What are the Prospects for Publishing Online Scholarly Journals in Malaysia? The Cultural Constraint
||Zakaria, Jamay'ah; Rowland, Fytton
||What are the Prospects for Publishing Online Scholarly Journals in Malaysia? The Cultural Constraint
||ELPUB2006. Digital Spectrum: Integrating Technology and Culture - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Bansko, Bulgaria 14-16 June 2006 / Edited by: Bob Martens, Milena Dobreva. ISBN 978-954-16-0040-5, 2006, pp. 229-236
||Most of the studies conducted on future business models for electronic scholarly publishing have concentrated on the major publishing areas of North America and Western Europe, and on large publishers (both for-profit and not-for-profit). This paper considers the prospects for electronic scholarly publishing in a smaller country away from these two parts of the world. Malaysia is a medium-sized developing country in Southeast Asia, with the ambition to become fully developed by 2020. The government has invested heavily both in ICT infrastructure and in educating the population in its use, and as a result Internet usage is quite high, and most academics and research workers can access the Internet both at work and at home. A number of journals are published by not-for-profit organisations in Malaysia, but their sales are small and their financial positions precarious, and few of them are available electronically yet. This work is based on a large-scale questionnaire survey of Malaysian scientists, and interviews with managers of university presses and other not-for-profit publishers in Malaysia, designed to reveal attitudes to online electronic journals among their potential authors and potential publishers. Those academics who published frequently in printed scholarly journals were significantly more positive in their attitude towards online journals, and this effect was particularly strong if they published in international journals and in English. Interviews with representatives of the presses of universities and research institutes revealed that most Malaysian journals are small, publishing only 20-30 papers per year, and have low print runs, typically about 300. They gain relatively little income from subscriptions, many copies being distributed though exchanges, and are subsidised by their host institutions. Only one journal among this sample of presses had a parallel electronic version; the remainder were print-only. An important feature of Malaysia is its very high value on Hofstede's Power Distance Index (PDI), which implies that a high level of deference to one's superiors is usual in Malaysia. The results from the interviews suggested strongly that the effect seen in scholarly publishing is a consequence of senior managerial figures in universities not supporting online publishing. Those researchers with a more international orientation are the ones most likely to go against the cultural trend.
||Malaysia; online scholarly journals; authors; editors
||file.pdf (262,855 bytes)
Post discussion ...
These pages are best viewed with any standards compliant browser (e.g. Mozilla).