tDAR digital antiquity


Welcome to our new Digital Curator: Rachel Fernandez!

The Center for Digital Antiquity is excited to welcome Rachel Fernandez as the newest member of the Digital Antiquity team as our Digital Data Curator. Ms. Fernandez recently relocated from University of Colorado at Boulder to join our group at Arizona State University.

With an interest in landscape archaeology and GIS applications, Rachel has conducted fieldwork in several sites across the Mediterranean. In the U.S., Rachel has worked on cultural resource surveys, public assistance grants, and GIS applications for areas affected with natural disasters during her tenure with FEMA. Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Florida.

We are excited for the experience and fresh perspective that Rachel brings to the table and cannot wait to see how her skill set will continue to advance tDAR’s mission and goals.


tDAR is now part of DataONE

Digital Antiquity is proud to announce that tDAR is now a formal member node of the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE). DataONE enables universal access to data and also facilitates researchers in fulfilling their need for data management and in providing secure and permanent access to their data. DataONE offers the scientific community a suite of tools and training materials that cover all aspects of the data life cycle from data collection, to management, analysis and publication.

DataONE, like tDAR has a deep interest in data archiving, access, and use, as well as reproducible science. Researchers using DataONE’s suite of tools will now be able to discover archaeological materials that have been contributed to tDAR as well as the approximately 1,000,000 files currently part of DataONE.


tDAR, Mortality, and YOU

Guest post by Katherine Spielmann, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University School of Evolution and Social Change 

When I decided to retire I was faced with making seven seasons of Southwestern excavation data and many, many years of analytical data available to our profession. I spent much of Fall 2015 making that happen through uploading multitudes of excel spreadsheets, associated coding keys, and reports to tDAR. I find tDAR’s functionality in being able to link coding keys to multiple datasets across projects, the ability to integrate my faunal datasets together across projects, and the possibility of future dataset integrations particularly helpful. But there are challenges that I, and perhaps many of us who began our careers relying on paper coding keys need to face while we still have memory and some marbles left. My coding keys for artifact types like lithics, ground stone, fauna, and ceramics evolved over the course of my projects and some of that evolution is documented only on the paper coding keys themselves. Was this ideal? No. A good idea? No. is it reality? Yes. Being the one who worked to upload datasets and coding keys made it possible for me to reconcile the evolving coding schemes and create the appropriately updated digital coding keys where needed. I also grappled with reconciling the multiple datasets on individual artifact types that developed from my first project in the mid-1980s at Gran Quivira when I and the profession in general were just getting a handle on database creation and management. Luckily my students and I had undertaken some of that task years before, but in one case, the black-on-white ceramics, there are two databases that cannot be reconciled (both will go into tDAR with accompanying explanation), and a review of the original collections will be required. If the Western Archeological and Conservation Center makes them available, that would be useful to do.

So my point is to start now on making your past and present part of archaeology’s future while you still have the files and resources at hand and given the ready availability of digital archaeological repositories like tDAR. Working in the Rio Grande area of central New Mexico I’ve always regretted the lack of access to all the information that Edgar Hewett and his henchpeople pulled out of PIV Pueblo sites across the region, and what Nels Nelson found in the Galisteo Basin. They were of the early 20th century. In the early 21st century no discipline can thrive if masses of its data effectively disappear with the passing of each generation.

 


Taking a look back at 2016

We had a busy year at the Center for Digital Antiquity in 2016, tDAR continued to grow with significant contributions from the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization , US Air Force, and US Army Corps of Engineers. tDAR had one major software releases, Obsidian which focused on enhancing the collections pages, searching, data integration, and added new APIs for working with data and metadata in tDAR.

We are continuing our work with the Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Program, putting digital products based on their rehabilitation of physical archaeological collections into tDAR where it can be shared broadly.  We worked with the US Air Force cultural heritage program as program leaders there continued to build digital archaeological archives for their bases and other facilities. We are also still working with the Phoenix Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation on their rich archives of archaeological material.

Individual researchers and research organizations began or continued to build their archives in tDAR.  A few notable contributions include those from: the Eastern Mimbres Archaeological Project (EMAP) , the ICOM Affiliated Organisation representing archaeological open-air museums, experimental archaeology, ancient technology, and interpretation (EXARC), the PaleoResearch Institute, the Center for Archaeology and Society, SRI Press, and the Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl Archaeological Project. Also notable was an extensive set of tree-ring data uploaded by Tim Kohler and Kyle Bocinsky.

As part of our continuing agreements with Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Society for American Archaeology (SAA), we ran workshops highlighting best practices in digital curation at the AIA annual meetings in Orlando and San Francisco respectively. We also continue to provide SAA student members with a number of no cost uploads for contributing their data to tDAR as part of our agreement with SAA.

We continued our existing partnerships with the DataARC and SKOPE NSF awarded projects. We also developed new international partnerships for the use of tDAR by colleagues and organizations in Australia with the Federated Archaeological Information Management System (FAIMS) and in Canada with Sustainable Archaeology at the University of Western Ontario and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.

