Peer Reviewing and Artistic Research

We continue to debate what peer review entails in the context of JAR. We believe that artistic research can be assessed, while at the same time recognise that artistic work is, by its nature, an open undertaking, resisting overly rigid regulations. Peer review is a widely accepted standard for the validation of new knowledge, but for JAR its benefits go far beyond assessment. It builds and expands our community of committed researchers and reviewers via a deep engagement with each other’s work, particularly across different international and institutional contexts. It invites understanding between researchers from related disciplines, both in academia and not, broadening the areas in which artistic research is known. Peer review in JAR also provides authors with detailed, constructive feedback to aid with developing their research's potential.

Respecting art, JAR’s review process gives as much ownership as possible to authors when articulating their artistic practice as research. We provide reviewers with a Peer Review Form with guidelines and ask them to consider not only whether or not a submission adheres to research standards, but also if non-adherence matters in the specific practice and research formulation reviewed. This means that reviewers recommend an unconventional submission for publication as long as they are convinced about its relevance and value. We explicitly invite experiments at the limits of discursivity. We welcome feedback.

JAR’s Peer Review process

Once the editorial board has approved a submission for review, the Peer Review Editor invites at least three potential reviewers. Reviewers for JAR are experts drawn from the disciplinary fields of or related to the submission, including all artistic fields both within and outside academia. The author will also be asked by the Managing Editor to propose reviewers; we will attempt to use one author suggestion for review.

All expositions in JAR are peer reviewed (except those in our inaugural issue 0). JAR employs a 'single blind' review process. The reviewers are anonymous while the names of the authors are known. In artistic research a 'double blind' review process is not workable since artwork often carries the ‘signature’ of those who created it.

Peer reviewers are asked to use the JAR Peer Review Form to report on their assessment. There are eight sections containing prompts to guide the reviews. We recommend that prospective authors also consult the form in order to understand how their submission is reviewed.

Once the reviews are returned they are read by the editorial board. The review outcome and final assessment of the editorial board is communicated to the first author by the Editor-in-Chief in the form of a Review Report. This includes a compiled version of the forms that we received from the reviewers. The review process can take around 4–6 months depending on availability of reviewers and the time it takes to arrive at a conclusion.

The review process will result in one of four outcomes:

  1. submission rejected
  2. submission rejected with the opportunity to resubmit after substantial changes
  3. submission accepted with specified revisions
  4. submission accepted in its current state

If the submission is rejected with the opportunity to resubmit, the author(s) will have the opportunity to resubmit the exposition, taking into account the comments of the reviewers and the editorial board. The submission will again be reviewed by the same or a similar group of peers.

If the submission is accepted with revisions, a list of mandatory and optional changes will be requested by the board, based on the reviewers’ recommendations. These must be addressed in order to qualify the submission for publication. When completed, the changes will be checked by the Managing Editor against a list of edits provided by the author. If the submission is translated or multilingual it is the author's responsibility to consistently translate these changes between languages.

If the submission is accepted it will be professionally proof-read and copyedited. A final version will then be approved by the author before being published in one of the next issues of JAR.

How can I review for JAR?

Both JAR’s Editorial Board and the author suggest potential reviewers for each submission. Independent of recommendations we also seek experts through literature searches, etc. JAR has a growing database of reviewers who generously agree to contribute their time and expertise. The journal welcomes the interest of possible reviewers from all disciplines, whether operating inside or outside the academic context. Contact us if you feel you can help us in this important role.

Instructions for Reviewers

Please read the JAR Peer Review Form and the submission information for authors before you start the reviewing process. For a detailed articulation of JAR's rationale for peer reviewing artistic research please read the editorial to JAR 1.

The Peer Review Editor will send an email requesting you as a reviewer for a specific exposition. It will include the author's name, the exposition's title and the abstract. If you don't already have an account on the Research Catalogue, you will be set up with one which permits you to view and comment on the exposition. Reviewers are requested to complete the review within a set time-frame and to keep the Peer Review Editor informed of any delays.

To review an exposition you will need the Peer Review form and access to the internet. The form has questions and prompts for guidance. You are free to deviate from the prompts should you think the submission or review requires it. Please read the section ‘Some Notes on Constructive Reviewing’ in the Peer Review Form for help in judging this.

Please note: JAR does not proofread or copyedit submissions before peer-review. While we ask authors to attend to their use of language and standards of referencing, submissions may not be perfect at this stage. While we appreciate comments regarding such shortcomings, they should not distract from the reviewing process itself. JAR will correct all problems in the pre-publication process.

Once the review is completed the Peer Review Editor ensures that the review is anonymous when communicated to the editorial board and to the author. The editorial board will consider the opinions of all the reviewers in order to make the decision of whether to publish the exposition. If requested, feedback will be given to the reviewer by the editorial board. At times, we will invite the reviewer to join the Peer Review Board.

JAR’s Peer Review Board

JAR invites selected reviewers to join its Peer Review Board. Members of the Peer Review Board are expected to continue to review for JAR, to help find reviewers for submissions with niche topics and give input to the further development of JAR.