Dr. Nathan Elkins has continued his anti-collector crusade by posting an abstract of an article from the Journal of Field Archaeology that is critical of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and its test case on Academia.edu. Elkins' latest article itself is not posted on Academia.edu, though Academia.edu invites readers to ask Elkins to make it available on the website.
This rather obscure journal (in the world beyond field archaeology at least) is apparently Elkins' publisher of choice. Indeed, its like-minded academics also published his 2010 diatribe directed against Ancient Coins for Education, a not-for-profit that uses ancient coins as a teaching tool on Ancient Rome for kids. That article is already posted in its entirety on Academia.edu.
Elkins evidently has already made advance copies of this latest article about ACCG and its test case available to Messrs. Gill and Barford, whom he regards as colleagues. CPO and Wayne Sayles, ACCG's Executive Director, have already asked Elkins for an advance copy of the article too as a matter of fairness, but he has denied that request point blank.
The article has now also been posted on-line on the publisher's website, but the cost is high--$39 for the rights to review the article on-line for a 24 hour period. So, its no surprise that CPO has also asked and hopes Elkins will get whatever permissions he needs to make his article available free on-line on Academia.edu so that interested members of the public can judge the quality of his work for themselves short of subsidizing anti-collector academics by purchasing his article from JFA on-line or searching high and low for some library which might actually carry it. Despite Elkins' protests, it's unclear why he can't ask JFA to be allowed to post his article on Academia.edu. Certainly, Elkins has already posted his last JFA article attacking Ancient Coins for Education in its entirety on that platform.
Leaving this lack of "open access" aside, it's questionable that Elkins' claims that the State Department acted properly are justified. His apparent thesis-- that coins on the designated lists "primarily circulated" where they were made may or may not be true, but there is also a real question whether more is required under the plain meaning of the governing statute's "first discovery" requirement embedded in 19 USC Sections 2601, 2604 and 2610.
And even assuming Elkins is onto something, a cursory review of the designated lists for Cyprus and China should raise serious questions as to whether the Government did anything other than pick an arbitrary date and simply restrict all artifacts made in those countries beforehand.
Elkins may be entitled to his own opinions, but in the end the issue is one of law, an area in which he most certainly lacks expertise.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Government has been ordered to respond to the ACCG's written discovery requests on these points on or before June 20, 2015. We will hopefully know more then whether the Government made a good faith effort to comply with the CPIA's "first discovery" requirement or not.
(Text updated 5/12/15)