Saturday, February 8, 2014

Providing access to grey literature (archaeobotanical reports from Cork)

This week I continued to add grey archaeobotanical literature to the online repository, Figshare. Two mostly prehistoric datasets were included from two separate (but adjacent) excavations at Gortore in north Cork.

The link for Gortore 1 is here, and for Gortore 1b the link is here.

It takes around half an hour to three-quarters of an hour to prepare the grey literature files for the repository. This is mostly because I spend quite a lot of time cross-referencing the reports, linking to them, and adding a template cover page with details of how to cite, and where to find further information on the site.

One of the issues that has arisen as I prepare these cover pages is the issue of when the reports were written. Most of my technical reports include a date of when the reports were finished, with a note on when they were updated, if this ever occurred. I adopted this practice more than ten years ago, as I found it difficult to keep track of when I had written everything based on memory alone. In some cases these details have been deleted out of the finished/edited text that is included as an appendix in the final excavation report. So, for example, I have suggested that the report for Gortore 1 is dated to 2009, as this is the date that I incorporated it into Google Drive. However, I know it was written earlier, sometime around 2006 or 2007, but I have no record of exactly when. On top of this, Figshare provides its own citation guidelines, based on date of “publication”. This means that all of the reports that I have uploaded are dated to 2014, even though they were written much earlier.