Awkwardness of becoming a boundary object: Mangle and materialities of reports, documentation data, and the archaeological work

Isto Huvila

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Information about an archaeological investigation is documented in an archaeological report, which makes it the boundary object par excellence for archaeological information work across stakeholder communities such as field archaeologists, heritage managers, and land developers. The quality of reports has been a subject of debate, and recently it has been argued that more emphasis should be placed on making primary research data at least similarly available. This study explores the changing materialities and reciprocal formation of documents and their users with the advent of digitization, and how documents form and lose their status as boundary objects in these processes. The study posits that in order to be functional, a boundary object needs to provide a disclosure that makes it accessible to cognate communities. Further, it shows how assumptions about the functioning of the human and nonhuman (material artifacts) influence the ways in which archaeologists conceptualize the preservation and archiving of archaeological information and the role and potential of different types of digital and paper-based documents. This article is based on an interview study of Swedish archaeology professionals (N = 16) with theoretical underpinnings in the notions of boundary objects, mangle of practice, and disclosure.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)280–297
    Number of pages18
    JournalInformation Society
    Volume32
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • Data
    • boundary objects
    • documents
    • reports

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