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Kate Seymour

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1Publishing is the backbone of academic studies - it is the traditional means of disseminating research results, communicating new ideas and techniques, and we must not forget it is also used for securing tenure for those in the academic field. But does the traditional publication format fit the new academic approach to becoming a conservator-restorer and how do young conservator-restorers get on the publication ladder?

2When it comes to publishing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Publications take many formats and can be the means to communicate, amongst others, scientific research results or practical case studies. Dissemination of ideas, results and methods via publications are well established means to build on personal or institutional reputations and form networks for future collaborations furthering the field or discipline. And this is actively encouraged by the field - E.C.C.O’s Professional Guidelines (2002) state that it is within the conservator-restorer’s competencies to ‘conduct research’ and ‘disseminate information gained from examination, treatment or research’ to ‘promote a deeper understanding of the field of conservation-restoration’.

3Young researchers within an academic environment become all consumed with research projects at various times within their education career. But where does this research go? Often, unfortunately the answer is - on the shelf. However, this research, if carefully managed, proofed and edited, can be the cornerstone of future developments within the field. Meritus versions of essays and theses should be made available to a wider audience and used in the evolution of the field of conservation-restoration. Dissemination of ideas, findings and innovations can stimulate new strategies, methodologies or technologies aiding both academic scholarship and, if the right audience is reached, those practicing at the workbench in the field.

4Finding avenues for publication can be both complex and daunting for the young conservator. Results or conclusions must be validated and deemed of use to the field to be worthy of publication. The student author must also have the confidence, time and support to take their material further than the in-tray of their tutor or supervisor. It is also the latter’s responsibility to encourage and promote publication of student material. This co-dependant relationship can be mutually beneficial as academic professionals are required to publish to maintain tenure and are often instrumental in defining and mentoring student research projects. In fact, students of all levels, in well managed academic departments, frequently participate in ongoing projects providing momentum and manpower.

5Where this hard and valuable work can be published, and what factors decide the most appropriate publication outlet is rarely discussed within the confines of academia. Young researchers frequently only publish when leaving the academic environment and entering the professional field. Desires to publish in the most prestigious journal within the field or discipline may not be fulfilled as a young researcher’s name carries little weight. Publishing in non-peer reviewed journals do not accumulate academic credits and thus may not be the most appropriate avenue for those on the academic ladder. Today’s publication culture includes hard-copy and online publications, open access resources, such as Open Repository and Bibliography (ORBI) manages by the University of Liege, subscription journals or periodicals, issued via established publishing houses, institutions or professional bodies, or even self-publishing via online depositories such as or While those employed at academic institutions have access to scholarly research published in subscription periodicals, those at the workbench may only have access to trade publications dispatched by professional bodies. The two congregations do converge at conferences, and while the resulting pre- or post-prints tend to be thematic, these are often more accessible than subscription journals.

6So what means are available to these hard working studious conservator-restorers to develop their publishing career? CeROArt provides, with its annual EGG edition, the opportunity for aspiring young authors to publish their graduate work. This is a unique recourse and allows these young conservators to gain the experience of the peer review process and for their research to be disseminated to a wider public

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Electronic reference

Kate Seymour, « Foreword », CeROArt [Online], EGG 5 | 2016, Online since 22 February 2016, connection on 19 January 2020. URL :

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About the author

Kate Seymour

Kate Seymour is an art historian who received a Masters of Arts in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1999. She then moved to the Netherlands to work at the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL), Maastricht as a painting conservator and is currently the Head of Education at this institution. Her interests include the structural treatment of both canvas and panel paintings, cleaning polychromed surfaces, filling and retouching systems and varnishes for painted surfaces. She is the current Coordinator (2014-2017) for the ICOM-CC Working Group Education and Training in Conservation.

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Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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