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Peer Review in w/k

Text: Editorial Team | Section: About w/k

Summary: The development of an independent English editorial department requires w/k to establish a new form of quality control – a variant of the widespread peer-review system. Furthermore, the journal will introduce an indexing system as a service for our authors.

In March 2019, Anna-Sophie Jürgens took over the leadership role of w/k’s English editorial department – with the goal of having it running independently from the German editorial department. The plan to expand the online journal internationally requires w/k to develop a new concept for quality control. The English, as well as the German, editorial departments need a well-functioning quality-control system in order to maintain international standards and to ensure consistent, high-quality contributions in both languages. This system will be a variant of the widely used peer-review system, which many scientific journals rely upon.

A concept suitable for w/k

w/k has a unique profile; there are neither print nor online journals with a comparable focus. Within this profile, w/k aims to address artists, art historians and other scholars, curators, art theorists, and scientists interested in art, but also laypersons: in short, those who share an interest for the broad topic of “science and the visual arts”. In several sections, scholars and academics achieve and present research in their respective fields. However, this does not mean that the journal is purely academic. A specialist journal typically orientates itself towards researchers and students of specific academic disciplines, as well as experts, whereas w/k’s main priority is to be accessible to all readers. Consequently, it does not make sense for w/k to adopt a peer-review concept tailored primarily to such specialist periodicals. Rather, the question is how to find a suitable procedure for quality control and improvement for an online journal with such a broad profile. In June 2019 the editorial team decided upon a peer-review concept tailored to the needs of w/k, which has been in the works for the last few months. If you would like a text detailing the new peer-review procedure, please contact Anna-Sophie Jürgens at anna-sophie.jurgens@anu.edu.au.

Timetable for introducing the new peer-review system

All contributions published in w/k from 1st January 2020 shall be processed according to the new system. Up until then, w/k will:

  • establish an advisory board made up of artists and scientists for both the German and the English editorial departments in the second half of 2019.
  • ensure that all new projects are supervised under the new system starting from October, or (at the very latest) November 2019, so that the new system works seamlessly from 1st January 2020.

Abstracts, short contributions and indexation

The introduction of the new peer-review procedure brings further new developments:

  • Each contribution will have its own abstract by the end of 2019, as is already the case in the German section.
  • Some articles only exist in the German or the English sections. A short text containing a translated contribution points to such articles in the other section.
  • Once all German and English contributions have their own abstracts, it will be possible to implement an indexing system. Indexing is a method to gather information, so that search engines can use this system to acquire texts more easily and articles can be fed into databases. w/k can thereby provide its authors with meta-data, especially the view count of an article. This is done in service to our authors, so that they can measure the reach (or impact and citations) of their texts, as is usual in the English-speaking world, and is becoming more and more widespread in German-speaking areas. w/k will launch this indexing system, processing all published contributions up to this point, in the first half of 2020.

We look forward to working together with our authors in the future, following these new developments at w/k.

Picture above the text: Peer Review (2019). Illustration: Editorial Team.

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