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With the advent of digital communication, scholarly publishing can be faster, less expensive, and more ubiquitous. That means that it is easier to keep up with the latest developments in our fields. And that, in turn, means we are expected to keep up with more information. So how do we do that well? We rely on those we trust (librarians, colleagues, journals, maybe even Google) to point out the things we should know.
This issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing is not going to make your reading burden lighter, because it’s full of must-read articles about publishing must-read articles. We think you will find all of them worthwhile.
Bo-Christer Björk and Turid Hedlund think that university presses, society publishers, and even commercial publishers can open access to their journals if they convert from a buyer-pays model to an author-pays model—and they detail how it could be done in “Two Scenarios for How Scholarly Publishers Could Change Their Business Models to Open Access.” Read this article and ponder how you might do it.
Philip M. Davis gives us a completely different understanding of open access. He is interested in “How the Media Frames ‘Open Access’,” and he writes that which side prevails is not a question of right or wrong, but of marketing: one side tells its story better. Read it and see if you agree.
In “Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press,” John Willinsky argues that open access is a viable model for monographs as well as for journals. The secret, he writes, is software that can turn the monograph into a business-based social networking phenomenon by supporting not just the publishing part of the monograph business, but the entire enterprise. Read this article and see how everything you know about the business of publishing is addressed.
Again this year we are republishing Peter Suber’s look at the previous 12 months in “Open Access in 2008.” Peter’s roundup gives us a holistic picture of the issues, advances, and problems scholarly publishers faced, and we’re delighted he let JEP bring it to you. If you haven’t already read this article, here is your chance.
Some 18 months ago we republished the Ithaka report “University Publishing in a Digital Age.” In this issue we are republishing the second in the series from Ithaka Strategic Services, this one sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and written by Nancy Maron and K. Kirby Smith. Their report, “Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication,” looks at the variety of digital scholarly communication efforts around the world. If you missed one or both reports the first time, you can read them here in JEP.