and the peer-review process and explore the possibilities of multimedia formats.
While most e-only journals in this study incorporate multimedia elements to
illustrate text-based articles, others, such as the Journal of Visualized Experiments
(JoVE), notably make video the central medium for their content.
Most of the e-only journals that emerged through this study use an open-
access model; the few examples of subscription-based support were for e-only
journals published by commercial publishers or scholarly societies. Many of the
open access e-only journals support costs such as Web hosting and copyediting
through in-kind support from their host institution (in the form of server space,
technical support, or contributed staff time of programmers or copy editors),
through soliciting donations from readers, from advertising, and—particularly
in scientific/technical/medical fields—from author fees.
Reviews (10 resources)
Reviews of scholarly works meet a real need in the scholarly community for
rapid notification about and evaluation of new work. The process of writing,
editing, and publishing a review in a traditional print journal can take so long
that one of the major benefits of the review—to help scholars identify the best
new scholarship—can be greatly diminished. Digital reviews help respond to
this problem. Many of the resources in this study review works in the
humanities, reflecting the long-standing importance of the monograph in
that scholarly community. Several sites were mentioned by multiple scholars,
including the Bryn Mawr Classical Review in the humanities, and UptoDate and
Faculty of 1000 in medicine and biology.
Digital reviews innovate through the speed of publication and through the lack
of space restrictions that the online environment makes possible. H-France Review’s
Editor-in-Chief was pleased not to have to restrict authors to a short word limit,
allowing space to include a detailed review of the literature in the book review.
Digital publication enables reviews to be published as soon as they are prepared,
without a wait for a new print cycle—a major benefit both for authors and readers.
The Bryn Mawr Classical Review strives to deliver “a review a day, every day,” to the
nearly 10,000 subscribers to its e-mail list. The greater volume of digital reviews
(and the fact that faculty are often able to receive updates about new reviews via
e-mail) may contribute to the fact that many of the scholars who use reviews
reported relying on them daily or weekly. Still, while the book reviews may benefit
from the economics of online space, they must still confront the high cost of mailing
RLI 263 13
Digital Scholarly Communication: A Snapshot of Current Trends
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APRIL 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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