Breaking the barriers of resistance to electronic journal entry: Experiences of BIToday
||Elliott, G., Polovina,S., Rourke, G. and Tyrell, T.
||Breaking the barriers of resistance to electronic journal entry: Experiences of BIToday
||Electronic Publishing '97 - New Models and Opportunities: Proceedings of an ICCC/IFIP conference held at the University of Kent, Kenterbury, UK, April 14-16 1997/ Edited by Fytton Rowland and Jack Meadows / ISBN 1-891365-00-2
||There are a number of socio-economic issues 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 for 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. The present paper focuses on research, problems and issues encountered at South Bank University in attempting to establish a Business Information Technology (BIT) Journal on the Internet (BiToday). 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 and issues 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' (as they may be termed in the electronic publishing environment). These forces of resistance act like bathers into the electronic journal field. This paper will suggest from experience the nature and origin of these resistant forces. Two obvious resistant forces are the establishment of standardisation of publication and the difficulties of enforcing copyright upon electronic journals. However, these issues are only policy constraints and pale in significance next to the issues of the 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 institutions that, 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 WWW and theevolutionary nature of electronic publishing media which offer the prospect of hyperlinks, to point to additional reference material within other academic domains, or even other electronic journals (at no additional cost). This paper, firstly, addresses the issues that surround 'barriers to entry' in the electronic journals field. Secondly, it outlines the forces of resistance to an acceptance of electronic journal media 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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