From The Ground Up

The Publication of Archaeological Projects

a user needs survey



Appendix 4.4: Questionnaire results (section 4)

Definitions of terms used in the questionnaire

Fieldwork project: any fieldwork (or underwater) project, including watching briefs, evaluations, excavations, and surveys of all kinds (e.g. buildings, earthworks, field walking, geophysics and aerial photography), as well as related artefact and ecofact (environmental) analysis.

Fieldwork publication: any work that serves to record and disseminate information derived from a fieldwork project (as defined above), whether produced in printed or other media. This broad definition includes 'grey literature' as well as 'published works' (see below).

Published work: any publication which is issued for public sale/widespread distribution, and/or has an ISBN/ISSN.

Grey literature: any work which is not issued for public sale/widespread distribution and does not have an ISBN/ISSN, as is often the case, for instance, with reports derived from small-scale developer-funded projects.

Project archive: the primary records (including paper, digital (computerised) and microfiche records, plans, notes, recording sheets, and photographs) and the collected remains (including artefacts and ecofacts) resulting from a fieldwork project. (Although the records and collected remains may be deposited at different locations in some parts of the British Isles, they are here both defined as forming part of the overall project archive.)

'Use' of publications: anything ranging from brief consultation to in-depth study/extensive reading.

4. Principles of fieldwork publication

4.1a Is there a need for a better system for reporting on recent / ongoing fieldwork projects within the British Isles on a regular basis, either in a single publication, or a series of regional / national publications?
(Please give reasons for your answer)

() Yes (go to 4.1b)
() No (go to 4.2)
() Don't know (go to 4.2)



4.1b Which of the following elements would you like to see included as part of this system of notification?
(Please tick as many as you wish)

() A list of brief details of all fieldwork projects
() Brief reports of fieldwork projects summarising the circumstances and objectives of the project, the main results, and the contents and location of the archive
() Overviews of selected themes relating to recent / ongoing fieldwork projects
() Don't know / no opinion
() Other (please specify):

4.2 What should be the purpose(s) of publishing the results of a fieldwork project?
(Please tick as many as you wish)

() To provide a brief report of the circumstances and objectives of the project, the main results, and the contents and location of the archive
() To provide a concise but full description of the primary data for wider dissemination with minimal analysis and interpretation
() To provide a concise but full description of the primary data with in-depth analysis and interpretation
() To provide an in-depth analysis and interpretation supported by selective reference to the primary data
() To provide a synthetic, narrative history based on the project
() To provide information about the site for the interested lay-reader
() Don't know / no opinion
() Other (specify):

Any further comments about the purposes of publishing fieldwork projects:


4.3 In general, do you think that recent (post 1975) fieldwork publications would benefit from more, just the same amount, or less of the following:
(Tick one box per row)

  more just the same less don't know
Information on general location        
Information on location(s) of the archive        
Information on the history of the project        
Description of the evidence        
Analysis of the evidence        
Interpretation of the evidence        
Cross-referencing between artefacts / ecofacts and archaeological contexts        
Integration between text and graphics        
Integration between specialist reports and main account        
Integration between description and interpretation        
Discussion of the experiences of those involved in the project and their effects on interpretation        
Synthesis of archaeological knowledge relating to the project        
Attention to narrative style / readability        
Attention to the index        
Other(s) (please specify):



4.4 Do you think that the quantity of 'grey literature' fieldwork publications being produced constitutes a problem for the discipline?
(Please give reasons for your answer)

() Yes
() No
() Don't know / no opinion



4.5a Do you think that there is an inadequate relationship between fieldwork projects (and the publications that result from them) and research / publications concerned with the synthesis of archaeological knowledge (e.g. about particular subjects, periods and regions)?
(Please give reasons for your answer)

() Yes (go to 4.5b)
() No (go to 4.6)
() Don't know / no opinion (go to 4.6)



4.5b What steps should be taken to overcome this inadequate relationship?

() Fieldwork publications should contain more synthesis
() Measures should be devised to encourage more research and publication which combine results from a number of fieldwork projects to provide broader synthesis
() Fieldwork projects should originate, and be designed and undertaken, within research frameworks directly aimed at syntheses of archaeological knowledge
() Other (please specify):

4.6 Do you think that fieldwork publications represent an appropriate means of disseminating information to the public? If not how should such dissemination be achieved?
(Please give reasons for your answer)

() Yes
() No
() Don't know / no opinion



4.7 Do you have any further comments about the publication of fieldwork projects and their relation to the overall research environment of the discipline, as well as the presentation of archaeological knowledge to lay audiences?


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