Minister of State

The Humming From Behind the Webpage

The racing tune of Largo al factotum by Rossini was on the radio as I came into work and has stayed in my head all day. It’s great uplifting piece of music to be rounding off the week and an apt backdrop to a busy Day of Archaeology 2012 (as well as one of my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoons!). Have a listen while you read the next few posts!


Largo al factorum (YouTube video)

I am only in work today for the morning so this post is shorter (and ultimately later as I am now posting this from home) than if Day of Archaeology 2012 fell on one of my full working days like last year. My post has always been at 80% full time which helps to fit in with family life (husband, 2 year old and a 7 year old) and all the other things I try to fit into my evenings and weekends in my ‘free’ time.

My half days are ‘bitty’ days. Too short to get my teeth into something big but great for clearing up all those little ones that arise during the course of the week. So far this morning I’ve dealt with email correspondence on matters such as arranging a review copy of a book to be sent to the journal (we rarely review books but this one has a particular digital slant to it and so makes the grade), sorting out dates for the next CBA Publications committee meeting, dealing with the queries raised by Val Kinsler, the journal’s long-standing copy-editor, on an article for the next issue, as well as setting up the access file for the forthcoming volume and making small changes to the search and subscription database to reflect the new content. I also received a phonecall from a referee regarding a recently submitted text.

Summary page of 'Visualising the Guild Chapel', Internet Archaeology 32 (forthcoming)

Summary page of ‘Visualising the Guild Chapel’, Internet Archaeology 32 (forthcoming)


I have a quick meeting with Stuart from ADS downstairs over our IfA Workplace Learning Bursary application in between spending what’s left of the morning polishing a pretty much completed article (above) ready for release, and make a start on the copy-edited draft from Val, specifically collating queries to send back to the authors.  Both articles are in fact designated for Open Access as the authors either successfully applied to their departmental research fund, or wisely built in publication funding in their original project bid. All too frequently it is still the case that the outputs of research (and their associated costs) are not given much thought at the start of a project/bid. But if things like publication costs are not factored in at the start, it is almost impossible to recover them later. This to me seems to be the biggest hurdle in the move to Open Access in archaeology whatever additional waivers there must always be for those without access to such funds. But Open Access is something Internet Archaeology is committed to achieving. I attended a really useful and interesting day in London at the start of June on Open Access organised by the Repositories Support Project and have been buoyed by the recent announcements and activities (e.g. the Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts’ recent speech, and the newly released Finch report), all which point to the inevitability of Open Access. What else can I say – watch this space!