Ballon and Westermann (2006)
|Ballon and Westermann (2006)|
|Title:||Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age|
|Author(s):||Ballon, H., Westermann, M.|
|Citation:||Ballon, H. and Westermann, M. (2006) Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age. Texas: Connexions.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Kelly (2013)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Quantitative data on publishing trends and PhD conferrals were obtained from a previous study by McGill (2006).|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“Over the past two decades, the expansion of art history graduate programs and the emergence of new fields of inquiry into the visual world have resulted in steady growth in the population of scholars of art and architecture. In the same period, economic pressures on academic publishers have caused thematic shifts and numerical reductions in the publication of the types of monographs that have traditionally nurtured the discipline. Since the 1960s, such monographs, often based on dissertations, have served as the primary criterion for academic tenure and promotion in North America. These field conditions have led to considerable concern in the art historical community ab out the professional advancement of younger scholars and the long-term vitality of the discipline.
It should be noted, however, that several still-recent developments have given art history new alternatives for rigorous and creative publication and dialogue. The rapidly improving quality of digital images and modes of electronic publication offer expanded publishing opportunities to scholars and potential economic benefits to academic publishers, in print as well as electronic media. The remarkable and continuing growth of museum exhibitions with large audiences and handsomely produced catalogues presents a singular resource for art historians and their publishers. Thus far, these assets have not been exploited to their full potential, not because of an a priori resistance on the part of scholars, but because electronic and museum publication poses several challenges, particularly in the domains of high-quality image (re)pro duction, copyright claims, and academic credentialing.
This report maps these circumstances of scholarly publication in the history of art and architecture and is supported by quantitative analysis of publishing and educational trends. The report makes recommendations of actions that address obstacles to vigorous scholarly communication and mobilize more optimally the special resources and instruments of the discipline, while also benefiting the wide range of fields that involve illustrated publication.”
Main Results of the Study
The study finds an inverse correlation between the number of PhDs awarded in art history and the number of published monographs in art history. Between 1992 and 2003, the number of PhDs awarded in art history increased dramatically, for a total increase of 51% in the most recent years examined. By contrast, the number of art history monographs being published in those same years has declined, leading to 1.4 art history titles being published per PhD conferral.
This decline is attributed to the subject-matter’s dependence on the use of high-quality images, their associated costs and copyright restrictions. In particular, the study finds that museum’s claims of copyright ownership over digital surrogate images of material objects in the public domain decreases access and scholarly outputs.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the study does not make any explicit policy recommendations, it suggests that museums remove copyright restrictions on images of works currently in the public domain.
Coverage of Study