Comparing Digital Archaeological Repositories: tDAR Versus Open Context

Beth Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last decade, two online archaeology data repositories, Digital Antiquity's The Digital Archeological Record (tDAR) and the Alexandria Archive Institute's (AAI) Open Context, have emerged in the United States as key players in the development of technology and Web platforms for preservation and public online access to archaeological research data. The need for these services has intensified since 2011, in the wake of U.S. federal open access mandates and funding agency data management plan requirements for grant applications. Through a comparison of selected features of tDAR and Open Context, this article highlights similarities and key differences in their designs, data management policies, and practices, and provides guidance to subject specialist librarians and others who advise archaeological researchers about how these differences can impact the suitability of each repository for specific data characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-213
Number of pages41
JournalBehavioral and Social Sciences Librarian
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • Open Context
  • archaeology data
  • data repository comparison
  • online data repositories
  • the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Library and Information Sciences


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