I’ve just realised that I’ve made a serious omission on this blog – I haven’t yet written about one of the larger editing jobs I currently do. For the last couple of years I’ve been Field Editor for Museum Studies Dissertation Reviews.
… features overviews of recently defended, unpublished doctoral dissertations [aka theses] in a wide variety of disciplines across the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our goal is to offer readers a glimpse of each discipline’s immediate present by focusing on the window of time between dissertation defense and first book publication.
Each review provides a summary of the author’s main arguments, the historiographic genealogy in which the author operates, and the main source bases for his or her research. The reviews are also anticipatory, making educated assessments of how the research will advance or challenge our understanding of major issues in the field when it is revised and published in the future.
In addition to the public, non-critical review that is published on the site, authors also receive private, critical commentary from their reviewers designed to help authors during the manuscript revision process. Critical comments are not published on the site or circulated in any way. They are expressly for the author.
Dissertation Reviews also features reviews of and guides to archives, libraries, databases, and other collections where such dissertation research was conducted, to help scholars improve their ability to undertake current and future research.
Museum Studies is one of the smaller fields covered by Dissertation Reviews, naturally, dwarfed by such subject areas as ‘Science Studies’, for example, but over the last two ‘seasons’ we’ve commissioned reviews which cover all facets of Museum Studies – from education to cultural heritage to exhibition design. In addition, a number of early career researchers have written a series of opinion pieces (‘Talking Shop’) and archive reviews (‘Fresh from the Archives’). It’s increasingly becoming a great resource for people working in the field – highlighting cutting edge research and offering ECRs the opportunity to disseminate their research to an international inter-disciplinary audience (as well as form new links and connections with people working in the field from around the world).
If you would like to have thesis reviewed or would like to volunteer yourself as a reviewer, please see the ‘Review and be Reviewed‘section on the Dissertation Reviews website.