A Study of Human Communication Issues In Interactive Scholarly Electronic Journals: eLib Supporting Study

Graham Alsop, Chris Tompsett , James Wisdom

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    This project, conducted between March and July 1997, has explored the changes that are taking place to scholarly communication as it moves into the electronic domain. Evidence has been collected from three studies:

    • a case study review of three Elib projects chosen to cover a broad set of disciplines. The projects selected were:
    1 The CLIC Consortium - Chemical Communications
    2 The Journal of Information Law and Technology (JILT)
    3 Formations -a pre-print database in cultural policy, media studies and performance theory.

    • a consultation exercise with potential users of such services, with activists from the same three disciplines, and
    • a literature review, with an international basis, to gain a greater understanding of the emotional, cognitive and socio-psychological issues surrounding interactivity in electronic scholarly communication.

    On the basis of the evidence collected and the literature reviewed, the team have taken a number of issues which we wish to highlight as being of particular importance to the Electronic Libraries community in promoting the use of electronic resources or planning future activities.

    • The first is that there is significant range of difference between access to and use of electronic communication in the discipline areas, which is closely related to the nature of the disciplines.
    • The second is that some key characteristics define how a discipline does and can develop into a thriving electronic community.
    • The third is that further characteristics might hold it back from developing into such a community.
    • The fourth is that the extent to which information technology is exploited as a core academic activity is a significant indicator for the uptake of electronic communications.

    Further, the development of scholarly electronic communication has led to changes in many of the assumptions which have hitherto driven parts of the academic world. We have chosen to highlight changes which we think are of particular importance to :
    the assessment of quality;
    to ways of forming relationships;
    to the use of language and to the
    ownership of knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBath
    PublisherUKOLN, University of Bath
    Commissioning bodyJISC
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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