The Chinese Archaeology Journals Index (CAJI) presents all the articles published in the journals Kaogu and Wenwu since their creation and allows bibliographical search by region and period, or by theme or method.
Context and goals
In China, archaeological data are most often published as articles in specialized periodicals. The two most widely read monthly journals are: Kaogu and Wenwu. These two journals, published respectively by the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and by the National Bureau of Cultural Relics, disseminate the most important archaeological discoveries and research at the national level. In Chinese archaeology, any new bibliographical search begins by consulting these two periodicals.
The CAJI is a database which offers a form for each article published in Kaogu and Wenwu since their creation (1934 for Kaogu and 1950 for Wenwu) and until 2020. Over 20,000 records allow quick bibliographical searches by type of text (report or research article), region and period or large fields.
The CNKI search engine is most often used (for a fee) to search Chinese scientific periodicals. Unfortunately, when searching by keyword, its algorithm favors the most recent articles and does not make the distinction – essential in a bibliographical search in archaeology – between jianbao excavation (or survey) reports and research articles.
CAJI allows users to search the two major journals of Chinese archaeology in a way that is both easy and adapted to the specificities of this discipline. Once the search is done, the user can export bibliographical lists, then search, thanks to their references (title of the journal, year, volume) the paper version of the articles in libraries or, using the exact titles of the articles found, their digital versions in online databases (such as CNKI or the National Social Science Database).
The CAJI can therefore be used to conduct bibliographical searches, to export bibliographies or lists of sites in text (.csv), but also tables containing the coordinates of the sites, which can then be entered into a GIS software program to geolocate the selected discoveries and to produce distribution maps of certain types of remains.
The simplicity of the design of the database and the choice of FileMaker Pro to elaborate its structure, as well as the call to Huma-Num for its hosting and availability, are linked to a desire to maximize interoperability and guarantee the durability of the data. Above all, it is a question of making the information easy to find, accessible, interoperable and reusable (according to the FAIR principle of digital humanities). By clicking on « Sign In as Guest/se connecter en tant qu’invité », access to the database is free and public, without any registration, account or password.
Results and scientific productions
A bibliographical tool
The database is available to all, and constitutes a practical tool for any first bibliographical search in Chinese archaeology by researchers or students. This tool facilitates an essential step of the documentation, before moving on to the paper or digital consultation of these articles.
Bibliometric portrait of the history of Chinese archaeology
The large amount of data collected in the CAJI makes it possible to reflect differently on the specificities of Chinese archaeology in the form of a meta-analysis. The CAJI provides an opportunity to conduct a bibliometric analysis of the history of Chinese archaeology. The statistical analyses will be conducted in 2025 and 2026.
Then, several articles, in French, English and Chinese languages will use these figures to produce graphs and maps in order to visualize the variations in the intensity of publications – and therefore of excavations and funding – synchronously according to the regions and periods, and diachronically, between the years 1950 and 2020. The main periods and trends of Chinese archaeology over the last seventy years will thus be highlighted, and this will be based for the first time on precise figures and distribution maps.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. Users of the dataset are requested to credit the source of the information with a bibliographic reference to the on-line dataset as follows:
Sebillaud, Pauline (2023), The Chinese Archaeological Journals Database, CRCAO (UMR8155), CNRS.