We begin Volume 5 with a sense of accomplishment and optimism. Contemporary Aesthetics has achieved stability and can now be considered an important source for a wide range of scholarly work in contemporary aesthetics, work that is easily available wherever the Internet is accessible.
We have pioneered in the use of electronic scholarly communication, and we continue to believe that electronic publication is the future of journal publication. It combines economy with speed and accessibility, among other conveniences, advantages that have led many print journals to now publish electronic versions. We are not the first to publish in this form, certainly, but the attractiveness and sophistication of our website have drawn recognition from many quarters; the level of scholarship and the polish of our production make CA comparable to well-established print journals. At the same time, CA has demonstrated how well-suited the resources of electronic publication are to journal publication. Electronic publication makes new work available quickly and, being free of the constraints of printers' deadlines and page limitations, we are able to publish all work that has completed our review and editorial processes without having to wait for space in a future volume. Moreover, the wide-spread availability of the Internet means that our work has world-wide distribution. Indeed, from October 2005 to September 2006, CA had 20,000 visits.
Not the least of our advantages is the ability to illustrate the art objects being discussed by presenting images directly in the text or through links to the enormous body of images available on the Internet. In addition, Volume 4 ended with the publication of two papers using musical examples that illustrate the works and ideas being discussed. This is the first time that we have published papers with musical illustrations. Additional resources still remain to be utilized, in particular the use of video clips, and we invite scholars to use all these media where suitable.
We are continuing to enhance other conveniences for the reader. Early in the past year, we completed making the endnote references in all the earlier volumes link to the note itself. By clicking on an endnote number, one is taken directly to the note, and by clicking on the number of the note, one is returned to the same place in the text. We believe that this capability, together with the careful design of the width of columns, the font, and the tonality, make Contemporary Aesthetics easy to read and use. Moreover, for those readers who prefer not to read at length on the screen, it is easy to review the key words and abstracts of the articles and print out those of special interest.
Everything has not gone smoothly, however. In September we encountered major problems with distortions in the visual appearance of our site, and we were unable to use our program to receive submissions or publish new work. All this turned out to be unanticipated effects of our host's upgrading its web server. It took weeks to resolve the problems, and we are still encountering some difficulties. These, fortunately, are now minor and not apparent to our readers. I'm sure we have all encountered unexpected problems in upgrading our own programs. This is no different!
Contemporary Aesthetics has also continued to offer a variety of publication forms. A special volume on aesthetics and mobility accompanied Volume 3 and we have continued to present symposia. Following the symposium on the body that appeared in Volumes 2 and 3, Volume 4 offered one on pictorial realism. Additional special volumes are in preparation on Southeast Asian aesthetics and on aesthetics and race. And of, course, we shall continue to present work on the ever-wider range of interests that aestheticians are pursuing.
Finally, we could not maintain the high level of Contemporary Aesthetics without a rigorous review process, and many scholars have assisted us not only by reviewing submissions but by reviewing their revisions as well. These include Emily Brady, John Carvalho, Alan Casebier, Mary Wiseman Goldstein, Ted Gracyk, Casey Haskins, Hilde Hein, Ronald Hepburn, Jo Ellen Jacobs, Sheila Lintott, Paul Locher, Katya Mandoki, Colin Martindale, Monique Roelofs, Barbara Sandrisser, and Joseph Ullian. Ivan Gaskell has taken a special interest in helping us with visual matters, in addition to reviewing manuscripts. Our Associate Editor, Yuriko Saito, has continued to work tirelessly, contributing her carefully considered advice on submissions and on the many editorial decisions that need to be made. I am also grateful to the many members of the Editorial Advisory Committee who met at the annual conference of the American Society for Aesthetics in October and contributed valuable information and support. My grateful thanks to all.