A Study of Contexts and Practices


1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 1 This white paper focuses on the ways that networked environments might incorporate and adapt the processes of scholarly peer review in the humanities. It is meant to help authors, editors, reviewers and other constituencies define for themselves the best practices they might follow in designing an open review process. In this focus on best practices, we hope this document will serve not as a set of answers, but rather as a set of questions that groups of scholars might use to help clarify the stages of their review processes, the parameters for each, and the purposes and values that they serve. We hope in this sense to follow in the paths laid out by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ fair use policies,[1] the College Art Association’s guidelines for faculty in new media,[2] the Modern Language Association’s guidelines for evaluating work in digital humanities and digital media,[3] and the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s promotion and tenure guidelines for work with technology.[4]

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 4 The meetings and discussions that we held in working toward this white paper were not characterized by uninterrupted sweetness and light. We uncovered strikingly different viewpoints among the members of the advisory group about some key terms and issues, and accordingly some of our expectations for a clear, unanimous set of recommendations were confounded by the complexities we unearthed. These complexities, however, are very much to the point; open review processes are unlikely ever to produce unanimity among a diverse set of scholars with equally diverse interests. Instead, the best open review processes will work to bring diversity of opinion, interpretation, and experience to the surface, and thus those processes must themselves be flexible enough to work with many different communities of practice with many different requirements.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 This document, as a result, reflects the sum of our thinking over the course of a year’s worth of discussion and exploration. It represents not a singular path, but a range of possibilities and some recommendations for future exploration, experimentation, and study.

  • [1] Society for Cinema and Media Studies, “Fair Use Policies” <http://www.cmstudies.org/?page=fair_use>.
  • [2] College Art Association, “Guidelines for Faculty Teaching in New-Media Arts” <http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/newmedia07>.
  • [3] Modern Language Association, “Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media” <http://www.mla.org/guidelines_evaluation_digital>.
  • [4] Conference on College Composition and Communication, “Promotion and Tenure Guidelines for Work with Technology” <http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/promotionandtenure>.
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    Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/open-review/preface/