Deadlines Matter

I can think of better ways to start Didaskalia's second year than with an editorial harangue. After all, we've come a good way since posting our first announcements back in December of 1993. Our distribution continues to grow and advances in computer technology open endless possibilities for the future.


One of the major advantages of electronic publishing is speed. As I am constantly reminding book publishers, Didaskalia is not encumbered with all the delaying mechanics involved in producing a print journal. We don't have to worry about camera-ready copy, 4-color separated film, bromides, plates, printing, embossing, folding, trimming, collating, binding and then mailing each issue. (Thank the gods.) As soon as an issue is ready, I upload it (a matter of a couple of hours) and then send a notice to subscribers. Barring system failures, access thereafter is effectively instantaneous. This kind of speed is what convinced even Oliver Taplin, who has never used e-mail himself, that news about ancient theater in modern performance had to be transmitted via the internet.


No one has yet managed to come up with a technological advancement which will allow me to publish an issue before its contents reach me. With regard to features and reviews, late release of Didaskalia may be no more than irksome. The real problem comes in regard to the Listings. People send us information about their productions, conferences, etc. in good faith. They are expecting us to publish that information in time for it to do them some good. And what good does it do any of us not to learn until we've come back that a Greek or Roman play was being presented in the place we've just been, and we missed it?


Didaskalia now has an editorial board. It is perhaps ironic that we are instituting peer review just as the validity of refereeing is coming under attack (see the Times Higher Education Supplement, 10 February 1995), but refereeing is not in fact the major duty of board members. Because the bulk of the material published in Didaskalia is either information (listings) or opinion (reviews), we do not have the same need for refereeing that more purely scholarly journals do. Peter Toohey and I will continue to do the bulk of the actual editing, but will invite board members to contribute their comments about submissions and assist us in maintaining Didaskalia's overall quality.

There is another reason for instituting an editorial board: Didaskalia is rapidly expanding as technology allows us to incorporate more features into our presentational format. There will be an increasing number of policy decisions to be made as we decide where to take Did in the future. Suggestions and feedback from all readers are welcome, but the existence of the board ensures that the editors will always have a body to consult before taking steps which will affect Didaskalia and its readers. Members of the board have been chosen for their expertise (in a variety of relevant backgrounds), their geographical diversity, and their commitment to the future of this publication. Profiles of board members will be incorporated into our WWW site over the course of the next few months (http://www.warwick.ac.uk/didaskalia/edboard.html).

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of Didaskalia and invite you to contribute to our next issue, 'Ancient Stagecraft'-- which is scheduled for the beginning of April.

Sallie Goetsch
E-mail: tssac@csv.warwick.ac.uk