Breaking the barriers of resistance to electronic journal entry: Experiences of BlToday
||Elliott, G., Polovina, S., Rourke, G. and Tyrell, T.
||Breaking the barriers of resistance to electronic journal entry: Experiences of BlToday
||Electronic Publishing '97 - New Models and Opprtunities: Proceedings of an ICCC/IFIP conference held at the University of Kent, Kenterbury, UK, April 14-16 1997/ Edited by John Smith [Preliminary Versions]
||There are a number of socio-econoniicissues that are generally understood in the area of electronic publishing. Primary among these is an apparent reluctance within the academic community to accept a replacement to paper-based journals. This sits incongruously with the fact that the WWW was born at CERN primarily as a vehicle for the effective dissemination of scientific research papers. This paper focuses on research, problems and issues encountered at South Bank University in attempting to establish aBusiness Information Technology (BIT) Journal on the Internet (BlToday). It is hoped that this undertaking, which requires challenging the current academic culture on research and publication, would meet the requirements of academic staff and publicise the current and innovative academic area of BIT outside of the University. However, there are different levels of acceptance and understanding about communicating by electronic publication. This paper will thus review and highlight the main problems andissues that have been encountered in this effort to establish an electronic journal in a relatively new academic discipline. The culture of electronic publishing is opposed by a number of 'forces of resistance' (asthey may be termed in the electronic publishing environment). These forces of resistance act like barriers to entry in the electronic journal field. This paper will suggest from experience the nature and origin of these resistant forces. Two obvious resistant forces being the establishment of standardisation on publication and the difficulties on enforcing copyright upon electronic journals. However, these issues are only policy constraints and pale in significance next to the issues of initial cultural establishment of an electronic journal, which manifests itself in the form of an academic culture gap. The socio- economic forces of change in the academic world, such as diminishing budget allocation for paper based journals held in academic libraries, strongly suggests that electronic journals will become the standard and not the exception in the future. Those institutionsthat, early in this evolution, break the barriers of entry to the electronic journal field, stand to benefit in terms of establishing standards and an academic presence. Academic Institutions are still in a period of experimentation. Most people are still trying to get to grips with the basics of the \VWW and the evolutionary nature of electronic publishing mediums which offer the prospect of hyperlinks, to point to additional reference material within other academic domains, or even other electronicjournals (at no additional cost). This paper, firstly, addresses the issues that surround "barriers to entry" in the electronic journals field. Secondly, the paper outlines the forces of resistance to an acceptance of electronic journal mediums and the nature and reason of such resistance. Thirdly, the paper will suggest possible solutions, and areas of further work, needed to overcome the primary forces of resistance.
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