The conference of the international Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology organisation is every year’s computational archaeology nerd festival. Next year it will take place in Amsterdam from 3rd to 6th of April. The call for papers has just been extended, so you now can submit a paper abstract until 31st October 2022.

Sebastian already talked about one great session on Archaeogaming at this conference, and there are many many other exciting topics to be explored.

Reproducing, Reusing, and Revising Code and Data in Archaeology

With the Special Interest Group Scientific Scripting Languages in Archaeology (SIG SSLA) I put forward a session that is very much concerned with reproducibility. In session 15 we will discuss how code and data are being shared in archaeology. Not just, if they are shared, but also very practically how are they re-used?

  • Do archaeologists try to reproduce each others’ analysis, or borrow code from each other?
    • How often?
    • Could you show a fruitful example?
    • Or could you share how you failed to replicate / reproduce an analysis?
  • Which techniques have you used to successfully reuse data and code from other persons?
    • As a data or code provider: what exactly do you need to provide? Data papers? README files? Example workflows?
    • As the reuser: what skills have you needed? Github? Forking?
  • Have you taught reproducibility methods to students?
    • What did you teach? How did you go about it?
  • What problems did you face, when you tried to re-use data or code?
  • Looking to the future: What reproducibility techniques do you think will be important?

Reproducibility is an essential topic. It’s not just about being able to check the work of others, but also about not re-inventing the wheel all the time. If someone else can re-use what I created, they will quite probably be faster in realizing their own goals.

I feel, reproducibility is actually not an “academic” issue: There are very practical skills involved. In the last years, more and more people gained these skills and put their datasets online and shared their code. But it is hard to see whether we are successful in our endeavor. We need to evaluate whether the techniques we are using to share code and data actually work and if and how people use the provided material.

Therefore I and the SIG SSLA are looking forward to an open discussion about problems as much as successes in Session 15: Reproducing, Reusing, and Revising Code and Data in Archaeology.

Join us in the discussion! 🙂

(or at least, join us in Amsterdam, if you can, CAA conferences are always a lot of fun!)

Sophie Schmidt

Founder & Editor

About the Author

My name is Sophie, I am a prehistoric and computational archaeologist and have been research associate at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, as well as for the NFDI4Objects project at the German Archaeological Institute. I teach statistics for archaeologists, work on new methods in settlement archaeology (GIS, geostatistics in R and stuff) and am interested in archaeogaming. Now I started my PhD-project on the 5th mill. BC in Brandenburg (that's North-East Germany).

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