The Electronic Journal: What, Whence, and When?



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The Public-Access Computer Systems Review


A quick scan of topics of recent library, networking, professional, and societal meetings leads to the inevitable conclusion that electronic publishing is the "Debutante of the Year." Supporting technologies have matured and present their dance cards to eager potential suitors: publishers and content creators. The newest entrant to the glittering ballroom is academic discourse and writing, suddenly highly susceptible to the nubile charms of the ripening medium. The season's opening features the youthful search for the future of the scholarly journal. By "journal," I mean the scholarly journal. The scholarly journal mainly communicates the work of scholars, academics, and researchers, and it contributes to the development of ideas that form the "body of knowledge." By "electronic journal," I generally mean one delivered via networks, although those locally owned through a static electronic format such as CD-ROM are not specifically excluded. This paper overviews several critical questions about the electronic journal. What is it? What is its appeal? Where will it come from? At what rate will it appear? When will it be accepted? It suggests that for the first time in over 200 years the paper scholarly journal can be supplanted or, at least, supplemented in a significant way by another medium, and this may lead to a new type of scholarly discourse.




Okerson, Ann. "The Electronic Journal: What, Whence, and When?" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 2, no. 1 (1991): 5-24.