Electronic Publishing and Libraries: Planning for the Impact and Growth to 2003

By Gregory, Gwen | Information Today, September 1996 | Go to article overview

Electronic Publishing and Libraries: Planning for the Impact and Growth to 2003


Gregory, Gwen, Information Today


Is your library facing increasing demands on its budget from new electronic publications, without any diminution of the need for traditional print publications? Do you wonder how to best allocate your scarce budget resources? What is the future of scholarly and research information? Electronic Publishing and Libraries attempts to answer these questions. Originating from a project of the British Library's Corporate Research Group, this study focuses mainly on the U.K. and the European Community (EC). A secondary emphasis is placed on the U.S. and Japan as information producers and users. David Brown has collected an impressive amount of statistics on worldwide scientific, technical, and medical (STM) research activities and publications. He uses these data to draw conclusions about the fate of electronic publishing in the next few years.

The majority of the volume focuses on supply and demand issues in STM information. Additional chapters discuss types of electronic media and legal deposit issues. Demand-side economic factors in electronic publishing include demographics, educational trends, library budgets, technology, and research funding. These are discussed in depth, with the aid of international statistics.

One important trend pinpointed is the stagnant funding for both libraries and scientific research. Many researchers prefer using the traditional print sources in their studies, rather than electronic media. On the supply side, printed articles or books are increasingly recognized as the results of scientific research. This has caused the amount of STM information published to skyrocket. The creation of electronic publications, including CDROM, Internet, and online, is giving scientists more options for publications and research, while further fracturing already stretched library budgets. Brown presents an interesting discussion of what a publication-paper or electronic-must do to be commercially viable. …

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