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Editor's Reflections
Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol 13 Issue 01 January 2005
     

Editor's Reflections
by Nisar Keshvani
LEA Editor-in-Chief
E-mail: nisarh [@] keshvani [dot] com

I consider myself rather fortunate sitting at the helm of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac - besides the daily data mining, it allows me to keep abreast of new developments and to interact with brilliant individuals. As in every other year, this is the season for reflecting, assessing where we have arrived and mapping out where we go from here.

During this process, what has become evident is LEA's machinery, its international nature and the art, science and technology community that drives the publication. It involves many man-hours to produce each issue, not including the amount of time the author spends researching and documenting their findings, the back and forth before their essays are published and the time peer reviewers invest in providing critical and valuable input.

The production team consists of four people, each based in a different country. There are 23 individuals from 11 countries who serve as editorial, gallery board members and corresponding editors. In 2004, 41 authors from 16 countries were published in LEA with input from 32 peer reviewers based in 13 countries. Naturally this is made easier and more efficient by our existence online. The downside however, is to date, academics and their peers are often asked if essays published online are as rigorously reviewed, if the process is blind and if the publication has a support infrastructure similar to a print journal.

Like any other online journal, LEA faces the same questions, with a steady stream of emails from academics asking these exact questions right around promotion time. LEA is indeed an international, blind-reviewed online journal with approximately 70 percent of submissions meeting our publication criteria.

In this first issue of 2005, we'd like to extend a big "thank you" to all our 2004 peer-reviewers. These anonymous significant individuals play a crucial part by generously giving their educated opinions on manuscripts submitted to us for publication, thus ensuring that we publish only material that meets the highest academic standards and adds to the existing body of knowledge in the field.

Kathryn Farley aptly describes most LEA authors' sentiments when saying: "I wish to thank the anonymous LEA reviewers who provided such helpful and detailed commentary on this paper. I greatly appreciate their thoughtfulness and expertise."

Listed in LEA's 2004 Author index are our contributors who deserve special mention for bravely pushing boundaries and presenting innovative ideas. Our guest editors Fatima Lasay and Michael Punt have done well in unearthing young scholars and identifying new research amidst the tsunamii of submissions. Last year's content presented eclectic material ranging from evolution of artworks using telephones to hypertext to cross-cultural online collaborations, to the supernatural.

Our central text this month is an article by Kathryn on *The DuSable Project*, a "collaborative, media-intensive" event that combines elements of improv comedy, theater, computer-based technology and hypertext.

From LEA's archive, first published in January 1994, we present an excerpt from "B*rbie'sVirtualPlayhouse@CityOfTheFuture.ent" with Henry See providing an insider perspective, as he tackles sensitive issues in the description about his piece. This is a multimedia work lampooning Virtual Sex, and was presented at SIGGRAPH '93.

In Leonardo Reviews, we include reviews by Mike Leggett on the book *Film Art Phenomena*, René Beekman on *New Philosophy for New Media* and John Knight on *Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment*. Check in on the latest events in the Leonardo/ISAST community.

Readers will find our author's index and summary of 2004 issues a useful feature for research. This index provides direct URLs for easy access and is available both in pdf and html format at: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/LEA/archive.html Backissues dating to 1993, are also available online and searchable with our advanced search function.

Special thanks are due to Patricia Bentson and Nicholas Cronbach for their guidance with the index and Phil Cadigan for his help with the search function. We'd also like to thank managing editor Patrick Lambelet, webmaster Andre Ho and administrator Lee Lia Irwin for their untiring efforts and amazing energy. Kudos to Michael Punt and the Leonardo Review Panel for their succint reviews that arrive punctually each month. Thanks also to the LEA Editorial, Gallery boards, corresponding editors, Roger Malina, Pamela Grant-Ryan, Melinda Klayman and Kathleen Quillian for their strategic input.

We strongly encourage readers to email their manuscripts, special issue proposals and artist statements to: lea@mitpress.mit.edu

Check out LEA's greeting at: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/LEA/ecard

Warmest wishes for the new year from all of us at LEA!

     

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