Kim Taylor, publisher EJMAS

EJMAS January 2000

EJMAS Jan 2000

One nice thing about publishing the Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences is that editorial staff meetings are short. For example, a sample meeting over at Journal of Combative Sports goes something like this.

Editor Joe: "What are we doing this month?"

Staff writer Joe: "Hell if I know."

Editor Joe: "That isn't the answer I wanted to hear."

Staff writer Joe: "Uh, researching? Writing?"

Editor Joe: "That's more like it."

Wife: "Take out the garbage and wash the dishes, would you?"

All Joes: "Yes dear."

Not much different here in Guelph, I assure you.

Another nice thing is that we get to publish martial art history and how-to that is not the usual stuff you read at the supermarket. No, we often don't publish all our footnotes, but if you want to know where some story came from, ask: we may be wrong, but at least we can usually tell you where it was that we got that silly idea.

Plus we're already starting to attract some very talented outside writers. For example, there is already an original Jon Bluming article at Journal of Combative Sports, and in February 2000 you'll be seeing a biographical article on Choki Motobu written by Graham Noble. JWMA has three good articles this month on Western sword arts, PT has articles on steroid precursers, foot injuries, omega-3 fatty acids, well you get the picture.

This isn't bad for journals that didn't start beta-testing until November 1999, or get their own URL until December 1999. In fact, we're so new we still don't even have an ISSN, though that's forthcoming. (In fact, one reason we don't have an ISSN is that I don't have the time to go register one, the editors keep swamping me with new items to put up on the site.) Nevertheless, during the first two weeks of January 2000, we counted 7,108 pages served, and 1,467 visits. This works out to 70-80 visits per day,  yet we haven't been listed in a single major search engine -- all traffic is coming from word of mouth on e-mail lists, newsgroups, www forums, and links. Thanks, people, we appreciate the support!

Equally happily, almost all reader e-mail has been favorable. Sure, there have been some revisions to Kronos, our chronological encyclopedia, but that's the whole idea of publishing a history online: making corrections is easy. And some of the folks writing in regard to Journal of Non-lethal Combatives articles have asked what the editor has against bayonets on the end of assault rifles. (You tell me, he says after watching Gallipolli for the umpteenth time.) But one fellow did write to say that he thought that the journals' overall appearance was amateurish. While I'm the first to admit that we're not much on eye-candy, but if you want flash and trash, there's lots of mags out there for you. This site is easily maintained which will encourage me to put up new information at a steady rate. We have no intention of introducing java programming to the site.

One problem, though, is that currently we are a bit Japan-centric. Not that I object, mind you, as that's my area, but speaking from my publisher's chair, I sure would like the journals to take a more international perspective. Prospective writers, please take note.

Prospective writers also note that our journals are archived by the National Library of Canada. This means that your copyright enjoys some legal protection, your titles will be indexed, and that your material will not be lost in cyberspace if we ever pull the plug. The NLC doesn't lose stuff.

Readers, meanwhile, need to tell us what they'd like to see in future journals, and what we need to do to improve existing material. E-mail addresses for the editors are listed on their respective splash pages, and there is a guest book on the main index page of EJMAS.

Finally, please support our sponsors. Okay, so there are only two of them at the moment: it doesn't mean that they won't appreciate your business any less. For others who would like to become sponsors, note the information appearing on the index bar of the EJMAS home page.

That's about it for this time, I think. See you again soon!