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A Message from the Publisher
Our initial foray into the Web was not without its pitfalls.
For instance, although the first issue included several freely downloadable color reproductions of objects discussed, the magazine layout did not substantially differ from the standard arrangement of text and image inherited from print publishing. In this issue, we venture further in offering multiple sections of paintings, as opposed to single views. In future issues, we will also make available clearer reproductions of detailed sections. Even further along, we hope to take greater advantage of our electronic platform by more fully and more imaginatively integrating not only text with image, but with sound as well. This may take the form of relevant musical fragments, excerpts from lectures, and ambient sounds. We encourage submissions from contributors who wish to experiment with these multimedia alternatives.
Another snag involved slowness in downloading the site. With this in mind, each article can now be viewed in three formats: the fastest contains text only; another level contains both images and text; and a third level contains image, text, and original Chinese-language annotations of important phrases, Chinese names, publication titles, and place names.
One of the original goals was to establish peer review of primary articles. So far, we have had limited success because of the lead time required of the China-based contributors and the subsequent multiple trans-Pacific translations. Ideally, we wish to publish the comments of readers alongside the original article. In this issue, for example, we offer two opinions each on two issues � the authenticity of the handscroll Ten Songs by Zhang Xian and a recent publication on Qingming shanghe Studies. In future issues, we hope to incorporate similar commentary by scholars from Taiwan, Hong Kong, the U.S., and Europe. We are aware that many academics and graduate students concerned with professional reputations remain skeptical of academic Web publishing. As a refereed journal, we are attempting to address these concerns.
Another goal, to provide up-to-date information on events in China, has come to fruition in a new News section, which features: exhibitions in China; synopses of noteworthy articles provided by our staff and by China Archaeology and Art Digest; summaries of new books and book reviews by scholars in the field, and major archaeological discoveries digested from the biweekly Zhongguo wenwu bao (China Archaeology News).
As always, we welcome comments and suggestions on the content and design of the site, especially from those readers who consider themselves technologically challenged. In our experience, we only progress when our audience gains equal footing, step by step.