Looks Like

slideshow of images related to research including journal covers, library stacks, and research notes

Project Summary

What Scholarship Looks Like is an ongoing research project by Jessica Barness and Amy Papaelias. We explore the visual design of academic journals across disciplines and the impacts of journal design on academic culture. How does the design of an academic journal affect the perceived integrity of its content? What does published scholarly research look like, why does it look this way, and what might it look like in the future? Through visual analysis, personal interviews, and survey data, this project investigates the design of academic journals as a means to speculate on how new forms of scholarly research will necessitate new forms of publication. Our published research and presentations are collected here.

Join our next PGDA Radical Scholarship Design Add-A-Thon!

Book Proposal

Download our book proposal, What Scholarship Looks Like: How Design Shapes Radical Academic Journals, examining graphic design’s impact on radical scholarly publication in the United States.

Selected Citations

“Critical Making at the Edges” (introduction to co-edited special issue of Visible Language Journal)

Whitson, Roger. Steampunk and Nineteenth-Century Digital Humanities: Literary Retrofuturisms, Media Archaeologies, Alternate Histories. Taylor & Francis, 2016.

McFarlane, Brandon. “Introduction to the Creative Humanities.” University of Toronto Quarterly 91, no. 1 (2022): 1-32.

Horton, Lisa, and David Beard. “The Critical Role of New Media in Transforming Gamers Into Remixers.” In The Routledge Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities, pp. 325-341. Routledge, 2021.

Horton, Lisa, and David Beard. “Remixing the Role-Playing Game in the Pen-and-Paper Era.” The Routledge Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities (2021).

Triggs, Teal. “The critical turn: education of a design writer” in One and Many Mirrors: Perspectives on Graphic Design Education. Edited by Luke Wood and Brad Haylock, page 42-61. London: Occasional Papers and The Physics Room, 2020.

Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities (Visible Language special issue)

Renner, Michael. “Practice-led iconic research: Towards a research methodology for visual communication.” Visible Language 51, no. 3-1 (2017): 8-33.

Roll, Melanie Renée. “Critical Making: A Micro-Study in Archival Practice.” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 39, no. 1 (2020): 44-57.

“Turning Points: Publishing Visual Research in Design and Anthropology”

Roe, Daniel, and Åsa Bäckström. “Methodological reflections on artistically illustrating ethnographic text from a study of sport pedagogy in youth detention: Ethics, affect, and description.” Frontiers in sports and active living 4 (2022): 1021915.

“Readable, Serious, Traditional: Investigating Scholarly Perceptions of the Visual Design and Reading Experiences of Academic Journals”

Lupo, Eleanora. “Innovating the scenario of scientific publishing in design: designing ‘living publications’.” Strategic Design Research Journal (2022).

Pérez-Maíllo, María-Aurora, et al. “Influence of the visual quality of the covers on the preference of podcast.” Observatorio (2022).

Quaggiotto, Marco, and Umberto Tolino. “Pictorials in design research: A comprehensive analysis of IASDR 2023 contributions.” (2023).

About Us

Jessica Barness is a Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. Her research focuses on the dynamics of design discourse, interactive platforms, and critical practices of design research. She has published, exhibited, and presented her work internationally.

Amy Papaelias is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at SUNY New Paltz. Her research focuses on the intersection of typography, technology, and culture. She writes and speaks frequently about these subjects and is the co-founder of Alphabettes.org, a network supporting women in type.

Together, Barness and Papaelias co-edited the special issue of Visible Language (49.3), Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities (2015), which received the 2017 Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Award for Published Research. They also served on the organizing team of the AIGA Design Education Conference, Converge: Disciplinarities and Digital Scholarship in Los Angeles (2017).

Contact us

Questions? hello@whatscholarshiplookslike.net