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In September 2005, the Mellon Foundation funded an exploratory research project to assess the state ofscholarly publishing in the field of art and architectural history, with the goal of understanding the challenges faced by bothscholars and publishers working in this area. The project was led by the Columbia University Department of Art History andArchaeology and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, with research assistance from the Princeton University Center forArts and Cultural Policy Studies (CACPS) and the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC). A brief description ofthe research questions and investigative components of the project follows.

Research questions

  • Understand how scholarly publishing in art history has changed during the past 20 years.
  • Understand how the size and scope of art history and related fields have changed over the past 20years.
  • Assess current opportunities for art historians to publish monographs (especially first books).
  • Assess the implications of changing publishing opportunities for the credentialing and professionaldevelopment of younger scholars in art history.
  • Assess the impact of rising permissions costs on opportunities to publish in art history.
  • Assess the potential of other outlets (including e-publishing, museum publications and journals) formonographic scholarship in art and architectural history.

Components of the research project

  • Data were collected on the number of art history books published by university presses since 1985. A sampleof these books was further broken down into the categories of single-author works and museum-related works.
  • Data were collected on Ph.D.’s awarded in art history since 1979-80.
  • Focused discussions were held with three groups of art history scholars: 12 younger scholars (who receivedPh.D.’s within the past 10 years), 12 mid-career and senior scholars, and the chairs of more than a dozen art history graduateprograms in the northeastern U.S.
  • Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 senior representatives of leading art history presses andother organizations with a significant interest in art history scholarship and publishing.
  • A focused discussion was held with a group of art history editors from 27 presses at the annual meeting of theCollege Art Association.
  • A survey was conducted with a sample of art history editors on the characteristics of the art publishingprograms at their presses.
  • A summit meeting of scholars, publishers and the Mellon Foundation was convened in an effort to forge a productive collaborative strategy for dealing with the challenges that affect both art history scholars and publishers.

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Source:  OpenStax, The state of scholarly publishing in the history of art and architecture. OpenStax CNX. Sep 22, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10377/1.2
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