The Journal of Caribbean Archaeology is presented in electronic format as a means to control cost while increasing distribution. Electronic journals have typically utilized Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for presentation, which has both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, HTML presentations can most effectively take advantage of the internet through providing links to supporting documentation including graphics, databases and other internet presentations. On the negative side, each individual accessing an HTML presentation will receive a slightly different view depending on their hardware and software. Further, while HTML presentations allow a great deal of additional creativity, they are primarily designed to be viewed electronically rather than in more traditional hard copy format. As a result, they are difficult to archive and difficult to cite specifically.
The Journal of Caribbean Archaeology recognizes the advantages of HTML presentation, but feels that they are outweighed by the disadvantages. JCA will be produced in electronic format for distribution, but is designed to be printed by the viewer rather than read on screen. To accomplish this task, each issue of the journal will be produced as a series of Adobe Acrobat files. Acrobat files are fixed in that regardless of the hardware and software used to view them, they will always print out in an identical format. Pagination, page layout and all other print attributes remain unchanged. Thus, a journal produced in Acrobat format will be more akin to the traditional print medium journal. The Caribbean Journal of Science, produced electronically for the past two years by the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez College of Arts and Sciences, is in Acrobat format and provides an idea of what JCA will look like in production.
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