Backgrounds of EXARC JOURNAL

In 2000 the Society for Experimental Archaeology (SEA) Hradec Králové published the first volume of the yearbook “(Re)konstrukce a experiment v archeologii” (REA) concerned with experiment and education in archaeology. Its aim was to allow for an exchange of information in the Czech Republic. The Czech yearbook though became sought after abroad despite the information being difficult to access even if the main articles were summarised in English, French and German. Over time foreign contributors found their way to being published in the Czech republic.

The rising interest from abroad AND the need to serve the wider Czech public caused SEA to take a bold step. In 2004, To allow for an exchange on international level and at the same time not to disappoint the Czech public, SEA split the original REA yearbook into two: a fully Czech journal “(Re)konstrukce a experiment v archeologii” -  (now Živá archeologie) and an international “(Re)construction and Experiment in Archaeology - European Platform”, generally known as EuroREA.

In this latter effort, they joined forces with EXARC. Started as a grass root movement, EXARC fosters the improvement of quality in the archaeological presentation of open-air museums and institutes across Europe. Together they created an information exchange platform for those working in the fields of (re)construction and experiment in archaeology.

For the position of Chief Editor, we thankfully found Mgr J. Kateřina Dvořáková, of Czech origin but living in Wales. She had gained first-hand experience with publishing while studying at university in the mid 1980's. Ms Dvořáková became involved with the original Czech REA from its second number in 2001, and has been at the foundation of EuroREA, now the EXARC Journal. She overviews the preparation of the journal. Along with answering questions from contributors, co-ordinating the work of all our editors, keeping contact with reviewers and discussing issues with our designer.

In 2007, SEA was absorbed into the department of archaeology of The Faculty of Humanities, University of Hradec Králové. At the request of the founders, responsibility for EuroREA was transferred into the hands of EXARC. From that moment on, while the original founders served as willing advisors and keen supporters, EuroREA became the journal of EXARC, where the EXARC Board has full responsibility, in this case delegated to the Chief Editor.

Since it started in 2004, EuroREA has grown both in terms of content and readership. In 2011, we have addressed some issues with a review of EXARC's publication strategy. EXARC thus decided to change the name of the Journal to "EXARC Journal”. The old name EuroREA reflected too much a Euro-centric approach and did not mirror the connection to the broader network EXARC offered. The result is a commitment to bringing you more material, more often, and in a wider range of media. The second change was in the structure of the EXARC Journal: when in the past we divided in six or more categories, now a straightforward three chapters are used: archaeological open-air museums, experiment and mixed matters. The board of editors, with many new names since 2011, reflected this change.

We also changed the way we publish and since 2012,  EXARC Journal is now published online, accompanied by the EXARC Journal Digest (hard copy). At first, the online Journal was published three times a year the printed Digest once a year and both were for members only. 

In 2014, we stepped up and started publishing online four times a year followed by a hard copy twice a year. We also started dividing all articles in four peer-reviewed sections (EXARCs four legs covering experimental archaeology, archaeological open-air museums, ancient technology and interpretation). This is complemented with a fifth section (non peer-reviewed) of mixed matters, which contains book reviews, reports from conferences and events, interviews with personalities from the world of experimental archaeology and portraits of archaeological open-air museums. While mixed matters were publicly available, the reviewed  articles remain members only, until they were two years old. 

In 2017, we decided to publish all articles (new and old) open access.