Volume III Issue 2/2012 Pages 183–185

Editorial, IANSA 2/2012

The Way Ahead: IANSA Journal Meeting in Mikulov, October 2012, Czech Republic

Jaromír Beneš, John Chapman

Three years after the decision to start the new journal, we have experienced some success in editing and publishing our journal, thanks to the strong support of our readers and authors. The first volume, printed in 2010, was typical of the genre of “first journals” – made in a rush under huge pressure. The shortage of scientific papers and the absence of an electronic editorial format made it seem hopelessly optimistic to find our place in bespoke international databases. Nonetheless, the first issue came out and was distributed successfully, maybe because we found a niche between the regional archaeology of central and eastern Europe and other distant regions, such as western Asia or northern Africa. All of those regions were traditionally created by colourful histories of archaeological research, sometimes very divergent in comparison with leading and scientifically developed countries.

The theoretical basis of the IANSA journal originated from the conceptual framework of Central European archaeology (especially in the Czech Republic), which was in last two decades strongly influenced by the approaches of natural sciences and environmental archaeology. We feel that there is a clearly defined scientific mainstream of the IANSA journal in which our efforts continue to be focussed on the core of archaeology, which is located in the social sciences and (pre)history. We represent only one wing of archaeological writings and we are very much aware of it! Therefore the journal provides opportunities for publication of “softer”, less scientific papers in the section called “News and Views”. The name of this section is so far provisional: we are searching for a more appropriate name in 2013.

A key event in the life of our journal turned out to be the joint meeting of the Editorial and Advisory Boards, held on October 26th in the beautiful town of Mikulov, South Moravia, Czech Republic. The meeting had been planned to coincide with the occasion of the conference “Theory and Method in the Prehistoric Archaeology of Central Europe”. A full day of fruitful debate resulted within some key decisions, which will shape and stimulate some new directions for the journal. We can summarize our discussions in the following five points:

1. New Profile of IANSA: We should make the profile of IANSA clearer. It would be better to extend the focus outwards from the core area of interest – Central European archaeology – and transform IANSA into a journal for innovative method and theory from all parts of the world, while retaining a special focus on papers from Central Europe. We attach a new statement of intent at the end of the Editorial.

2. Structure of IANSA: The current structure comprises five sections. The Editorial, Backstories and Reviews sections could be kept as they are now, but changes to the two sections called “Articles” and ‚News and Views’ are recommended as they are not as clearly differentiated as they could be. It would be valuable to invent new section headings, which would reflect their content more clearly. These changes can be visible from 2013.

3. Reviews Editor: The Joint Board felt it important to create a new post – the editor for the Reviews Section. Appended to this Editorial is a statement of responsibilities for the new Reviews Editor. We should ask publishers of key volumes for review copies. We should actively identify suitable themes for review papers.

4. Open access: the journal’s open-access policy is valuable and we should keep it.

5. Electronic editorial system. At the end of 2012, we finalized an important development in editing practice. In December, we opened a new electronic submission and editorial system for the public. Our system is now fully electronic and is currently accepting first submissions (for access, the URL is http://www.iansa.eu/newaccount.html).

Finally, as regards the contents of the current issue, the reader could find a series of papers which could broadly be divided into three groups. In the first group, we publish the remaining two articles devoted to the memory of Marek Zvelebil (A. Sarpaki, M. Rösch), which, for various reasons, could not be printed earlier in the special Marek Zvelebil issue. The second group of articles concentrate mostly on the Classical period in ancient Persia and Sudan (M. Keykhaei et al., M. R. Nejad et al., L. Suková and V. Cílek). The third group of papers (A. Myszka et al., A. Zastawny et al., M. Moník and P. Šlézar) returned to our traditional milieu of central Europe.

Revised Journal Profile

The global focus of Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica – Natural Sciences in Archaeology is the ongoing cooperation of archaeology with the natural sciences and other disciplines. The journal’s worldwide thematic interests include bioarcheaology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology and archaeogenetics, geoarchaeology (petro-archeology, micromorphology), landscape archaeology and dating methods in archaeology. There is no limit to the period of investigations – from the Palaeolithic to the historical period, with particular emphasis on studies that cooperate with the natural sciences. We shall publish contributions that aim to solve archaeological questions utilizing the methods of the natural sciences and other fields, recognizing the importance of a strong basis in archaeological theory. The birth of IANSA reflects the growing need of scientists in central Europe to access an international journal focused on the methods of the natural sciences and multidisciplinary cooperation in archaeology on a global level. Original contributions are sought from all continents, not only Europe, provided that they utilize appropriate methods, often multi-disciplinary, to seek innovative solutions to well-defined archaeological research questions. The growth of natural science methodologies within archaeology has been very dynamic. It is anticipated that our target group of readers will also grow in the coming years and, along with traditional archaeological institutions, will gradually include a wider range of countries over the whole of the world, as well as specialized natural science institutions (natural science departments associated with archaeological research, museums with archaeological collections, specialized laboratories) and commercial archaeology units.

The journal is strictly scientific, peer reviewed through an electronic editorial system, and publishes only in British English. Each article is reviewed by two specialists in fields related to the content of the article. Our goal is to establish IANSA as a high-quality specialized periodical, cited by the international Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report (JCR), and with a high level JCR “Impact Factor”. A hardcopy of the journal is issued semi-annually, on glossy paper, and with an initial circulation of 500 copies. The journal is also available as an open-access journal through its website www.iansa.eu.

Guidelines for the post of reviews editor

The position of “Reviews Editor” for IANSA is a three-year position, appointed by the joint Annual Editorial and Advisory Board meeting of IANSA following proposals for nominations from the Advisory Board.

The post-holder may apply for a second three-year term, in writing to the Chair of the Editorial Board, but would be ineligible for a third term.

The Reviews Editor is an ex officio member of the Editorial Board of IANSA, working in close co-operation with the Chair of that Board and working to the decisions of the Joint Annual Editorial and Advisory Boards.

In line with the new Journal Profile (see above), the Reviews Editor is expected to seek reviews of new books, conference proceedings, new journals, museum exhibitions, films and Internet features in a balanced and informative way.

There are two main ways in which the Reviews Editor would normally develop content: (i) review articles, or a group of reviews, covering the same or similar topical theme; (ii) individual reviews of items from the fields mentioned above.

The Reviews Editor is expected to establish her/his own group of reviewers which can include all members of the Editorial and Advisory Boards and any other colleague(s) who can make a decisive and noteworthy contribution.

The Reviews Editor is expected to write on behalf of IANSA to publishers to elicit free copies of relevant work to be sent direct to the reviewer for their personal usage once their review has been accepted for publication.

The Reviews Editor is expected to liaise with the Editor of IANSA to ensure that the IANSA procedures of linguistic editing produce a high level of final text.

The Reviews Editor is expected to work in close co-operation with the Editor of IANSA, in particular in terms of publication, proof and final proof deadlines to ensure prompt publication of the Reviews Section.


Figure 1. Members of the joint Annual Editorial and Advisory Board meeting of IANSA in Mikulov (October 26th, 2012). From left to right: M. Makohonienko, J. Beneš, J. Chapman, B. Hanks. J. Peška, M. Bastl, I. Cheben, lower row: L. Šín, P. Pokorný, A. Pankowská, O. Mlejnek.