Success! Members of SEADDA WG1 and WG4 were finally able to meet in person this past May in sunny Braga, Portugal. Discussion workshops took place over two days with 34 SEADDA members, representing 17 European countries meeting in-person to discuss and collaborate on key issues surrounding digital archaeological data. The events were hosted by SEADDA MC member Natália Botica at the Unidade de Arqueologia Edifício dos Congregados Avenida Central in Braga, Portugal.
Both events were led by Dr. Holly Wright of the Archaeology Data Service in the UK, kicking off the WG1 workshop by greeting and thanking new and veteran members of SEADDA. She expressed a shared excitement about these workshops being the first opportunity for SEADDA members to meet in person for over two years. The WG1 Discussion Workshop focused on the emerging themes found within the SEADDA themed issue Digital Archiving in Archaeology: The State of the Art and how to synthesise and create resources to inform key decision-makers with regard to stewardship. The presentations to facilitate the discussions included:
- Ulf Jakobsson’s of the Swedish National Data Service presentation on the origins and process of creating the themed issue Digital Archiving in Archaeology: The State of the Art
- Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez, repository manager for the British Institute at Ankara, presented (remotely) where we are as regions and countries: Emergent themes from Digital Archiving in Archaeology: The State of the Art
- Prof Julian Richards reported on where we are as a domain: Data Management Policies and Practices of Digital Archaeological Repositories
- Dr. David Novák presented an update on the collaborative possibilities with European Archaeological Council (EAC)
After the conclusion of these informative presentations, lively discussions were held amongst the SEADDA members that resulted in four topics for breakout discussions:
- Selection and retention
- Digital transition
- Different legal and/or ethical standards and/or financial levels of protection for digital or analogue documentation
- Data management
The objective of the discussions was to both better understand the issues around the topics, and to strategise and plan how the issues might be addressed.
The Discussion Workshop for WG4, was organised in the same fashion as WG1. Holly Wright once again led the morning, accompanied by Keith May, and highlighted that the objectives of this particular working group was a long anticipated goal of SEADDA. The WG4 Discussion Workshop focused on the discussion and evaluation of the methodology and findings of the Quality in Use survey to be used for future planning and formal publication. The presentations to facilitate the discussions included:
- Dr. Agnieszka Oniszczuk from the National Heritage Board of Poland presented further information about the European Archaeological Council (EAC)
- Prof Rimvydas Laužikas from Vilnius Universitetas presented the Structure of the Quality in Use survey
- Kristy-Lee Seaton, Doctoral Candidate at the University of York, reported on three different aspects of the Quality in Use survey:
- Overview of the results of the Quality in Use survey
- User Satisfaction within the Quality in Use survey
- Trust within the Quality in Use survey: A case study
Four topics emerged as a result of the discussions held by the members based upon these presentations along with the overarching theme: Defining the R in FAIR:
- Trust and community building around digital resources
- How do we prioritise where we put our effort? (For whom are we making these resources available?)
- Is the methodology fit for purpose? (How do we ensure re-use is included in Data Management Plans?)
- How do we measure reuse? (What are the different types of use/reuse?)
Similarly to the previous day’s workshop, four groups comprised of the SEADDA members were formed to discuss, strategise and plan for future publications.
It was an inspiring two days of SEADDA members working together to understand and overcome the challenges that individual countries face. An added value was the restored opportunities for members to reconnect and make new connections with other members over shared breaks and lunches, which was a privilege sorely missed due the COVID 19 pandemic. We are very excited over the anticipated publications that will hopefully result from the WG1 and WG4 discussion workshops in Braga!