A task force consisting of CRM and academic professionals has interacted regularly during the past year to develop courses of action that will foster collaboration between the CRM industry and academic professionals. The results of this discourse were presented at the 2018 Annual Conference in Cincinnati.
The Task Force chose to focus on two areas of concern:
- Education/training of professionals
- Research/data sharing.
The 2018 conference session and the board meeting indicated that there is a strong desire for collaboration regarding the training of professionals; however, the subject of data sharing and synthesis efforts revealed some skepticism on the part of CRM professionals. There was obvious concern regarding the logistics of data sharing and synthesis studies. Nevertheless, the ACRA board realizes that increased communication between our industry and the academy is essential for the future of our profession and our ability to address the grand questions. Therefore, ACRA has agreed to become a partner of the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS) and is moving forward with the communication strategy presented here.
ACRA also supports the curation of digital data in responsible repositories that will enable synthetic research well into the future. Please see a white paper, Digital Data Curation and Access: Why You and Your Organization Should be Actively Involved (Peter et al. 2019), that addresses the need and requirements for proper long-term digital curation. The Task Force encourages everyone to become part of the conversation so that meaningful collaboration is the result. Collaboration between our industry and the academy can be achieved at many different levels: working with a local university to provide meaningful internships, collaborating with academic professionals on a local or regional research issue, participating in a group competing for funding from the CfAS, or supporting a scholarship at your favorite university. Please use the ACRASphere to share other ideas on how we can foster collaboration between our industry and the academy.