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Archäologische Berichte: The DGUF monograph series

Having given its Archäologische Informationen journal a makeover, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (German Society for Pre- and Protohistory; DGUF) has also renovated the monographs it has published - the Archäologische Berichte - in keeping with its Open Access strategy: since November 2014, new volumes of the series have been published from the outset as online publications which are freely accessible from all corners of the globe.

The DGUF's objective in establishing the series in 1987 was to offer its authors a platform which allowed them to publish to a large readership and with the quality assurance usual in the academic world in a way that was fast, low cost and gave the readers good value for money. In order to be able to achieve this objective in an even more effective way given the technical changes and new demands, the DGUF has radically modernised its series.

The first volume (Arch. Ber. Vol. 25) after this makeover is already online: a study by Christian Lau on Roman imperial era pottery in East Westphalia.

Quality assurance and technology
As before, all volumes undergo a quality control by means of a peer review, among other things, before they are accepted for publication. On publication, the volumes are issued with an ISBN number; thanks to an immediate bibliographic recording, they are visible in the national and international library catalogues from the very start. The monographs can be enriched with supplemental materials such as high-resolution maps, oversize formats and photos, and, most importantly, the associated research data (Open Data). Interested persons can find the necessary details in the new editorial guidelines for the series.

The DGUF’s partner in this project is the same as for Archäologische Informationen, the DGUF’s specialist journal – namely Heidelberg university library, which is taking over and guaranteeing the hosting and long-term archiving of the volumes and the data. The software platform here is the widely used open-source software Open Monograph Press (OMP), which unfortunately still has clumsy and English-only user prompting at the moment. OMP is rapidly being developed further, however, and the DGUF feedback is also being taken into consideration; the UB Heidelberg is generating a German user interface, among other things.

Reduced costs for the authors
Right from the start, the aim of the series was to lead to fast and low-cost publication for its authors and its readers. Before, advance funding for this was required from the authors and the DGUF, i. e. for the layout and the printing. The new model obviates the need for shared advance funding for the printing, and the online reading is free of charge for the readers, of course. The layouting can now be done by the authors themselves in accordance with precise specifications, although the publishers prefer to have the layouting done under their supervision. The layouting costs have then to be borne by the authors, as before.

Printed edition
At the same time as the online publication, it will also be possible to order the printed volume, although this is not yet the case with the current “pilot volume” 25. Together with the UB Heidelberg, the DGUF is looking for a service provider which can take over the printing. A solution is to be found in the first half of 2015. The aim is for readers of the online edition to be able to order a printed version as well with a few clicks.

Open Data
The data accompanying a publication which the authors have recorded and evaluated can be added to the publication as Open Data. The "HeiDok" data archive, which is operated and guaranteed by the Heidelberg university library, then makes the data available via a cloud in only one click. Results thus become easier to check and understand, and the further use of the data is also made easier. The editors take care that the data are stored in simple and well-defined formats so that they can be loaded into the relevant programmes again for as long as possible.

Republication of all volumes
Back in 2013, the DGUF started to gradually retro-digitise all volumes of Archäologische Berichte and to make them available to research in Open Access. Since midth of 2017, all volumes are available online.

Urgeschichte, Vorgeschichte und andere Archäologien: Eine Begriffsklärung
Das Fach, um das es der DGUF geht, wird mit unterschiedlichen Begriffen bezeichnet.
Hinter dem bekannten, scheinbar einfachen Begriff "Archäologie" verbergen sich viele unterschiedliche Archäologien. mehr

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