Questions for an Evolving Discipline
Digital scholars, how should your work be assessed?
New technologies have complicated definitions and assessments of scholarship as many of us learn to build tools, create multi-media and non-traditional projects, and communicate our work to a wider public. As scholars, we count on feedback and reviews from peers and professors to validate and improve upon all of our work, in the classroom and in every kind of research. But new forms of scholarly work necessitate a fresh look at evaluation and validation. It is my hope that, along with conversations like the “What Have You Done for Art History Lately?” panel at the CAA conference, evaluation guidelines can help create a place for emerging methods and technologies as we work to “sustain and invigorate our discipline,” as Michelle and Karen wrote on AHTR earlier this year.
I am currently working as a researcher for a project team that is tasked with addressing these concerns by drafting a set of guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship in art history and architectural history. Part of this process involves getting feedback from graduate students in a brief questionnaire on the kinds of digital work they are doing, the training that is available to them, and ways the work is credited or evaluated.
For this project, the College Art Association and the Society for Architectural Historians have been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to form a task force of scholars who will develop a set of guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship in art history and architectural history. The CAA and SAH shared guidelines will create wider awareness of and participation in research, production, publication, and/or exhibitions using digital technologies. They will be crucial for art and architectural historians who create new forms of digital research and scholarship that need to be evaluated and credentialed, and they will also provide institutions and tenure committees with specific criteria for evaluating digital projects. The collaborative research process includes a survey of the CAA and SAH membership, interviews with professors and administrators at a number of institutions, input from graduate students, and reviews of existing guidelines in other disciplines. To learn more about the project, see the CAA blog.
To add your voice to the research, click here for the questionnaire. This survey will take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. Please complete it by May 26, 2015