamation has done both the AIA’s membership, as well as other academics and the general public, a grave disservice. [+]




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