Reporting on a survey of peer-reviewed publishing in cultural materials conservation: perceptions, preferences, and decision-making

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Marie Christodulaki; Robyn Sloggett;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 62, Number 6, p.354-370 (2017)


Specialist publications are an important part of professional and disciplinary development. They serve to communicate research; enable the development of a shared, contestable, and expanding knowledge base; support the educational programmes that advance the profession; grow practice; and inform the evolution of the discipline. In conservation, professional and peer-reviewed journals and other forms of publications support cultural, organisational, and scientific development; facilitate new and improved forms of conservation professional practice; enable the growth of a distinctive research-led discipline; and help conservation to more effectively compete with other disciplines for influence and funding. This paper reports on the findings of a study that investigated conservators’ opinions and experiences of peer-reviewed publishing. This study examined the value conservators place on the dissemination of their research; the obstacles to, and incentives in publishing; the views held by conservators of the benefits of publication to themselves and the field; and the impact of the field's inherent interdisciplinarity on the pattern of conservation publishing. Eighty-six conservators (conservators and conservation scientists) and ten journal editors completed an online questionnaire focusing on the communication of knowledge within the field of cultural materials conservation. Findings suggest that while the peer review process is valued, a significant number who responded indicated a preference for forms of communication other than in peer review journals or publishing in general.