Data Management Policies and Practices of Digital Archaeological Repositories.

Guntram Geser, Julian D. Richards, Flavia Massara, Holly Wright (2022): Data Management Policies and Practices of Digital Archaeological Repositories.

This article presents the results of a survey of data management policies and practices of digital archaeological repositories in Europe and beyond. The survey was carried out in 2021 under the auspices of the European project ARIADNEplus and the COST Action SEADDA. Its main purpose was to collect and analyse information about current policies that determine access to and reuse of data held by digital archaeological repositories, and to investigate the guidance and support needed to make these repositories and data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). These policies comprise the regulations of heritage and research authorities/agencies, councils and other institutions at different levels (European, national/regional, local) as well as the repository rules governing deposition, access to, and reuse of archaeological data. The repositories are operated both by heritage sector institutions and by the research and higher education sector. The survey represents a bottom-up approach by focusing on the actual policies and practices of digital archaeological repositories, which may reflect higher level regulations. A reality check in this regard can enable heritage and research authorities, councils and other institutions to reinforce or put in place regulations that bring current repository policies and practices closer to the ideal of providing FAIR and open access data. The survey results show that there is room for improvement in this regard and some suggestions are made here for future initiatives.

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