Back to basics: what is the e-journal?

Cole, Louise Back to basics: what is the e-journal?, 2004 [Preprint]


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English abstract

The author considers the evolution of the electronic journal from the first fledgling examples in the 1980s. The impact of the different forms of journal on both academic and popular culture is considered, and some of the differences and idiosyncrasies between this relatively new medium and its print counterpart are outlined. The article also looks at both popular and academic influences on the development of digital content, and probable future developments are discussed.

Item type: Preprint
Keywords: Electronic journals; digital publishing; scholarly publication; open access; multimedia
Subjects: L. Information technology and library technology
Depositing user: Louise Cole
Date deposited: 13 Feb 2004
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:57



1. Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries e-journal definition; viewed January 2004 <>

2. The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press. Definitions taken from online version <>

3. Examples of these early e-journals include: Public-Access Computer Systems Review (1990-1998) <>; Postmodern Culture (1990 to date). Text-only archive at <>; New Horizons in Adult Education (1987 to date) <>; Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues (1989 to date) <>; and Psycoloquy (started 1989) <>

4. Archie and Veronica are no longer functional search engines, but Gopher survives along the much more sophisticated technology; for example see <>. Ftp files can now be searched in some of the web search engines, for example AlltheWeb (

5. S. Hitchcock et al. A survey of STM online journals 1990-1995: the calm before the storm. Open Journals Framework Project. <>

6. S. Hitchcock et al. Web journals publishing: a UK perspective. Serials 10 (3): 285-299.

7. The SuperJournal project, funded as part of the JISC eLib programme, 1996-1998. Information on this project archived at <>

8. A sense of the growth in e-journals between 1990 and 1997 can be found by viewing the background on the ARL Directory of Scholarly Electronic Journals and Academic Discussion Lists, at <>

9. Davis, Caroline. College libraries snub pricey online journal. Times Higher Educational Supplement, 2 March 2001, page 1. Online version viewed <>

10. For more information on open archiving, see the Open Archives Initiative website at <>. For more information on open access, see Open Access News (Indiana: Peter Suber) e-journal at <>

11. The Free Directory of E-zines, 1999-2003 <>

12. Ezine dot net. <>

13. Sax Tips Ezine Newsletter <>

14. Leader Ideas Newsletter <>

15. E-Book News (viewed at

16. ICAAP <>

17. Library resources for the wired librarian. <>

18. Guide to Internet Terms: a Glossary. The GetNetWise website <>

19. Glossary of Internet Terms <>

20. Open Access News <>

21. NetLingo <>

22. An example weblog serving HE can be found at EduResourcesWeblog. <>

23. Andreas Rauber and Andreas Aschenbrenner. Part of our culture is born digital – on efforts to preserve it for future generations. TRANS. On-line Journal for Cultural Studies. 10 July 2001.

24. Multiple examples can be found in: Gerry McKiernan. E is for Everything: The Extra-Ordinary, Evolutionary [E-] Journal. Technical Report. <viewed at>

25. Copyright and Licensing for Digital Preservation project, Loughborough University. <>

26. For example, Create Change: FAQ on Scholarly Communication Crisis <>

27. Tempe Principles (Principles for Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing); 10 May 2000. <>

28. For example: B. D. Crawford. Open-access publishing: where is the value? Lancet 362 (9395), 8 November 2003: 1758-1780; D. Adam. Scientists take on the publishers in an experiment to make research free to all. The Guardian, 6 October 2003 <viewed online at,3604,1056608,00.html>; A. Jackson. The Digital Mathematics Library. Notices of the AMS 50 (8), September 2003: 918-923; and J. McColl and S. Pinfield. Climbing the Scholarly Publishing Mountain with SHERPA. Ariadne, issue 33, 10 October 2002 <>

29. SPARC <>, and SPARC Europe <>

30. The Public Library of Science. <>

31. Directory of Open Access E-journals. <>

32. ROMeO <>; and SHERPA <>

33. Bill Hubbard, Project Manager. The SHERPA project: assisting scholarly communication. Presentation given at University of Leeds, 3 December 2003.

34. Electronic Journal of Sociology <>

35. Building a National Strategy for Preservation: Issues in Digital Media Archiving. Co-publication of Council on Library and Information Resources and the Library of Congress, 2002 <>. This report brings discussion on different digital media together.


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