As the nineteenth century French scientist Claude Bernard observed, we should change our ideas when they have served their purpose. The members of American Diplomacy Publishers’ board believe that American Diplomacy has reached a point that dictates change—not in outlook or purpose or substance, but rather in format.
Since 1996, the journal has served well its purpose as a quarterly publication. Seventeen issues have appeared on the Web on a regularly scheduled basis. The demands on the time of those who put together such one-time, complete issues—time that for the most part has been uncompensated—have become exorbitant, however.
Beginning with the presentation appearing first in March 2001, American Diplomacy moved away from its quarterly schedule and became an on-line publication not unlike newspaper or TV news sites (nytimes.com, for example). In its new format, the content of American Diplomacy varies from time to time on a planned, phased basis. A given article, we expect, will be available to the reader for about two months and commentary on policy questions and other features for shorter periods. What goes up on the Web site will come down in time, to be placed in the site’s electronic archives for future reference. But not all at once.
The practical effect of this changeover for readers will be minimal. American Diplomacy, as before, will publish research-based articles, commentary on policy questions, reminiscences about life in the U. S. Foreign Service, reviews of books and Web sites, announcements, letters to the editor, and possibly other features.
As a primary focus of the enterprise, we will continue our efforts to educate and inform on the formulation and implementation of U. S. foreign policy, past and present. Further, American Diplomacy will continue to provide an important outlet for the expression of views, especially on current policy issues, by diplomats, scholars, and the interested public.
In this current modified format, then, the content of American Diplomacy has not changed in character or purpose—only the manner in which we present it.