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Book Reviews Editorial Statement
April 2008 (112.2)
Book Reviews Editorial Statement
In an editorial statement (AJA 103  699), Paul Rehak and John G. Younger noted fundamental shifts in publishing and information technology that looked to change how scholars publish and share their research. Those shifts have not been as profound as we might have guessed at the time. Major archaeological publications still appear in book form, though sometimes supplemented by data discs or Internet sites for additional information. The major change has not been toward electronic publications per se but toward the electronic accessibility of paper articles and books. The traditional outlets continue, then, even as publishers have become savvy to making their content and format more accessible and flexible, though rarely more affordable.
The primary responsibility of the Book Reviews section of the AJA remains, therefore, to review those books, monographs, series, conference proceedings, and occasional new journals printed through traditional channels. We invite publishers—large and small, old and new—to submit appropriate books for review. The AJA remains one of the premier archaeological journals in the world, and therefore we particularly encourage submissions from the many small presses overseas that are publishing important contributions to the field of Mediterranean archaeology. Although the review process is inherently selective, the recent expansion of the reviews section to include both print and online reviews, the latter of which are tied to each fascicle of the Journal, should allow us to continue to represent the current state of scholarship in each issue. The editors consider both print and online reviews to be bona fide publications of the AJA.
In addition, we will consider electronic publications, provided they meet the following critera: they show evidence of editorial peer review; they present new evidence and/or analysis and are not just an electronic version or compilation of existing printed scholarship; and they can demonstrate a stable, secure, and longterm distribution and storage venue (such as an institutional Web archive with a fixed URL).
The purview of the reviews remains that of the Journal itself (the art and archaeology of ancient Europe and the Mediterranean world, including the Near East and Egypt, from prehistoric to Late Antique times), continuing also the practice of reviewing works on theory, methodology, and the history of the discipline. We aim for balance, breadth, and fairness. Individual works normally receive up to 1,000 words; for multiple items or review articles, 1,500–4,000 words suffice, depending on the publication in question.
Like our predecessors, we hope to increase the pool of reviewers, especially among foreign colleagues, and invite suggestions and self-nominations of scholars who wish to be considered as reviewers. Thoughts on the shape and direction of the reviews section are also welcome. Readers should note that we conduct correspondence and submissions related to reviews by email whenever possible.
We remember and thank our predecessors, Paul Rehak (1954–2004) and John G. Younger, as well as current AJA Editor-in-Chief Naomi J. Norman, for their dedication to the task, their invitation to us to take up the mantle, and their assistance with this transition. We look forward to working with the AJA staff, and we thank all the scholars whose works will appear as authors or reviewers in this section of the Journal.
By Pedar W. Foss and Rebecca K. Schindler
American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 112, No. 2 (April 2008), p. 353
© 2008 Archaeological Institute of America