Editor's Gloss: Models
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How you see the world depends on your mental model. We know in these parlous times that a different world view is a different world; that thinking the world is a particular way makes it that way.
Change depends on changing mental models. Those who think "scholarly publishing" must mean print on paper are those who dismiss electronic publications in tenure and promotion decisions. Those whose mental model depends on the way things have always been are unable to grasp how things could change. Turning paper into herons requires that we see beyond the paper itself.
This issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing features authors who have broken out of the box, are coloring outside the lines, and see beyond the horizon, By changing their mental models of electronic publishing, they have found possibilities that can invigorate your world view.
Julia Martin, a doctoral candidate in the School of English at the University of New South Wales, and David Coleman, postdoctoral Research Associate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney, take the position that there is no single answer to the archiving problem, that archiving practices must evolve as surely as any living organism. By changing our model from finding "the" answer to the archiving issue to a model in which we recognize that archiving is a moving target, we can more comfortably deal with today's archiving needs and those in the future.
Heather Joseph, the President and Chief Operating Officer for BioOne, helped a scholarly society re-think its publishing model. As a result, the society's publishing program went from cash strapped to thriving — even while making the journal free online. If your publishing program is looking for a new way to present scholarly information, you need to read this article.
Revolutions and Images and the Development of Knowledge: Implications for Research Libraries and Publishers of Scholarly Communications
Susan S. Lukesh, Associate Provost for Planning and Budget at Hofstra University and former Interim Dean of Library Services there, says the potential for three-dimensional and four-dimensional images on line should inspire electronic publishers and libraries to think differently about what they provide. She recognizes both the challenges of more dimensions, and the potential for breadth and depth in scholarship. There's no reason why a mental model must be flat.
Arthur A. Raney, assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Florida State University, and five of his masters' students — Jeremy R. Jackson, Debbie B. Edwards, Karrie L. Schaffler, Jean Blutenthal Arrington, and Melissa R. Price — subjected volunteers to Web sites with and without animation and multimedia features to see whether flashy technology helps users. Their results may change your world view.
Daniel M. Downes, Co-ordinator of the Information and Communication Studies Program at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John, explores the effects of thinking of the Internet as a broadcasting medium versus a shopping mall versus an interactive medium. Which model you choose determines how you will use it.
Contributing editor Thom Lieb reflects how styles (and models) have changed since his first JEP column five years ago. He notes that the worldview of Internet publishing has advanced, but not all online publishers have kept up. The new models, he says, have evolved to meet our new understanding of the medium.
Creating herons from paper requires that you be able to see the possibilities of herons in paper. A new mental model means new options.
Judith Axler Turner may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.