Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

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After the Conference: Saving and Sharing the Knowledge Base

July 17, 2014

T. Kurt Knoerl On 15 July 2014 the online Museum of Underwater Archaeology (MUA) launched the electronic version of the proceedings from the 2014 Asia-Pacific Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage held in Honolulu, Hawaii in May.  One of the great things about this conference is its organizers’ dedication to making the papers freely available online.  A small team of editors made sure that presenters followed the established format and then handed the PDF’s off to the MUA web team for online publication using Omeka software developed at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

After examining the online proceedings one might argue there are better ways to digitally present the papers but that’s a minor point when compared to the larger aim of the free distribution of knowledge.  The cost to create the online proceedings was minimal.  The labor, server space, and bandwidth were all donated.  With this being the case my question is this: why don’t all conferences do this? 

How many conference sessions have we all been to when competing papers of excellent quality had fifty or less viewers in the audience?  Papers from the 2011 Asia-Pacific conference proceedings held in Manila, Philippines have had thousands of downloads in the last three years.  Isn’t that sort of sharing and spreading of knowledge what academia is supposed to be about?

Some have argued that not all conference papers are of equal quality and therefore should be withheld from distribution.  To this I would argue that yes I’ve seen some poor papers over the years but the online proceedings captures a moment in time and represents the state of the field (whatever the discipline) warts and all.  I believe it is better to let a few poor papers get through in order to also preserve the rest that might otherwise be lost to obscurity.   If the authors of bad papers are willing to stand up and present them then they have accepted the responsibility for their paper’s quality for better or worse. 

I was not able to attend the 2014 Asia Pacific conference this past May but I can attend it now, or next year, or the year after that when I discover through my online search that an obscure paper presented there is exactly what I needed to see.   We need to encourage our various professional societies to abandon the model of charging money for printed proceedings at the expense of freely available online versions.  In some cases the printed versions lose money or at best generate little income.  We need to ask ourselves do we conduct our research and present papers to make money or to increase the body of knowledge in our respective fields. 

Save and share the knowledge.

You can view the first installment of the Asia-Pacific conference proceedings here: http://www.themua.org/collections/collections/show/13

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New Quarterly Newsletter: ACUA Student

May 6, 2013

New Quarterly Newsletter: ACUA Student

ACUA Student

ACUA Student

The student representatives for the ACUA are now releasing a quarterly newsletter ACUA Student geared toward all underwater archaeology students, undergraduate or graduate! These newsletters will contain great information on current student research, upcoming conferences, field school opportunities, and ways to advance your professional career.

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Underwater Corrosion Testing of the Holland 5 – H.M. Submarine No. 5 By David Crosthwaite-Eyre

December 27, 2012
Diver using a Cygnus Instruments ultrasonic thickness gauge.

Diver using a Cygnus Instruments ultrasonic thickness gauge.

In 1900 the Royal Navy signed a contract to build five ‘Holland’ class submarines. Entering service in 1903, these experimental boats were the Royal Navy’s first submarines, and over the next decade proved the value of the submarine as a weapon of war.

Developments in technology rendered the ‘Hollands’ obsolete and they were either sold for scrap or destined to be used for gunnery practice. HM Submarine No. 5 (the ‘Holland 5’) was en route to a naval yard when it slipped its tow and sunk in 1912. It lay undiscovered off the English south coast until accidentally found in 1995. Now protected by law, it has remained undisturbed on the seabed for almost a century.

In 2010 a Masters student from the School of Applied Sciences at Cranfield University and keen recreational diver, Duncan Harwood, decided to make the Holland 5 the subject of his dissertation.  More specifically, he wished to examine the rate of corrosion suffered by the wreck, and to consider the mechanisms and factors which may have affected that rate of corrosion.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reader Submitted Research Link

March 10, 2011

Recently one of our readers sent us this link which some of our readers might find useful:

http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/library/maritime-history

Thanks to Lauren for that suggestion.

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Google Art Project and the MUA Maritime Art Gallery

February 8, 2011

Google recently announced a new online initiative called “Art Project” in
which they partnered with 17 art museums around the world and placed high
resolution images online for the public to explore. Each piece includes
viewing notes (click the <<i symbol), information about the artist, and
links to more images by the artist across museums. In addition the
website allows viewers to create their own collection of images selected
from any of the museums.

The MUA has taken advantage of that feature and created a collection
within the Google Art Project of the 41 maritime related images we found
across all 17 museums. We will update the MUA gallery whenever new
museums are added to the project . We invite you to explore this virtual
maritime art museum by clicking on the link on our home page at:

http://www.themua.org

Enjoy!

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A Giant Awakes in Nantes

June 12, 2009

This is a little off topic but very cool.

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=214169335485&h=a-akt&u=nuMcG&ref=mf

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New Videos Online for the Underwater Archaeology Teaching Kit

January 22, 2009
Students using the MUA Teaching Kit.
Students using the MUA Teaching Kit.

We have recently updated the teaching page with two new videos. The first shows a brief portion of the hands on artifact analysis exercise we conducted with a sixth grade class in Maryland. The second shows how we conduct a black water diving simulation wherein students can not see the items they are touching but have to determine if the objects are man made or from the natural environment. If you don’t have one of the MUA Teaching Kits please see our teaching page for information on how to obtain one for your class or organization.

You can see the new videos here: http://www.uri.edu/artsci/his/mua/teaching.html