Considering Communities of Practice throughout the Data Lifecycle


The use of digital tools for data creation and presentation is pervasive in archaeology, and data preservation and dissemination is becoming common practice. Still, few archaeologists consider the life of their data beyond their own research purposes. This lack of broader consideration of the future uses of a dataset means that many researchers do not sufficiently describe their data to make it intelligible or useful to others, which risks filling repositories with data of very limited use. We present findings from the Secret Life of Data (SLO-data) project, which aims to better understand opportunities and challenges in data interpretation, publication and preservation by following the lifecycle of data from the field to the digital repository. The project’s "slow data" approach emphasizes the need for thoughtful consideration of archaeological data, taking into account its curation, contextualization, and dissemination, as well as how it can contribute to broader understanding now and in the future. We share results from interviews, field observations, and excavation data assessments that our team has conducted at four field sites in three continents. We recommended technical and organizational changes to streamline data collection and management during excavations that will help improve its potential for future use.

Cite this Record

Considering Communities of Practice throughout the Data Lifecycle. Sarah Whitcher Kansa, Anne Austin, Ixchel Faniel, Eric Kansa, Ran Boytner. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443939)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20860