A new software to improve standardization and quality of data in zooarchaeology
TIPZOO: a Touchscreen Interface for Palaeolithic Zooarchaeology. Towards making data entry and analysis easier, faster, and more reliable
Recommendation: posted 28 May 2020, validated 28 May 2020
Standardization and quality of data collection are identified as challenges for the future in zooarchaeology . These issues were already identified in the early 1970s when the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) recommended to “standardize measurements and data in publications”. In the recent years, there is strong recommendations by publishers and grant to follow the FAIR Principle i.e. to “improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse of digital assets” . As zooarchaeologists, we should make our methods more clear and replicable by other researchers to produce comparable datasets. In this paper the authors make a significant step in proposing a tool to replace traditional data recording softwares. The problems related to data recording are clearly identified and discussed. All the features offered by TIPZOO allow to standardize the data, to reduce the errors when entering the data, to save time with auto-filling entries. The coding system used in TIPZOO is based on variables taken from the most used and updated literature in zooarchaeology. Its connections with various R packages allow to directly export the data and to transform the raw data to produce summary tables, graphs and basic statistics. Finally, the advantage of this tool is that it can be improved, debugged, or implemented at any time. TIPZOO provides a standardized system to compile and share large and consistent datasets that will allow comparison among assemblages at a large scale, and for this reason, I have recommended the work for PCI Archaeology.
 Steele, T.E. (2015). The contributions of animal bones from archaeological sites: the past and future of zooarchaeology. J. Archaeol. Sci. 56, 168–176. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.02.036
Florent Rivals (2020) A new software to improve standardization and quality of data in zooarchaeology. Peer Community in Archaeology, 100001. 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100001
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://osf.io/aew5c
Author's Reply, 28 May 2020
Decision by Florent Rivals, posted 25 May 2020
Dear Dr. Discamps,
Thanks you for submitting your preprint to the PCI Archaeology. I apologize for the delay in the review process. I have now received the feedback from two reviewers, and after reading your manuscript and the comments, I agree that your paper is of interest for the zooarchaeology community. Standardization is discussed since long time, and TIPZOO offers a huge step forward in standardizing and sharing the data.
The reviewers are suggesting some minor corrections to improve your paper. I just would like to suggest few additional details: - In the introduction, in the list of problems you could also consider the issues related to the experience of the zooarchaeologist. For example for young researchers, the way the data are recorded may drift significantly from the beginning to the end of their PhD. That could be included in point 1 or 2. - In the discussion, it would be interesting to add a short paragraph on future perspectives for TIPZOO. Maybe it would be interesting to integrate data for specific analyses on the bones, such as stable isotopes, tooth microwear, cementum analysis, geometric morphometrics among others, to have all these data linked in the same database. Just a suggestion.
I am looking forward to receive your revised manuscript.