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"All Data Big and Small: Archaeology, Ethics, and Professionalism in the Age of the Web" (Eric Kansa)

April 28, 2016 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm
Stanford Archaeology Center

Free and open to the public.

Digital data has grown in prominence across the humanities, social sciences and archaeology. Our experience with Open Context (, an open access data publishing service for archaeology, shows that preserving, communicating, aggregating and reusing digital data all involve significant intellectual challenges and opportunities. While our profession increasingly recognizes these possibilities, we rarely discuss the professional context that shapes the "datafication" of our discipline. Our current institutional landscape increasingly demands the commoditization, marketing, and branding of scholarship. However, meaningful digital engagement requires greater professional recognition for the process and ethical conduct of research - rather than rewarding only the efficient production of measurable research outcomes. The term "Slow Data" helps to encapsulate this need, and the need for longer term institutional support in better situating data in archaeological practice. 

Eric Kansa (PhD Harvard University) directs Open Context, a data publishing venue for archaeology. Eric’s research interests include scholarly communications and data curation in the digital humanities and social sciences. He also researches policy issues relating to intellectual property, including text-mining and cultural property concerns, and actively participates in a number of Open Science and Open Government initiatives, leading projects funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the US National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Hewlett-Packard, the Sunlight Foundation, Google, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Encyclopedia of Life and the National Science Foundation. Eric is on the board of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, a granting program that funds archaeological publications. In June 2013, the White House recognized Eric’s contributions to reforming scholarly communications with a “Champion of Change” award.

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Department of Classics
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