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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

1.7.2 Historical perspective

The second element is the importance of understanding what has preceded the current state of the art. In the case of hypermedia electronic publishing, this requires an understanding of three different (but interrelated areas). The first is the print publishing of scholarly journals. This has been driven both by the needs of scholars themselves and by the availability of low-cost publication and distribution mechanisms. Chapter 3 provides a summary of the development of this area, and raises some of the issues associated with print publishing that scholars are beginning to address (see 3: Print Publishing of Scholarly Journals on page 44). Technology developments in computers and communication since the Second World War have made a range of new things possible both in publication and distribution. Chapter 4 takes up the story of the technologies, but without getting too enmeshed in the technical details (see 4: Technology Developments on page 52). The technology provides an essential background to the story and so needs careful explanation. Chapter 5 considers the potentials inherent in the technologies and their possible impact (see 5: Potentials and Pressures for Transformation on page 76). The responses by the scholarly publishing community to these possibilities have been somewhat muted to date, but have explored much of what is possible. Chapter 6 provides an account of these responses (see 6: Developing Responses on page 88).

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© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * andrew.treloar@gmail.com