Abstract - The Information Society 11(4)

Electronic journals and legitimate media in the systems of scholarly communication

Rob Kling and Lisa Covi

While the number of electronic scholarly journals is growing steadily, these journals have not yet been accepted as legitimate publication outlets by the scholarly communities. How moving from paper to electronic distribution alters the legitimacy and pe rceived quality of the journals is examined. The prospects are also examined for creating diverse high-quality electronic journals in the next 2 decades. Some of the key features of the scholarly communication system are examined that e-journal enthusia sts must face if they wish to accelerate the pace at which e-journals become legitimate. These include finding ways to synergize with the paper world, because readers will often print out article for subsequent careful reading even if they receive them electronically. In practical terms, it can entail using stealth strategies. The e-journals that thrive are most likely to be those whose editorial boards can design formats that are compatible with the p-journal world, while adding e-journal virtues, suc h as rapid dissemination of accepted articles and the possibility of elaborate and computationally rich appendices.

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