The Archaeological Institute of America's ad hoc Committee on Electronic Publication is conducting an experiment on the Web, and your participation is requested. The committee members hope to learn how scholars would react to photographs published on the Web. Therefore, a group of photographs, in color, that were also published, in black-and-white, in a standard paper publication have been made available on the Web either through the AIA Web site or directly through http://csaws.brynmawr.edu:443/web2/picexp.html). (1)
Scholars are encouraged to compare the utility of the photographs on the Web with that of those in the monograph. The photographs are of pottery published in S. I. Rotroff and J .H. Oakley, Debris from a Public Dining Place in the Athenian Agora (Hesperia Supplement 25, 1992) . Ms. Rotroff is a member of the committee; she was able to help with the experiment by providing slides of some of the pottery illustrated in the monograph. The slides were scanned at the CSA office, and the Web document was prepared there as well.
The committee members are eager to know whether scholars find the Web images to be as useful as the published ones. This may not be the best possible comparison, since the published images are unusually large, and the slides are not exactly comparable in terms of angle and lighting. Nonetheless, the committee members hope that scholars will check the Web site and the monograph and compare the images. (Each Web image is labeled with the appropriate plate reference for the monograph.) After you have looked at the images and made your comparisons, please let the members of the committee know your thoughts. In particular, they are eager to know whether you find the images on the Web to be as useful as the published ones, less useful, or more useful; whether color makes a difference; whether the Web images would be more desirable if the paper versions could not be so large. In addition, any other comments about your reactions to the Web images, your potential use of them, your perception of their acceptability, and so on will be very much appreciated.
The AIA's Committee on Electronic Publication will be awaiting the results of this experiment as the committee members continue to discuss the Institute's future role in electronic publication. The members of this new committee would also welcome comments concerning electronic publication in general from anyone interested in the issue. The committee members have been wrestling with questions about the AIA's role in electronic publication, specifically whether preliminary findings should be published electronically, whether catalogs and excavation databases should be on the Internet, and whether images on the Web are useful. If you have comments about these or other, related issues, please forward them to CSA Director, Harrison Eiteljorg, II, the committee chairman.
For other Newsletter articles concerning the use of electronic media in the humanities, consult the Subject index.
For a related article in this issue: AIA Web Site Opens - Includes Volunteer List, Electronic Publication Experiment
Next Article: Document Preservation and Access
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(1) The web address csa.brynmawr.edu was replaced by www.csanet.org. The links in this document were redirected to the new site in July, 2000 by CSA personnel. Return to the body of the article.