Created in 2002, Inrap is a public research institution under the supervision of the Ministries of Culture and Communication, and of Research. It ensures the detection and study of the archaeological heritage affected by development and infrastructural works. It undertakes the study of these finds, disseminates the research results within the scientific community and contributes to spread the knowledge of archaeology to the general public. With approximately 1,800 collaborators and researchers, Inrap is present throughout France. It is by far the largest and most important operator in preventive archaeology at work, in both rural and urban areas with 8 interregional offices and 50 research centres. In 2010: 1638 on-site evaluations and 263 sites excavated; annual budget: 166 million euros. Inrap is involved in exchanges of experiences and methodology concerning the recording, handling and exploitation of a large quantity of archaeological data (topography, GIS, contexts, sediments, finds, etc. etc.) notably in the light of the statutory and administrative obligations related to ‘preservation by record’ policies. The institute is also managing comparative and collaborative works for a better managed collection, access and use of archaeological data at a national level and also at an European level in the framework of Archaeology in Contemporary Europe a multiannual cooperation project funded by the Culture program (2007-2013).
Inrap will contribute to the project in various directions, playing the expert role for preventive archaeology and the particular datasets created in this research context. The Institute will particularly share experience on the implementation of Archaeological Dataset and Archaeological Dataset Networking in preventive archaeology in France. This expertise on preventive archaeology context will be focused on the methodological framework for integrating grey literature to the RI (i.e. fieldworks reports and sites description). Inrap will particularly work on thesauri and lead the integration and publicity of the project in French speaking context (France and worldwide). The institute will also participate to the activities linked with sharing good practices and standards for the RI. Inrap will provide datasets on evaluations and excavations reports, general site descriptions but also some case studies of full site description including full corpus of archaeological remains and associated data.