What is Electronic Publishing?


Already firmly established in the consumer sector, electronic publishing is redefining the boundaries between print and digital, still image and video, passive and interactive. Modern digital workflows support almost any form in which content might appear, from traditional print to digital, web, video, and even interactive content. Building in the full spectrum of potential publishing avenues — print, web, video, mobiles and tablets, and interactives — from the beginning is not only a way to streamline production overall, but also to increase the reach of the materials produced by leveraging the content over a wide range of media. If the first revolution in electronic publishing was making publishing platforms accessible to anyone, the next phase is the linking of these platforms together to produce new combinations and new types of content. New concepts like the Online Scholarly Catalog Initiative (OSCI) and Responsive Design will allow that content to be easily archived as well as ported to any device.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • Publishing of dissertations is an established practice, but undergraduates now too may easily publish with Amazon Kindle or via Feiyr, a German-based distribution portal that gives the author better financial returns and wider distribution. R. David Lankes in his "Atlas of New Librarianship" says that librarians should be publishers of member content - digital publishing goes beyond blogging! - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 1, 2015
  • Transformational in terms of how academic content is created, commissioned, presented - as multimedia - audio, software, video, rendering, will demand more of the author, peer review will need to change, publishers will need to change platforms - still built to support traditional print model. An article or book will have a life beyond its container - DaveP DaveP Apr 7, 2015- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015 - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 - edlef edlef Apr 18, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Apr 19, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015 as long as that content is digitally preserved and the researcher/patrons/users are on the right side of the digital divide
  • New forms of e-publication will require new collection strategies for academic libraries - deciding what materials will be actively collected, of course, but also facilitating access to digital publications that reside outside the library in the custody of a variety of publishers, social media services, data repositories, etc. Libraries' mission to provide their faculty and students with access to the scholarly record in its fullest expression is unchanged, but becomes more challenging to achieve as scholarly outputs diversify and are scattered across the network. - lavoie lavoie Apr 17, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • An increasing number of libraries are taking on publishing roles. While many focus on electronic journals, some are working with new genres of publications. Especially in the humanities, where faculty are finding it increasingly difficult to find a publisher and where publishers tend to stay with traditional modes of representation, there are possibilities for supporting changes in scholarship. This is not self-publishing; my concern with using that term in academic publishing is that it leaves out the peer-reviewed component, which is essential in academe. Libraries with publishing programs typically provide a platform, infrastructure, and access and preservation services but rely on faculty editors to run a peer review process. Some, but not most, of library publishing initiatives incorporate the university's press. The Library Publishing Coalition is a membership organization that tracks these issues and has a directory of programs and an annual conference www.librarypublishing.org - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015
  • Through the use of open-source technologies, open-education resources, and open-access publishers, libraries are able to reduce costs. Simple content management systems like WordPress make it possible for libraries publish their own research guides (instead of paying services such as LibGuides), and existing open resources and publication provide alternatives to expensive EBSCO subscriptions.- shines shines Apr 27, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 1, 2015 It is easy for Librarians to help any member (undergrads too) publish digital texts - see Lankes' reference above.
  • Revolutionary prospect for academic publishing - from conception through to publishing to consuming and archiving - DaveP DaveP Apr 7, 2015
  • ties to http://library.wiki.nmc.org/Preservation+%26+Conservation+Technologies and greater considerations for libraries as research content managers and curators. Once we make it, what do we do with it? I see great work from undergrads and grad students disappear each semester because we have no plan to retain student work beyond ETD.- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 14, 2015
  • - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 support for how to make it, peer review it, manage it and curate it - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015
  • - edlef edlef Apr 18, 2015 I think its also important to know and demonstrate the differences between epub and PDF - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015 agree
  • That one of the main issues we face in library is that our most active writers--faculty--are the most resistant to change because it direcly impacts their career progress. In other words, it's a classic INATT (it's not about the technology) issue, where culture is more significant than any particular innovation or new tool. There are examples of new journals looking to fuse both new multimodal expression with new methods for peer review, e.g.- Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology (cf. their recent CNI presentation), but they face major challenges in a tenure-portfolio-driven environment. We push technology sometimes faster and further than our faculty really prefer.- askeyd askeyd Apr 20, 2015
  • - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015 This issue of the digital divide is missing. Electronic publishing favors one side of the divide. Additionally the issue of the quality of accompanying visual images and videos is an important one. We have not found that electronic art publications have consistently maintained the same quality and even use of images that their print counterparts contain.
  • Tablet, e-reader, and smart phone computing are key drivers for electronic publishing; it's important to consider how these devices have altered and continue to alter the e-publishing landscape. - shines shines Apr 27, 2015
  • Library based publishing. This is particularly important for academic libraries -- since these typically spend the majority of their budgets on serials. Engaging in publishing potentially reduces costs, engages new stakeholders, and develops new areas of expertise in the library that can be useful for building faculty collaborations. - escience escience Apr 27, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 1, 2015 Help find the next Faulkner or Rowling, and teach them how to self-publish.
  • Library collections will change, academic resources becoming more like learning objects, will need to consider curation and metadata, SCORM type standards may need to be adopted. Publisher platforms will need to change to reflect the new media and to take advantage of the new 'research objects'? - DaveP DaveP Apr 7, 2015 - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015
  • - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015It would be good to think that this would support open access to scholarly information and the development of research collaborations and interdisciplinary research. Libraries could be brokers to access pay per view content. Universities may choose to support electronic publishing lending their brand to their academics. Other universities may offer editors an electronic publishing base that again lends some element of quality to the publications. For example, Edinburgh University (UK) has and extensive range of open access titles. Intermediaries are likely to still operate as a mark of quality, many universities are basing this role in the libraries as an extension of our role interpreting and managing the scholarly information environment for our institutions.- JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015
  • - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 Collection management policies and funding models might need to be more flexible to account for content with a shorter shelf-life. Also, from my perspective in a community college in which we already help students learn from content created in multiple formats, we had to improve our knowledge of tools to use to improve accessibility of audio and visual content. I see the need to ensure universal design of content as part of the role of the librarian as a guide to evaluating and managing information published in this manner.
  • Electronic publications can more easily be tracked for citations and altmetrics - but will the development of Open Access, Green and Gold access models impact on this for libraries, will staff need to assist in tracking use of research across a wider range of publications? - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • The digital transformation of publishing may require a parallel evolution of digital literacies and library instruction strategies. Libraries will need to be ready to help students and faculty identify, search for, and evaluate new types of digital scholarship and new formats of publication. - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015
  • The impact of electronic publishing is shrinking library stacks and opening up ways to use traditional library space for new ventures. Increasingly, libraries are less knowledge repositories and more knowledge laboratories. - shines shines Apr 27, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?