Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Open access archaeological science

Exciting news, a new open access journal has been launched, specifically for archaeological science: Science and Technology of Archaeological Research (STAR) by Maney. This is in addition to the recently launched Open Quaternary by Ubiquity Press.

Joining Twitter was one of the best things I've done for my research. It has opened my eyes to a whole online network of research in my own and related areas, and has made me increasingly aware of the importance of open access research. That is, research that is freely available, rather than locked behind a pay wall. I am still unsure how this 'new' direction of publishing will impact the development of my career. As an early career researcher, I am all too aware of the need to publish in the big name (subscription) journals to get research (and job applications!) noticed by the wider community. I am hopefully taking a step in the right direction by making sure that there are open access versions of my papers available online, and hopefully will be brave enough to publish papers in the less established, or less well known open access journals in future. I think for now I will probably do a mix of 'traditional' journals and open access alternatives, making sure that anything behind a paywall has a free version via Edinburgh Research Outputs. STAR looks like a great option, as there is no article processing fee for members of the Society for Archaeological Sciences. Likewise Open Quaternary have a relatively low fee.

Via Twitter I have also learned about two interesting websites, Impact Story and FigShare. Impact Story gathers all of a researchers' outputs (not just peer reviewed papers), and collects data on things like Wikipedia mentions and shares on Twitter. This is really interesting to see, and has the potential to tell us so much more about the impact of work, rather than relying just on citations. FigShare is a website where you can upload different types of data, including things like posters, presentations and data files. It assigns these items DOIs (digital object identifiers), so that they are permanently citable in the same way that journal papers are. So, my new experimental project is to gradually upload my collection of high resolution micromorphology images, starting with the vivianite crystals I posted a couple of days ago. Hopefully these will be useful as reference material for other researchers, if you find these useful please get in touch!

Figshare profile: http://figshare.com/authors/Lisa_marie_Shillito/579003

Impact Story profile: https://impactstory.org/Lisa-MarieShillito


  1. Excellent! The next thing to do is do your statistical analyses with R and share your code on github: https://github.com/blog/1840-improving-github-for-science

    1. I really need to sit down and learn R!

    2. Keep an eye out for a Software Carpentry bootcamp, they have a highly efficient program for getting scientists up to speed with tools like R and Python (some say it's easier to learn than R) for open and reproducible research: http://software-carpentry.org/bootcamps/index.html