Content added to tDAR in 2016

Usage Statistics

While we do not maintain detailed statistics on users or use to protect user and contributor privacy, we can share some interesting aggregate data. Below are the most frequently viewed and downloaded resources.

Resources (most viewed)

Resources (most Downloaded)


From Bibliography to Archive: The EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection

Geographic Distribution of ExARC CitationsEXARC, the ICOM Affiliated Organisation representing archaeological open-air museums, experimental archaeology, ancient technology, and interpretation,  migrated it’s bibliographic database into the EXARC Experimental Archaeology Data Collection in tDAR this month, with technical support from the Center for Digital Antiquity. Now, in addition to providing an extensive bibliography for those interested in experimental and experiential archaeology, primitive technology and archaeological open-air museums, EXARC will be able to make publications and supplementary data (images, fieldnotes, large datasets) available, where possible; and preserve the files for the long-term. It will also make the bibliographic citations available to a wider audience by including them with other archaeological resources.

The bibliography was originally compiled by EXARC Director, Dr Roeland Paardekooper. The new collection will be managed by Dr Jodi Reeves Eyre.

In the future, EXARC plans to extend the collection and work with with universities and museums to upload their experimental archaeology data, publications and grey literature into the collection. The long term goal is to establish a board of professionals to oversee the collection, evaluate the quality of submissions and promote the preservation of and access to the wealth of data produced. If you or your institution are interested in contributing materials, or you want to learn more about supporting the collection, please contact Reeves Eyre.

 


Come Visit Us at the Plains Conference

We’re excited to be travelling to Lincoln, Nebraska later this week for the 74th Annual Plains Anthropological Conference.  We hope that you will stop by our booth in the exhibit hall to speak with a digital curation expert about your digital archaeological information, to enter our drawing for a chance to win a digital preservation package, or just to grab some tDAR swag and say hi!  You can also see our poster “Curating and Preserving Digital Archaeological Data: A Guide to Good Practice” in Salon B/C between 2-4PM on Thursday, October 13th.  If you are in the Lincoln area and want to learn more about tDAR, but won’t be attending the conference, please send an email to laellison@digitalantiquity.org to set up a time to meet.  See you soon!


Usage Statistics

Did you know that if you have digital resources in tDAR you can find out how many people have viewed or downloaded your files?

Here’s how to see your usage stats:

  1. Log in to tdar
  2. Navigate to a resource of yours that you would like to see stats for (you can view an individual resource as well as a collection or project).
  3. Click on “usage” on the secondary menu bar.usage-tab
  4. For individual resources you will see a line graph displaying views and downloads for the resource’s history. Views and downloads will also be broken down by year.resource-usage
  5. For collections, usage stats show information for views and downloads by year for the entire group of resources as well as for individual resources in the collection.

 

 

collection-usage


Replacing a File in tDAR

Sometimes you might add a file to tDAR and discover later that you need to replace it.  Maybe you found a better scanned version of the document, or maybe you added new data to a data set.  In any case, replacing a file in tDAR is easy, and as long as your new file doesn’t exceed file size range of the previous file there is no charge[1].

First, you will need to log in to tDAR and navigate to your resource.  Select “edit” from the secondary menu bar at the top of the page, and scroll down to the section underneath the heading “attach document files.”    You will see the current filename, and an orange button to the right of it that says “replace.”  You will be prompted to select the file.  Don’t forget to push the blue save button at the bottom or top of the metadata page.  Your new file has replaced your old file!  As a record owner you will also be able to see the history of changes to your file under file information on bottom of the resource metadata page.

 

[1] Remember that tDAR files are sold in 10MB increments, so if your original file is 3.3MB and your new file is 9.2MB there will be no charge.  However, if your original file is 3.3MB and your new file is 11.6MB you’ll need to pay for an additional file.

Back to School!

Even though the weather is still sizzling and it feels like summer will never end, school is back in session here at ASU this week.  It seems like a great time to remind you that tDAR is a fantastic resource for teachers and students alike.  Educators at all levels can search tDAR for photographs and maps to enhance lectures.  We have hundreds of real data sets that can be used in classroom exercises.  There are even some sample assignments (another) in tDAR, and we would love to see more.  Are you an educator who has made use of tDAR in your classroom presentations or assignments?  Please tell us about it in the comments below!

For your enjoyment, see what we turned up when searching tDAR for these back-to-school themed topics: teaching, schoolhouse, pencil, teacher, notebookapple.


Exporting your Search Results in tDAR

A search in tDAR is likely to reveal a large number of resources that you plan to explore as part of your research.  Did you know you can download your search results as an Excel file?  It is easy!  After you have performed your search, simply click on the “Download these results -> to Excel” link on the left-hand column of the page[1].  Your search results will begin to download immediately.  Use this to create a bibliography or update your bibliographic software (e.g. Endnote).  If you use Zotero to manage your research sources you can easily use the browser-integrated save to select citations from your search results to save in your Zotero library.

Import via Zotero

[1] You must be logged in to tDAR to download your search results

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