PUBLISHING in the DIGITAL ERA
Misunderstanding the publisher's role often contributes to underestimating the importance of that role. Those who would reduce the publisher's role to an intermediary between author and printer, for example, tend to see new publishing techniques as questioning the publisher's role and also tend to associate the publisher with negative experiences, such as publication delays and increased costs.
Some also argue that the main, traditional functions of a publisher are essentially obsolete and, similarly, that libraries represent unnecessary costs that can be eliminated. 1 The “unnecessary” library costs, incidentally, are distinctly higher than publishing costs. Chartron and Salaün, who have a good knowledge of the role and services delivered by librarians, discredit claims of that kind as over-simplifying the social and cognitive functions of libraries. Similar reservations can be expressed about the publishing process and its role. However, the fact remains that, no matter where or in what organizational framework the process is set in action, the publishing process is fundamentally affected by information technology, in content preparation, production and distribution.