Eighty-three years have passed since American Antiquity was initially published, a period of time that has seen enormous changes in technology. In 1935, when W. C. McKern served as the first editor, beer was sold in cans for the first time and radar was patented, two inventions of critical concern to many archaeologists. Since that time, personal computers, copy machines, radiocarbon dating, and the World Wide Web have all been invented. Today, we take these innovations for granted and seldom contemplate how we functioned without them. It has taken longer for some social changes to take hold in archaeology. Forty-six years after the initial American Antiquity was published, the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) selected their first female editor, Dena Dincauze. It was 1981. I am now the fifth female editor of American Antiquity, out of 24 editors in total. I take over as editor at a time that well-documented disparities of publication rates between men and women in archaeology exist (Bardolph 2014).
The bottom line is that women are not publishing as much as men in archaeology (as in many scientific fields), even though more women are granted PhDs in archaeology than men (Goldstein et al. 2018). One study (Speakman et al. 2018) documented gender among those hired between 2004 and 2014. It found that more men were hired at doctoral-degree granting universities than women during this period. The opposite was the case for BA/BS institutions, where women were in the majority. At MA/MS schools, they were hired at about equal rates. Despite the fact that there were more women than men in academia, between 1990 and 2013, 76% of the lead authors who published articles and reports in American Antiquity were men (Bardolph 2014). The gendered imbalances pervasive in the field of archaeology are better addressed if we continue to heighten awareness of the issue. One of my goals as editor is to highlight discrepancies in publication rates by tracking the rates of submissions and accepted manuscripts by gender at American Antiquity. In the short period since I officially became editor, between April 2018 and June 30, 2018, a clear gender imbalance was still apparent in submissions, with female lead authors submitting only 29% of the papers. It is too soon to compare accepted manuscripts by gender, but I will be reporting on those statistics as well in upcoming issues.
My overall vision for the journal is to continue to publish high-quality papers in a timely manner from diverse theoretical perspectives and geographic regions. The new editorial board members are reflective of this diversity, are very involved with the journal, and have been particularly helpful in the selection of peer reviewers. We are especially interested in papers that focus on comprehensive theoretical, methodological, and comparative issues. We encourage submissions for “Forum” essays that cover wide-ranging topics on current issues, including on how knowledge of the past can inform us about the future, urbanism, climate change, and other concerns of high relevance.
It is challenging to follow the many outstanding editors of American Antiquity. The exceptional work of Bob Kelly as editor is especially noteworthy. He did a remarkable job these past three years. I thank him for passing on a journal that is in great shape and on time. I also want to thank Victor Thompson for his notable job as book review editor and welcome to this role Chris Rodning, who put together an impressive lineup for this issue. I also want to acknowledge the two editorial assistants who have helped me, Erin Bornemann and now Hugh Radde. We are working closely with staff at Cambridge University Press (CUP), SAA's publishing partner, all of whom are doing excellent work. Mark Zadrozny, executive publisher of journals at CUP, reported recently that American Antiquity’s journal impact factor for 2017 was 1.902, an increase over the impact factor of 1.305 in the previous year. Although American Antiquity is 18/85 in the anthropology category of the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), it is sixth among purer archaeology titles. This is testimony to the high caliber of work by Bob Kelly and the previous editorial board.
Finally, I want to thank the authors and the peer reviewers who make American Antiquity one of the top archaeology journals in the world.