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A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
January 2009 (113.1)
A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
My vision for the AJA continues to be simple: to publish the very best articles and reviews in archaeology and to strengthen its editorial perspective by including new kinds of material between its covers. As Editor-in-Chief, I continue to welcome the submission of manuscripts “devoted to the art and archaeology of ancient Europe and the Mediterranean world, including the Near East and Egypt, from prehistoric to Late Antique times,” as it says on our copyright page. I define that mandate very broadly and am interested in articles that announce discoveries, present new information, break new theoretical ground, or deal with methodological issues, especially those that extend beyond our traditional geographical and chronological scope. I am still anxious to revitalize and expand our newsletters and to include newsletters on research areas and from parts of the ancient world not traditionally covered by the AJA. I am also keen to expand the readership and electronic presence of the Journal and to respond to the rapidly changing world of scholarly publication.
Last year saw the creation of an electronic subscription to complement our print subscription. This e-subscription offers easy access to our articles from your computer and a PDFplus functionality that embeds reference links within those articles. Check our website for information on subscribing to the AJA and up-to-date pricing information.
I am happy to report that we have now completed our ambitious program to donate back issues of the Journal to libraries and institutions around the world that have not been able to subscribe to the AJA or whose facilities have been damaged by war, politics, or devastating acts of nature. Over the past three years, we have mailed more than 10,000 fascicles of the Journal to 130 recipients across the globe, from the Middle East to China, and from South America to South Africa. The Archaeological Institute of America and the AJA have made a difference with this initiative, and we have decided to continue this program by offering deeply discounted subscriptions to libraries and individuals in developing nations as defined by the World Bank. We are also proud participants in the Global Libraries Project of the World Archaeological Congress and the Journal Donation Project of the New School. In all these efforts, our goal is to put the AJA into the hands of students and scholars the world over who may not otherwise be able to access the material and ideas published in the Journal. These programs are dedicated to helping, among others, archaeologists and cultural heritage professionals study and work and thereby advance our knowledge of the past and preserve our precious cultural heritage. As Carl Sagan wrote, “the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.” We are pleased to be part of enterprises that strengthen libraries and scholarship around the world.
As the world of publishing changes, the AJA staff works to harness new technologies and to respond to the changing landscape of scholarly publishing. This year, we placed the AJA in more digital databases and increased our services at Copyright Clearance Center to make it easier for scholars to get permission to use AJA content in personal scholarship, course packs, and the like. We have also joined the Portico library to ensure that all AJA content will be able to transition to new digital formats as technology changes and new formats emerge. Our website continues to expand as book reviews, museum exhibition reviews, article abstracts, some articles, and supplementary data for other articles are regularly posted there for free access.
The entire AJA staff works very hard to maintain the Journal’s quality and production schedule, to expand its scope and size, and to envision and implement important new initiatives. My sincere thanks go to the staff—Madeleine Donachie, Vanessa Lord, Katrina Swartz, Amanda Gregory, and Larisa Allen—and the reviews editors—Pedar Foss, Rebecca Schindler, and Beth Cohen—for their dedication and hard work and vision. It is a pleasure to work with each and every one of them.