Scholars and publishers alike face an array of challenges. Researchers in the field must contend with shrinking opportunities for publishing their work, thereby jeopardizing the intellectual vitality of the areas of art history and architecture. Publishers confront commercial pressures and increasing costs that constrain their ability to publish in certain fields of scholarship. The goal of the study is to understand the scope of retrenchment in monograph publishing, the shifts occurring in the supply and demand for these types of publications, the reasons behind these changes, and effects on scholars at different stages in their careers.
Hilary Ballon, Professor of Architectural History and former chair of the Department of Art History at Columbia, and Mariët Westermann, Professor of Fine Arts and Director of The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University will lead this project, in consultation with Lawrence McGill, Director of Research and Planning at the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University, and Kate Wittenberg, Director of the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia.
“A key question is how the changes in scholarly publishing are affecting the intellectual dynamism in the field of art history,” reported Professor Ballon. “Each genre in art history scholarship, from monographs to journal articles to exhibition catalogues, is valuable and makes different contributions to scholarship. We look forward to exploring this sector in greater detail.”
James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, noted, “scholarly publishing is undergoing a series of revolutionary changes, and this investigation will help us to better address the problems in this area that will yield some new models applicable to art history and other areas of study.”
The study will be carried out in several phases, beginning in September 2005: data collection; focus sessions with art historians; targeted discussions with publishers in the field; and a summit meeting of all constituent groups, including authors, publishers, and the Mellon Foundation to discuss the research findings and their implications.
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