We're a global nation in a global world.

— George W. Bush

Possible malapropism aside, America's new president hit it right on the head when he knocked down the borders and focused us globally.

Being global creates its own set of expectations, however. It means our communication has to be better attuned to the needs of both the digital medium (a subject we have been grappling with for years) and the international community. It means that we need to learn from the past, and improve. It means we need to open ourselves to the possibilities of being digital and being global. It means we need to think globally about language, about laws, and about electronic publishing's role in the "global world."

This issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing offers some lessons based on past experience and new theories across the borders of space and time. These articles tell us a lot about the endeavor in which we are all involved.


Mindy McAdams, who holds the Knight Chair in journalism technologies and the democratic process at the University of Florida, and graduate student Stephanie Berger bring us their take on how hypertext should be presented — suiting their action to their words. The two not only wrote the article, they designed the presentation. This seminal piece had JEP's editors questioning all our own approaches. The authors and the editors welcome your comments. We will post them as we receive them.

Policy Making: A European Policy for Electronic Publishing

Giuseppe Vitiello, program advisor on electronic publishing, books, and archives for the Council of Europe, brings his insights to the thorny issues of protecting culturally important publications in a world of increasing globalization. He reviews the history of policies to support educational and cultural publication, and suggests possibilities for the European Union and the nations involved.

Publishing Online-Only Peer-Reviewed Biomedical Literature: Three Years of Citation, Author Perception, and Usage Experience

Kent Anderson, publishing director of the New England Journal of Medicine, with co-authors John Sack, Lisa Krauss, and Lori O'Keefe from HighWire Press, analyzed the citation frequency, online access statistics, and author perceptions of online-only publication of peer-reviewed articles that are part of an existing biomedical journal, and compared them with the same metrics for print articles published during the same time period. The results show that perception and reality are sometimes at odds. Interestingly, their conclusion that publishers need to reveal statistics are the same as those in the next article.

White Paper on Electronic Journal Usage Statistics

Judy Luther, president of the consulting firm Informed Strategies, wrote this report for the Council on Library and Information Resources, which has given JEP permission to republish it. The report examines why it has been difficult to obtain statistics on electronic journal usage. The report looks at the particular concerns of publishers about producing those statistics, and suggests ways around them. Like Anderson et al, Luther thinks that publishers will do better if they share the numbers they collect.

Q.A.: Breaking News

Contributing editor Thom Lieb is not as interested in who wins an Oscar for a motion picture as in how we learn about it. He notes that we are increasingly getting our information from the Web. That has opened the news hole to non-news organizations who better understand the possibilities of electronic publishing. Is this a harbinger of things to come in journal and book publishing?

This issue of JEP looks at some of the visceral issues of electronic publishing: how to present information, how to understand it, how to regulate it, and how to share it. We need to deal with these issues if we are to be successful in our shared industry. As George W. Bush said earlier this year, "I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure."

As an aside, exactly a year ago we had an article about plans for BioOne, a proposed effort by libraries and society publishers to create their own scholarly-publishing program. That article, The Development of BioOne: Changing the Role of Research Libraries in Scholarly Communication was by Adrian Alexander and Marilu Goodyear. Today March 1, 2001, BioOne goes online full text at http://www.bioone.org, and will be free until April, when you will be able to get it only through libraries that subscribe.


Judith Axler Turner may be reached by e-mail at judith@turner.net.