CfP: Special issue: “Archaeology and information research” to appear in Information Research

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Thu, 10/26/2017 - 06:12

Archaeology is a domain that has intersections with information research both as an empirical domain of investigation and as a perspective to inquire into how people interact with information. The relevance of discussing the links between the disciplines of information and archaeology relates to the increasing societal significance of cultural heritage around the globe. In archaeology, improved understanding of archaeological information work, knowledge creation and management processes has been acknowledged as being critical in managing and exploiting the escalating amounts of archaeological data from archaeological excavations conducted prior to land-use around the world. From a theoretical and practical perspective, archaeology brings together methodological perspectives ranging from the humanities to the natural sciences, and serves as an interesting showcase of the problems, challenges and opportunities related to inter- and multi-disciplinary domains of information practices. Finally, similar to multiple areas of humanities and social science research, archaeology has provided inspiration and functioned as a powerful metaphor in critical research in the information field.

As Huvila et al. (2017) note, it is possible to categorise the earlier research in the nexus of archaeology and information science into three broad categories. First, there is management, organisation and retrieval oriented research, often with an aim of contributing to the development of theories, methods and practices of archaeological information work. Secondly, there is a corpus of research with a focus on information behaviour and practices of archaeologists including studies about archaeological documents, documentation and the socio-technical aspects of archaeological knowledge production. Thirdly, earlier information science research has used archaeology (including but not restricted to Foucault’s archaeology of knowledge (Foucault, 2002) as a method or approach for studying diverse information science topics.

Therefore, the aim of this special issue is to highlight the interdisciplinary nexus and invite papers that explore and investigate the intersections of archaeologies and the different areas of information research. The archaeologies include archaeology proper, media archaeology, the archaeology of knowledge and other archaeological approaches, whereas information research includes, library, museum and archival studies, as well as other relevant disciplines.

Submissions can address, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • The actual and potential impacts of archaeology, archaeological methods and/or archaeological metaphors on information research and practice.
  • Historical case studies in information studies that apply archaeological approaches, methods, or theoretical perspectives.
  • Information research on archaeological practices and issues that enhances our understanding of both archaeological work and topics of information research including but not limited to human information behaviour and practices, knowledge organisation, information literacies, information management, scholarly communication and others.

The proposed manuscripts can be theoretical, conceptual or grounded in qualitative and/or quantitative methods (e.g. interviews, surveys, document studies, bibliometrics, etc.), or phenomenological inquiry.

If you have questions about your proposed topic or approach, please contact Isto Huvila at


Submissions must follow Information Research guidelines for submissions found at . The HTML-conversion of accepted and finalised manuscripts will be sponsored by the Department of ALM, Uppsala University and done on behalf of the authors.


Isto Huvila (Uppsala University), Marija Dalbello (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Costis Dallas (University of Toronto), Ixchel M. Faniel (OCLC Research), and Michael Olsson (University of Technology Sydney)


Deadline for submitting a full manuscript to the special issue is June 30, 2018.

Submissions should be made in Word (.doc) format, using the template provided at and following the instructions at Information Research Style Manual and Author Instructions

The final submission has to be done using editorial system at NB! When typing the title of your manuscript in the system, add word [ARCHAEOLOGY] (in square brackets) to the end of the title to make sure that your submission will be processed by the editors of the special issue.


Deadline for full manuscripts is June 30, 2018.

We expect that the reviews and revisions rounds will be completed by early 2019 and a projected date of publication for the special issue is in the first half of 2019.

Literature on the topic

  • Dalbello, M. (2013). “Digitality, epistolarity and reconstituted letter archives,” Information Research 18(3)
  • Dalbello, M. (2011). “A genealogy of digital humanities,” The Journal of Documentation 67(3), 480-506. 
  • Dalbello-Lovric, M. (1999). The case for bibliographical archeology. Analytical & Enumerative Bibliography, 10(1), 1–20.
  • Dallas, C. (2015). Curating archaeological knowledge in the digital continuum: from practice to infrastructure. Open Archaeology, 1(1), 176–207.
  • Dallas, C. (2016a). Digital curation beyond the “wild frontier”: a pragmatic approach. Archival Science, 16(4), 421–457.
  • Dallas, C. (2016b). Jean-Claude Gardin on archaeological data, representation and knowledge: implications for digital archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 23(1), 305–330.
  • Faniel, I., Kansa, E., Whitcher Kansa, S., Barrera-Gomez, J., & Yakel, E. (2013). The challenges of digging data: a study of context in archaeological data reuse. In Proceedings of the 13th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, JCDL ’13, (pp. 295–304). New York, NY, USA: ACM.
  • Faniel, Ixchel M. and Yakel, Elizabeth (2017). “Practices Do Not Make Perfect: Disciplinary Data Sharing and Reuse Practices and Their Implications for Repository Data Curation.” In Curating Research Data, Volume One: Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository, 103–126. Chicago, Illinois: Association of College and Research Libraries.
  • Foucault, M. (2002). The Archeology of Knowledge. London: Routledge.
  • Huvila, I. (2009). Ecological framework of information interactions and information infrastructures. Journal of Information Science, 35(6), 695–708.
  • Huvila, I. (2011). The politics of boundary objects: hegemonic interventions and the making of a document. JASIST, 62(12), 2528–2539.
  • Huvila, I. (2012a). Authorship and Documentary Boundary Objects. In 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS), (pp. 1636 –1645). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society.
  • Huvila, I. (2012b). Being Formal and Flexible: Semantic Wiki as an Archaeological e-Science Infrastructure. In M. Zhou, I. Romanowska, Z. Wu, P. Xu, & P. Verhagen (Eds.) Revive the Past: Proceeding of the 39th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Beijing, 12-16 April 2011, (pp. 186–197). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Huvila, I. (2014). Archaeologists and their information sources. In I. Huvila (Ed.) Perspectives to Archaeological Information in the Digital Society, (pp. 25–54). Uppsala: Department of ALM, Uppsala University.
  • Huvila, I. (2016a). Awkwardness of becoming a boundary object: Mangle and materialities of reports, documentation data and the archaeological work. The Information Society, 32(4), 280–297.
  • Huvila, I. (2016b). ’if we just knew who should do it’, or the social organization of the archiving of archaeology in Sweden. Information Research, 21(2).
  • Huvila, I.; Faniel, I. M.; Dallas, C.; Olsson, M. & Dalbello, M. (2017). Archaeological Perspectives in Information Science. Proceedings of the 2017 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, ASIS&T.
  • Kriesberg, A., Frank, R. D., Faniel, I. M., & Yakel, E. (2013). The role of data reuse in the apprenticeship process. Proc. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 50(1), 1–10.
  • Olsson, M. (2016). Making sense of the past: The embodied information practices of field archaeologists. Journal of Information Science, 42(3), 410–419.