Many art historians are also critical of open access because they fear for the quality of their work. Publication in a printed anthology or journal must meet certain standards that are currently secured through peer review. In other words, each text is evaluated by peers and, in the case of a positive
assessment, released for publication. The peer Review is, however, for a long time in the criticism: they are rarely unprejudiced, mostly non- transparent and guarantee exactly what they strive for: quality.
A new approach offers the Open Review: It exists in various forms such as public appraisals, interactivity between author and reviewer or comment or even editing options for readers, but is still not uniform standards. However, Open Review shows at least approaches of collaborative and open work, which is consistent with Raymond’s bazaar approach, which proved that collaborative and transparent work is more effective than that in a cathedral where the current peer review is taking place.
Two examples of Open and Collaborative Review: The e-journal Art History. Open Peer Reviewed Journal puts submitted articles online for six months and then re-publishes them at the request of the author, with or without comments received. Both the article and the comments receive quotable URLs. The open access journal Informationspraxis even uses only a few weeks for the review process and thus significantly shortens the usually longer creation time of an article. This type of review has several advantages: The comments become part of the scientific discourse, joint commenting accelerates the review process, the transparency of public work improves the quality, and the date of publication
protects against plagiarism, because the priority claim is documented.
However, this also raises the question of whether an open or collaborative review is less biased than a peer review and who actually carries out these reviews: women scientists have to publish themselves, make classical peer reviews and, of course, do research and teaching and the time to review, comment or even correct colleagues’ work on the side and at no cost? Also, those who fear that their reputation may be jeopardized by publishing outside of established journals, or that someone else’s scientific thesis
will be processed faster as soon as it is public certainly do not see any incentive for this new way of working.
These concerns are quite serious, but point to the already mentioned problem: For open access to work, a rethinking must take place. Science has to move away from focusing on the impact factor of a journal that is not very meaningful to one’s own work, away from the publication of career rather than research, away from limited data up-to-dateness and high costs in lengthy print publications – and towards a science that has an active interest in being perceived and discussed outside its narrow borders.
The chances of young scientists
In my opinion, this rethinking is already taking place: in the art-historical offspring, who grew up with digital media. Of course, he researches the library’s Internet search mask instead of local paper boxes, reads online texts and books via university access, and uses digital image databases such as Prometheus instead of exclusively printed exhibition catalogs. A first step towards open, jointly developed science would now be to publish online. Twitter is being used by the Digital humanities are heavily used while weblogs are slowly establishing themselves. Although they are
no longer considered frivolous or irrelevant, blogging scientists tend to be sparse. This is especially regrettable for the young student, because he needs visible role models. What is also missing as an incentive is the scientific recognition of the digitally published.
We live in a world that is constantly being updated – and at the same time we can no longer be sure that the information we have, for B. by a search engine, are current and true. That is, it is expected early on to develop a healthy skepticism or to be able to distinguish true from false. Before the Internet and open access – in a time in which knowledge was artificially reduced – this task was the responsibility of the experts in a field. Today, all experts can be – by exchanging oneself by working in a bazaar instead of
in a cathedral. The world and its knowledge have become public, it is also created by “private people gathered to the audience”. This publicity brings about scientifically relevant results, as the example of Wikipedia shows, which can in part compete with the Encyclopedia Britannica. Especially with complex tasks, it is more productive to search together for a solution in order to be able to view as many perspectives as possible.
Addressed Collaborative Review.
This way of dealing with scientific texts is, in turn, particularly suitable for young art history: as the first playing field for their own publication and for practicing reviews for future colleagues. One idea would be, for example, to publish essays or chores online before handing them over to the lecturers, in order to have them read aloud by the fellow students of the seminar. Especially in the deliberately narrow thematic context of a seminar, a lot of specialized knowledge is created, which can find its first practical application here. At the same time the editing of foreign texts, the sovereign handling of criticism as well as the revision of own works is practiced.