Scholarly Journals in the New Electronic World

Scholarly Journals in the New Electronic World

Scholarly Journals in the New Electronic World

Scholarly Journals in the New Electronic World


The world of scholarly and not-for-profit publishing is facing many challenges at the start of the twenty-first century, from technical and organisational factors to prevailing social and economic conditions. If scholarly journals, in particular, are to survive, the publishers of these journals are going to have to make dramatic changes to the ways they create and distribute them. Work is already underway at some university presses who have developed creative solutions to overcome these challenges in producing print journals. These early innovators represent an opportunity for all publishers to build on the advantages of e- publishing and possibly reach even larger audiences. This work demystifies the current state of scholarly journal publishing as well as offering a glimpse of hope for journals in the digital world. It will appeal not only to students and researchers, but to anyone who has an interest in the future of publishing.


An essential segment of scholarly documentation, journals entered the new digital world a number of years ago. We propose to examine the conditions for that shift in the area of the humanities and social sciences, in conceptual, economic, technical and organizational terms.

Our views have evolved through our ongoing commitment over the past five years to rethinking the digital production and dissemination of scholarly journals, as well as to experimenting with new methods and trying to incorporate that thinking into the reconstruction and acceleration of scientific communication. On a broader scale, we contend that the situation of journals effectively illustrates digitization issues in scholarly publishing.

In this book, we interpret a series of phenomena and issues not so much to defend any school of thought, but rather to arrive at a realistic assessment of the many processes that are transforming the way research results are disseminated through journals. in this way, we hope to make room for alternative approaches rather than to impose one fixed view.

Our discussion is fed by state-of-the-art research in the field in addition to our respective experiences at the Université de Montréal. With different training and backgrounds . . .

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