I’m very happy to announce the publication of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration. Co-edited by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and myself, the volume explores how the web is transforming archaeology and is the first in the new Cotsen Digital Archaeology series published by UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

The volume’s description reads:

How is the Web transforming the professional practice of archaeology? And as archaeologists accustomed to dealing with “deep time,” how can we best understand the possibilities and limitations of the Web in meeting the specialized needs of professionals in this field? These are among the many questions posed and addressed in Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration, edited by Eric Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall. With contributions from a range of experts in archaeology and technology, this volume is organized around four key topics that illuminate how the revolution in communications technology reverberates across the discipline: approaches to information retrieval and information access; practical and theoretical concerns inherent in design choices for archaeology’s computing infrastructure; collaboration through the development of new technologies that connect field-based researchers and specialists within an international archaeological community; and scholarly communications issues, with an emphasis on concerns over sustainability and preservation imperatives. This book not only describes practices that attempt to mitigate some of the problems associated with the Web, such as information overload and disinformation, it also presents compelling case studies of actual digital projects—many of which are rich in structured data and multimedia content or focused on generating content from the field “in real time,” and all of which demonstrate how the Web can and is being used to transform archaeological communications into forms that are more open, inclusive, and participatory. Above all, this volume aims to share these experiences to provide useful guidance for other researchers interested in applying technology to archaeology.

The digital edition of the volume is especially important because it is open access (hosted by the University of California eScholarship service) and being made available freely to the scholarly community and the public under a Creative Commons BY-SA (By Attribution, Share Alike) license.

Myself and my c0-editors went so far as to include a unique copyright statement in the volume in order to provide both context and rationale for why we chose to release the open access edition of the volume under this specific CC license:

This volume carries a Creative Commons BY-SA (By Attribution, Share Alike, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) license. In short, this means that others can freely distribute, remix, and build upon the contents of this volume, provided two very important conditions are met: the original author receives proper attribution (especially citation) and all subsequent works carry the same license. We chose a Creative Commons license primarily because of our deep concerns in the sustainability of sharply escalating costs in scholarly publishing. These costs make it increasingly difficult for educational institutions, our col- leagues in commercial archaeology, students, and members of the interested public to (legally) obtain peer-review publications. Please note that the Creative Commons BY-SA license allows for commercial use, as well as free distribution both inside and out- side of the Academy. Permissions for commercial reuse does not, however, mean commercial appropriation. The “copyleft” philosophy embodied by this license enables this work to move in many contexts, but any adaptation or enhancement of this work must be shared back, openly, with the community. Finally, because this license requires proper attribution in any subsequent duplication or adaptation, we hope this volume helps build exposure and recognition for our contributions, and that our colleagues follow in this example. With enough accessible and open data (“data” that includes content like this book), we open up more opportunities for text-mining, tagging, aggregating, linking, visualizing, and hopefully better understanding.

The print edition of the volume will be available for purchase from UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.