Go back to article: Review: what should reviews do in an online journal? Towards a New Format

Types of review content

The potential for creating new forms of review content means that we have an opportunity to make reviews and the processing of reviewing more relevant to academic discourse. It also has the potential to change the forms of knowledge that are considered relevant to humanities research. What new content, then, do we want?

 

Book reviews

Are book reviews still useful for humanities researchers, and if so do we need to change anything in the structure of the review to make it more relevant?

 

Reviews of article special issues

Traditional book reviews tend to cover single and multiple authored monographs and edited volumes. However, the special issue, which presents a group of articles produced under a single theme, is becoming more common. Do we want reviews of these special issues and should they look similar to a review of an edited volume?

 

Museum reviews

Museums are an essential site for the conservation, curation and engagement of objects of cultural heritage, and are increasingly becoming essential collections and partners for humanities research. Would reviews of museums be useful in this context? How should they differ from exhibition reviews? Should they focus on how effectively a museum upholds its aims and objectives, or should they reflect a visitor’s experience? Or, should the focus be on new movements in museums, such as engagement or participation metrics, or experiments in innovative display?

 

Exhibition reviews

Museum exhibitions tend to be temporary and typically do not include a permanent record of the content and vision of the exhibition once it is no longer on display. Can exhibition reviews record and evaluate the value of an exhibition to both research and public cultures? Should non-traditional forms of review be possible – such as audio, video or image based reviews? Considering that online publications have the unique advantage over traditional publishing in their ability to show high resolution images, video and audio, should this be a focus of the Journal’s review section?

 

Digital resource reviews

New digital resources and tools for research are being established on a regular basis. Would informed reviews of these websites and tools be useful? What kind of information would be useful as part of the review – ease of interface, applicability of the resource to a range of disciplines, or critiques of digital resources more broadly? What kind of experience is necessary to be an expert reviewer of this content?

 

Workshop or conference reviews

Academic conferences and workshops are important sites for the communication and discussion of humanities based research – and act as important markers for subject specific communities. The content of these conferences, however, is rarely recorded. Would reviews of conferences and workshops be useful? Should they focus on the specific presentations which have the potential to be ground-breaking? Or should the review reflect more generally on the value of the event to the discipline?

 

Public event reviews

In a similar fashion to workshops and conferences, public events (such as science festivals or large public lectures) are becoming regular aspects of research engagement, the outcomes of which are rarely recorded. Would reviews of these events be useful? How should they differ from workshop or conference reviews? Should the review focus on the content a particular event communicated, or the relevance of the impact of the event to public audiences?

 

Television and radio programmes

Public programming based on historical research and performed by research experts is becoming an essential tool for public communication. Would it be useful to have reviews of some television and radio programmes which reflect humanities topics? Should these reviews reflect only new programming, or should they be open to past programming? What should the content of the review reflect?

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/170816/005