The Effect of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication Essay

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The Effect of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication In recent years, scholarly communication has virtually exploded into the on-line electronic world. This has brought a number of demonstrable benefits to the scholarly communication process as well as highlighting a number of inefficiencies and obstacles to the full deployment of information technology. However, the explosion has also brought a spate of credulous accounts concerning the transformative potential of information technology. These accounts, though well intentioned, do not contribute to a sociological understanding of information technology in general, or its effect on the scholarly communication process more specifically. In order to develop our understanding of…show more content…
In addition, there are a number of initiatives designed to reproduce classic and modern texts by digital imaging or SGML [2] markup. [3] The EJS has experienced similar growth. From sporadic access to the WWW server just over a year ago when the journal was founded, we are now viewed by over 1500 individuals each month from 38 countries around the world. Most documents are served to the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden. However access by other countries is steadily increasing. [4] Curiously though, the EJS remains virtually the only journal devoted to sociology on the internet. At the time of this writing, the Yahoo index [5], generally considered the most comprehensive index for the WWW, of Sociology Journals contains two listings. One is for the Electronic Journal of Sociology and the other for a Hungarian journal entitled Replika. In this paper, I will provide an overview of the issues surrounding the emergence of electronic journal publication while attempting to relate them to our experience at the Electronic Journal of Sociology. Some of these issues are straightforward and include the direction in which e-publication is moving, the benefits of electronic publication, and the obstacles to its full deployment. These I will deal with in the first two sections of the paper. However there are currents in the emerging debates which are strongly reminiscent of the popular and semi-academic eulogies to the

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