epublishing & ejournals

ePublishing & eJournals

The future of the book & Goggle Print

Access has published excerpts from a dicussion of the future of the ebook. Chuck Hamaker and Toby Green discuss how books should be indexed and accessible by chapter along the line of article-based distribution (such as with ejournals--one can access the individual article without having to access the entire text). Both agree that Google Print can play an important role in this.

The distant future of the ebook

Over at IBM developer Works, Joshua Fruhlinger reflects on the future of books in the 21st century. As he points out, when it comes to ebooks,

Don't let anyone tell you different: the future is not here.

Fruhlinger goes on to cite many of the problems with ebooks in a conversational, entertaining tone that makes the text a pleasure to read. I especially enjoyed the section about RFID tags in libraries where Fruhlinger explains that we have to worry about the library police:

the next\text project: what happens when textbooks go digital?

Dear Kairos Readers,

The Institute for the Future of the Book is pleased to announce the launch of next\text, a new project designed to encourage the creation of born-digital learning materials that will enhance, expand, and ultimately replace the printed textbook.

There are two stages to the next\text project. The first is a curated website showcasing significant projects currently in the field. The aim is to draw attention to a broad range of experiments that identify ways in which digital media and networks are expanding the potential of textbooks, redefining the role of teacher and student, and converging to create new ecologies for educational institutions. These areas include, but are in no way limited to: "expanded" multimedia textbooks; "open-source" textbooks continually improved by teachers and students; dynamic, networked textbooks with live or regularly updating components; collaborative work spaces; and multi-user games.

Open Access Webliography

Adrian K. Ho and Charles W. Bailey, Jr. have made available online a pre-print of their article"Open Access Webliography" (Reference Services Review 33.3 (2005): 346-364).

From the abstract:

The paper aims to present a wide range of useful freely available internet resources (e.g. directories, e-journals, FAQs, mailing lists, and weblogs) that allow the reader to investigate the major aspects of the important open access (OA) movement. Design/methodology/approach - The internet resources included in this webliography were identified during the course of one of the authors writing the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-prints and Open Access Journals. The authors evaluated, selected, categorized, and annotated these resources to construct this webliography, which complements the bibliography. Findings - The most useful resources have been annotated and organized into webliography sections. For example, the "Starting Points", "Debates", and "General Information" sections list resources that orient the reader to OA and the issues involved. The different "Directories (and Guides)" sections alert the reader to useful finding aids on relevant subjects. Originality/value - This webliography provides easy access to the most relevant internet resources for understanding and practicing OA. It affirms the significance of OA in scholarly communication, and it identifies the key parties involved in and/or contributing to the OA movement.

To publish - or to e-publish?

Saw this piece on OA by Leslie Cannold of the University of Melbourne via a link from Open Access News:

In the electronic age, the academic's need for commercial publishers is becoming obsolete.

For academics, the ongoing debate about the impact of the internet on scholarly communication couldn't be more important.

This is because whatever evolves or is decided on will critically affect the way academics do business: how they use and create knowledge and obtain reward for being recognised by their peers.

To arrive at the best model for scholarly communication we must look past the enthusiastic championing of an open-access future, and publishing houses trumpeting new and viable business models, and return to first principles. Ignoring how we've always done it and why, we need to ask: what is it that academics need from and are trying to achieve with scholarly journal publication?

The answer is threefold. Academics want their own journal articles published quickly and disseminated widely, and to be credited in ways that enable them to maintain their job or even climb the ladder. They also need convenient access to the most up-to-date journal publications in their discipline's archives: access that has been curtailed in recent years because of the profiteering of large academic publishers determined to exploit their control over research findings, and the inability of most university library budgets to keep up.

The truth is that academics and universities hold most of the cards in the scholarly publishing game. This is not just because they do the research, write the papers and do the unpaid work required to provide quality assurance by reviewing the work of their peers. It is also because their primary objective is not to profit from the distribution of their work, but to have it read and cited by others.

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