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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

5.3.1 Scholars

Scholars are now able to perform all the publishing functions discussed [Boyce, 1996]. In particular, they are able to publish their ideas without going through the gatekeeping functions of a journal because the barriers to publishing are so much lower (indeed almost invisible) in an online environment. Critics of this possibility point darkly to the early days of desktop publishing as illustration of the dangers of enthusiastic amateurs. Others mutter about 'vanity publishing' being out of control on the Web. The biggest problem for such self-publishers may in fact be the problem of getting noticed by their audience amidst the hundreds of millions of other Web pages. The new economic barrier to being read may in fact be the attention barrier [Goldhaber, 1997], [Lanham, 1994].

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