Stefano Costa is coordinating a working group on open data & standards in archaeology. Open content is a ‘next big thing’ according to this year’s horizon report, at least from the point of view of education; I’ve always taken the position that education & research are two sides of the same coin.
Anyway, regarding archaeology, Stefano has set up a mailing list for all who are interested in participating & learning more –
There is a mailing list at http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-archaeology where anyone can subscribe. Mailing list archives are public: be sure to read message #0 with a brief roadmap.
So why open data in archaeology? As an undergrad, it was always hammered into my head that if the data was never published, your work, your excavation, was little better than looting… as a graduate student, I was frequently roadblocked by either not being able to obtain the data I needed, or hamstrung by being able to look at it, but not being allowed to use it in anyway for my own research. I refused to sign a waiver to that effect once.
I’m sure more eloquent defenses or apologies for the concept of open data are out there/being written; I’m just writing this waiting for a meeting to start…