ERIC Number: ED370146
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Caught in the Net: Notes from the Electronic Underground.
Framed by the rising costs of traditional scholarly publishing and the increasing restrictions on library budgets, the turn to electronic publishing seems to be the way of the future, according to the publisher of an electronic journal, "Surfaces." Costs and delays of production and distribution are massively reduced. The electronic journal offers better value in terms of the quantity of information produced, the speed of its production, and the geographical range of its distribution. Financial and technical problems remain--massively reduced production costs cannot be recouped from readers in the form of subscriptions, and the ASCII text format used by electronic journals makes the articles look like draft typescript. However, articles can be slipped into an ASCII set envelope and slipped through the system where they come out as fully formatted and complete with diacritical marks, footnotes, and diagrams. The impact of this technology may undermine, or at least restructure, the nature of academic publication, or what counts as a real scholarly article. The vortex of information available confirms a more widespread contemporary cultural process: the decline of the general reader. Two challenges arise: (1) scholars have to face more directly than ever before the question of the grounds upon which publication can be refused; and (2) the question of what publication means is open. The increased quantity, speed, and distribution that electronic publishing brings will not prosthetically improve existing practices; it promises to significantly alter the basis on which the system functions. (Contains five notes.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Assisted Publishing; Electronic Text; Technological Perspective
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 27-30, 1993).