AP Journal, its journey and my day of archaeology

by Elena Papagiannopoulou

For those of you who don’t know much about the journal or its short history, here is a brief account: The journal was born back in early 2010. Back then, Jaime was starting his company in Madrid and Elena was working in the museum sector in London. The journal was born by two people living in different countries, native speakers of two different languages and with different backgrounds, but with common interests and the same goal: the desire to enable access to research and debates in the field.

Since then, the journal, as well as the blog, has been steadily growing in contributions and readership; Elena was promoted to Editor in 2013; in early 2014 our team grew; in 2014 our first Special Volume was out; the journal has recently been indexed in two major databases (DOAJ & Latindex); and we are currently preparing Volume 5 (to be released this fall).


Volume 4 & Special Volume 1. Both published in 2014.

Volume 4 & Special Volume 1. Both published in 2014.

First of all, I should probably introduce myself: I am Elena and, although I have attended a range of archaeology-related courses, seminars and workshops, I am not an archaeologist. I hope you are not disappointed! Most people that do not know me well, knowing I am co-editing this journal, believe I am an archaeologist — I must confess I am flattered. When I tell them that I am not they are puzzled so I start explaining how I got involved in public archaeology and this journal, as I do today through this post.

I have a BA in Media, Communication and Culture and a MA in Cultural Heritage Studies. I am a founding member and Editor of AP Journal. My interests include but are not limited to cultural heritage management, public archaeology, museum history and ideology, exhibition theory and practice, museum learning and communication, and cultural tourism. I have worked on a number of relevant projects as well as in (and out of) the museum sector.

Jaime is busy today with his PhD and whatever he is always digging into (I guess he will tell you that later), so I will go on and tell you how I met Jaime and how it all started. I grew up in Athens, Greece, where I am currently based, but I met Jaime during my postgraduate studies at UCL Institute of Archaeology, in 2008. Jaime was then studying public archaeology and we were tied by common interests (such as… public archaeology!). So when he suggested we should start a journal together I did not hesitate much.

Actually, I was excited since our main philosophy was to start something truly open. In a moment when Open Access means free to read, but not free to publish, we wanted to keep a nonprofit model so that no one would feel money was a burden for them to publish their research. Step by step, we managed to convince more people to take part in this project, which (we believe) is now fully grown.

A lot has changed in my life since AP Journal was born. I moved back to Athens at the beginning of the financial crisis but, even during the busiest or toughest periods of my life, it never crossed my mind to abandon the journal. On the contrary, I am always doing my best to enhance the journal’s editorial quality. Oh, and Jaime has been there for me through thick and thin.

Although Jaime sometimes talks about becoming a ‘bad guy’, like in a James Bond movie, and conquering the world (of archaeology), the truth is we just want to keep growing in content and quality with this model, making AP Journal useful for researchers and practitioners of public archaeology. Our family has grown to include new team members, new readers, new donors, and new social media followers, so today’s ‘thank you’ goes to all of you!

In a way, the journal is our child; a child we are proud of. We love it, make time for it, and do our best for it. However, editing a journal is not an easy ride, as we all have to keep on with our lives and works. This is why the team grew in the first place, but when you love what you do, you just keep doing it so, instead of doing the same with more people, we decided to do more, especially with the social media which I am responsible of. Facebook and Twitter are a communication channel, but the blog had great potential for new original content and participation, so we have started sharing short reviews and interesting information. Actually today, I am doing some copy-editing for one of the reviews.

My day today started with a big glass of iced coffee. Actually, I did not even use a glass but the shaker and a straw. On a sunny and hot day like today, I sweat not only because of the weather but also to catch up on copyediting work for the journal and, later tonight, reading —especially the latest book of Yannis Hamilakis, Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and Affect, that Jaime’s editorial just published in Spanish too this week!

My iced coffee, my copy of Yannis’ book in Greek, and the one Jaime promised to send me in Spanish, which came out from the printer just yesterday.

My iced coffee, my copy of Yannis’ book in Greek, and the one Jaime promised to send me in Spanish, which came out from the printer just yesterday.

I must admit that the #dayofarch posts are a very good excuse to take regular breaks!  While typing mine, I feel grateful for my friendship and collaboration with Jaime, and with the rest of the team (from left to right in the picture below: Alejandra Galmés, Alexandra Ion, Amanda Harvey, myself, Kaitlyn Goss —and Jaime in the centre). We managed to build something that we can be proud of: a journal that is becoming a reference in the field of public archaeology. And, although I am not an archaeologist by degree, on days like these I feel like one.

Picture from our latest team meeting.

Picture from our latest team meeting.

If you don’t know our journal yet, find out more about it here:

Website: http://www.arqueologiapublica.es

Blog: http://arqueologiapublica.blogspot.com.es

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/APJournal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/APjournal

Google+: https://plus.google.com/114417637623420102154