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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

9.1 Introduction

Section II of this thesis reviewed the development of the system of print scholarly journals to date and discussed the trends in and capabilities of computer and communication technologies currently available. Section III examined some of the potentials and pressures for transformation of print scholarly journals as well as looking at some developing responses and example e-journals. Section IV reviewed the results of the surveys and library case study work and discussed them (largely in isolation from one another or a body of theory).

This chapter will take all of the information presented so far and interpret it in the light of the research questions (see 1.4: Research questions on page 14). The aim is to see how the various stories told by the literature in the field combine with the data collected for this thesis and the theoretical perspectives chosen to inform the research questions. In considering the published literature, it is important to emphasis that this is a rapidly changing field. The patterns of use and the available technologies have altered considerably over the last five years and the older literature reflects the realities of a very different technology and publishing environment.

This chapter first considers the form and function of the artefacts of scholarly communication (journals and the articles they contain). It then looks at the roles and functions of stakeholders. In each case, the discussion of the findings looks first at the insights provided by the theoretical perspectives adopted. Next the discussion considers the relevant literature, particularly that with a data collection component. These studies have already been introduced and their data collection methods outlined; see 1.8: Related work on page 20). Finally the discussion ties in the research carried out for this thesis: the survey work and the library case studies.

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