Networked journals. A shift of paradigm in scholarly communication
The transition to networked journals is well under way and we have already passed the point of no return. There is no turning back now. Networked journals are fundamental different from traditional paper journals in several ways. One of them is that they are location independent. That means that it doesn´t matter where they are stored or organized and they don´t need to be collected to be locally available. Together with efficient payment protocols or mediation services, this makes it possible for users to have access to every article directly from digital references in databases, articles and bibliographies. This may become a threat to institutions handling journals, especially journal libraries. The new information technology has also made it possible for authors to publish articles without the help from publishers, agents and libraries. Hopefully this will lead to a healthier marked, because there now are more alternatives. If one "player" doesn´t do his job its possible to leave him out. However, the important issue will still be how to make high-prestige and high quality journals and we believe that the traditional journals run by traditional publishers will play a central role here. The new media doesn´t change that. What´s left then is archiving for which there must be established new routines. Our suggestion is that the national libraries have a special responsibility for its country´s material.
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