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Re: E-Journals, was Re: Correction, I hope, of M/C URL

From:Ty Power <ty@...>
Date:Thursday, March 16, 2000, 4:23
On 15 Mar 00, at 19:41, Brad Coon wrote:

> Ty Power wrote: > > > In answer to the question of length constraints in an electronic > > journal, though, there are a couple of relevant considerations. One is > > that (most) people are (generally) reluctant to read large texts on > > Speaking from the other end of the web chain, as a librarian taking > part in a large e-journal access project, I can say that there are > as many variables as there are journals.
Absolutely, I agree. My comments weren't meant to be an exhaustive list of factors, by any means. Constraints may be because
> they are given limited space, it may reside on a personal machine, > there may be limited manpower for editing, etc., etc. Most of the > e-journals that I deal with are simply the online versions of > paper journals. We have seen far too many of the published online > only type simply disappear when the editors lose interest, change > jobs, or whatever.
There are a lot of factors involved in this, I think; definitely more than just the obvious considerations. I do think that the crux of the problem lies in the inadequate use of the medium, though. Often online-only publications are doomed to an early demise simply because they are replicating the shovelware that exists in the form of "online" print publications--- only they're not offering print versions, as well. They're often conceptualized as if they were print publications and then they skip the print format altogether and leap onto the Web. Some don't, certainly, and the often thankless (and financially unrewarding) task of Web publishing definitely invites burnout and boredom, so it's understandable that even the best e- journals crash.
> > In addition, what I find most disturbing with long texts online and > > which has been documented as one of the biggest problems with the Web, > > is the sense of unlimited information. This can really > > I totally agree but I think for different reasons. As a reference > librarian, the web is almost (the key word is ALMOST) always the > very last place I will look for information. In my library instruction > classes I make a point of leading people down the path of comparing how > many books are online, how many issues of how many journals, how many > pages are personal vanity pages, .com pages and so on. Then I tell them > that far from 'everything being available on the web' almost nothing is > available compared to even a modest library.
True, but more people have computers in their workspace than work in a library. I agree completely that this "sense of unlimited information" is bogus, though. I'm dealing with this on a small scale in a project I'm involved with at work, where a minor question of navigational structure threatens to give an unnecessary sense of complexity to an otherwise straightforward site.
> I think part of the problem is a continued evolution of reality > perception. For many of my generation, things were more real > if they were on television. For many younger people, they are more > real on a computer screen.
I have no idea which generation I would technically belong to, here, but I'd definitely have to say I lean towards the latter in terms of reality perception. I don't even have a TV that works; I'm online 8+ hours a day, at work alone. Books, though... still the ideal medium, IMO. :) -Ty Wield fiercely the power to disbelieve -----------------------------------------------------