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welcome phantom If the success of traditional paper journals can be measured by the number of subscribers, then the success of web journals can be gauged by the "access statistics" that are electronically prepared for each website. phantom
Access statistics measure the number of hits, i.e., visits, to any single part of the site—a page, a picture, etc. They also measure the number of sessions—or visits whereby a user navigates through the site and looks at several pages. Perhaps the most accurate measure of the number of people accessing a particular article or review, however, are the page views. They measure the hits to a file ending in .html, which, in our case, means an article or a review in the journal.
The statistics of the last twelve months indicate that NCAW on the average had 383,000 hits per month, with a high in March 2005 of 489,831—that is, close to half a million. That same month the number of page views was 58,535 and the number of sessions 26,340. Dividing those numbers by 31, we arrive at an average of hits, per day, of 40,819 and an average of page views of 4,878.
Electronic statistics also measure the number of "KB sent," which means the number of kilobytes downloaded as a result of user visits. For March, for example, the number was 7,864,761. While this number, in itself, does not tell us much, it does suggest that the articles and pictures published in NCAW have a life beyond the site, as they are downloaded, printed out, Xeroxed, and made part of power point presentations.
Access statistics prove that electronic journals, like NCAW, enjoy a great deal of traffic and give broad exposure to the articles and reviews that are published in it. Of course, they provide no clue as to the nature of its readership, though it is doubtlessly more diversified than the readership of traditional journals, demographically as well as geographically.
In the "Editor's Welcome" of the spring of this year, we quoted Pamela Burdman, author of an article on electronic publishing in the New York Times (June 26, 2004), who wrote, "Free and widespread distribution of new research has the potential to redefine the way scientific and intellectual developments are recorded, circulated and preserved for years to come." Burdman was talking primarily about scientific journals, but we feel her words are true for the humanities as well. Over the past years three and a half years, NCAW has brought together groups interested in nineteenth-century art that normally have little contact. Academics, museum directors and curators, dealers, collectors, and auctioneers, all have expressed interest in the journal and have contributed to it in one way or another—by submitting articles, reviews, and information; by making donations; and by providing suggestions for improvements to the site. They have helped making NCAW a fuller and richer journal. NCAW has also managed to attract a more international group of contributors and readers than do most traditional journals, and although we still have a way to go to make it truly worldwide, we are working steadily to achieve this goal.