Adams, J. P., Bacon, J. and Thynne, L. (2009) Peer review and criteria: a discussion. In: Allegue, L., Jones, S., Kershaw, B. and Piccini, A. (eds.) Practice-as-Research in Performance and Screen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 98-111.
In the U.K. definitions of research have been intimately tied up with the notion of ‘peer-review’ derived from customs of disseminating research in the science disciplines where the submissions to select journals are assessed by experts in the field, and the acceptance for publication is a mark of the significance of the research to the subject area. Further validation is then conferred through citations, which are seen to demonstrate how the work in question informs further investigation. The reviewing process is a means of gate-keeping whereby only papers seen to contribute new knowledge are published. The transposition of this model of evaluation to the arts and humanities creates some undesirable consequences, as it can do for the sciences themselves, particularly in limiting the forms of publication and dissemination, channelling the results of research into a few specialised outlets and maybe even relying too narrowly on the judgements of a few who may have a vested interest in protecting established assumptions of the ‘discipline’. This is even more problematic in the creative arts subject areas where what constitutes new knowledge or insights is not necessarily self-evident and where the work produced is informed and constrained by practices, techniques, conventions, and modes of exhibition established outside academia, most notably in the relevant creative professions and arts industries. Indeed, the development of creative disciplines in the academy has often entailed the adoption of the science model of evaluation. In these emergent disciplines, terms such as ‘research’, ‘knowledge’, ‘creativity’, and others have been and continue to be debated and often contested … What concerns us in this chapter is how to address the apparent need within the academy for validation and evaluation, including how creative subjects can develop appropriate mechanisms for career development (including profession, funding opportunities, and mechanisms for research dissemination)
Practice-as-Research in performance; peer-review; criteria