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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    University Publishing in a Digital Age

    Ithaka, an independent not-for-profit organization with a mission to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education worldwide, has published the report "University Publishing in a Digital Age" - it is available in PDF at the Ithaka website. The abstract on the opening page states:
    Scholars have a vast range of opportunities to distribute their work, from setting up web pages or blogs, to posting articles to working paper websites or institutional repositories, to including them in peer-reviewed journals or books. In American colleges and universities, access to the internet and World Wide Web is ubiquitous; consequently nearly all intellectual effort results in some form of “publishing”. Yet universities do not treat this function as an important, mission-centric endeavor. The result has been a scholarly publishing industry that many in the university community find to be increasingly out of step with the important values of the academy.
    University presses have been struggling to maintain their role and status as open access, institutional repositories, e-publishing and rising costs force them to revaluate their mission. The report “argues that a renewed commitment to publishing in its broadest sense can enable universities to more fully realize the potential global impact of their academic programs” - but scholarly monograph publishing may look very different in the next decade. Universities have to accept the realities of alternative approaches: print on demand, e-books, Web 2.0, and the increasingly granular needs of the student body.

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