- Special Section IntroductionFrom the Leonardo Archive
Published as a scholarly journal since 1968, Leonardo is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2007-2008. In recognition of the journal's contributions to the scholarly corpus of literature that focuses on the intersection of the arts, sciences and technology, Volumes 40 and 41 are featuring a section called "From the Leonardo Archive," highlighting notable articles previously published between 1968 and 1990. This issue features Susan E. Brennan's article "Caricature Generator: The Dynamic Exaggeration of Faces by Computer," published in 1985 . Brennan discusses the perception of visual patterns in face recognition and describes an interactive computer graphics program that she developed to generate caricatures. Individual faces are compared to an "average" or prototype face, and the differences are exaggerated, making the individual face even more distinctive. Brennan's article holds the notable distinction of being the most "cited" article published in Leonardo-75 times as this issue went to press. It has been referenced in a wide variety of articles on such topics as face recognition, facial animation, caricature and body image that have been published in scholarly computer graphics and psychology journals.
A Comment from Roger F. Malina
As mentioned by Darlene Tong, Susan Brennan's article holds the distinction of being the most-cited Leonardo article tracked in the ISI Citation indexes, which cover over 8,000 international journals in the sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities. Leonardo as a publication has an interesting place in between scholarly communities. The founding publisher was Pergamon Press, which championed a number of emerging scientific and interdisciplinary areas of research in an international context. In 1992 Pergamon was acquired by another commercial publisher, and MIT Press stepped forward as our new publisher, ensuring Leonardo's continued visibility on an international scale and indexing by the major databases. Citation indexing is imperfect, particularly in interdisciplinary areas. Many of the art journals that are likely to cite Leonardo articles are not included in ISI and hence are invisible to their citation indexes.
Measurement of the impact of research via citation analyses is itself an area of lively scholarly research, especially since the Web has opened up so many new avenues for artists and researchers to disseminate their ideas and results. This not only poses problems for the use of citation indexes as measures of impact but also creates problems for young professionals seeking promotion and tenure. Leonardo has been working with a number of institutions seeking to create new ways of measuring impact since this topic came to the fore at the Banff REFRESH! conference on the Histories of the New Media Arts, Sciences and Technologies .
A final comment on Susan Brennan's interesting article is perhaps apropos. I suspect that if an article on this topic were submitted to Leonardo today it would not be published, because Leonardo's editorial focus has moved to other emerging areas of interdisciplinary practice. For many years Leonardo published in areas such as computer graphics and [End Page 390] animation, which in 1967 were nascent fields and few venues published such work. Today, computer graphics, animation and interactive media have become industries, and many conferences and publications focus on the work within them. Areas such as biology and genetic engineering, nanoscience and climate change are today among those where pioneering work, with artists' involvement, is being carried out, and Leonardo publications are seeking to help document and stimulate such new work. Thus citation indexes, even if modified to include the impact of artists and researchers disseminating via new Web 2.0 strategies, are doomed to fail to capture what the Leonardo mission is about. Many topics central to Leonardo 40 years ago are no longer part of what we are addressing. In a further 100-year span, the impact of the computer is likely to recede into the background, just as other technologies have become integrated into cultural production. Other areas, however, appear to be fundamental. For instance, the many links between art and mathematics seem to undergo periodic revivals as new areas of mathematics...