WAC7 online: offer to curate recordings of presentations on looting, destruction, conflict archaeology

If people want to make audio and/or video recordings of their WAC7 papers freely accessible, I’ll embed relevant ones on this blog. E-mail me or Tweet me to discuss the possibilities.

Recordings of papers are not “publications” (in academic terms), but they are public services.


Crowdfunding a conference recording

Donors to a crowdfunding initiative of the 7th World Archaeological Congress (WAC7) managed to raise $15,000 for the streaming and recording of the conference presentations. The money has paid for ‘a dedicated platform, server hosting, equipment hire and a Jordanian crew to film WAC-7, assisted by Pozible volunteers’ from Flinders University Archaeological Society (ArchSoc). The material will be available to people who donated $100+ and to certain sponsored individuals who are from low-income countries, or who are Indigenous persons or students.

Accessing a crowdfunded archive

Non-donors and non-sponsored individuals will still be able to gain access to the crowdfunded resource, but they will still have to pay for it. People from the high-income countries of Group A can pay $50 for livestreaming, or $50 for six months’ access to the recorded content, or $100 for twelve months’ access to the recorded content. People from the low-income countries of Group B – including PIIGS in financial crisis – can pay $25 for livestreaming, or $25 for six months’ access to the recorded content, or $50 for twelve months’ access to the recorded content.

(I have to say, I find the economics/mechanics of this model difficult to understand.)

Imperfect alternative

Embedding an academic presentation

As I mentioned on Twitter last week, if people at WAC7 record their own (or, with permission, others’) papers on the destruction of cultural property, the trade in illicit antiquities, the practice of archaeology in conflict zones (or even, more generally, archaeological ethics, politics and social media), I’ll embed them on my blog.

Unfortunately, I will not be at WAC7, so I will not be able to record any presentations; and I cannot (yet) host anyone’s slide/audio/video material. However,

  • I can embed slides, audio and/or videos hosted elsewhere (on Youtube, Flickr, etc.); and
  • embedded materials will be freely and permanently available and curated; so
    • professionals, affected communities and interested individuals will be able to find and discuss them easily; and
    • the authors can get automatic e-mail updates whenever anyone comments on their paper.

Recordings are not publications

I understand and share the desire to protect the right to publish research in journals and/or books. However, recordings of papers don’t count as publications; even text versions of conference papers don’t count as publications.

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) publishes working papers online. It states that (to its knowledge) no scholarly refereed journal considers the submission of drafts to its library to be prior publication of those drafts, ‘since our services are basically an aggregation of working papers and not a refereeing process’.

Like the SSRN, if the author wants me to remove their material (for any reason), I will.

Accessible recordings are public services

Although recordings are not counted as publications, they are public goods, they are educational materials. Enabling public access to and discussion of your research is community outreach/public engagement.


If you’re interested, e-mail me or Tweet me.

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