publishing fieldwork data

Søren Wichmann soerenw at HUM.KU.DK
Wed Apr 18 17:13:24 UTC 2007

Dear all,

as Peter Austin says, archiving and publishing data, are separate things.

For archiving one would like to have a sort of "locker" system where the
data collector can put his/her underanalyzed data and only have access to it
oneself unless s/he decides otherwise. The data collector should be able to
add, revise or remove data at any time. Importantly, such lockers should be
made openly accessible upon the death of the data collector as a condition
for using them (people can of course empty their lockers before "checking
out"). Currently I don't think such a Nachlass system is available, and
instead we have accumulating masses of Nachlässe in hundreds of different
places. Each single fieldworker who has ever collected any data will leave
some unpublished stuff behind of potential interest for at least certain
specialists, so this is a very pertinent problem.

For publishing data that are sufficiently analyzed electronic journals are
beginning to become the solution to the problem. Electronic journals that
have regional foci would be obvious outlets for data. For instance, a newly
started one, Journal of Mesoamerican Languages and Linguistics, is a
cojournal of eLanguage. eLanguage, then, offers help with logistics should
anyone want to start a journal:


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