What is an Academic Journal? Problems Associated with the Transition to Electronic Publishing

  • Beate Elvebakk
Keywords: Digital journals, Academic publishing, technological change


The article is based on interviews with the subject specialists employed at the University Library in Oslo in 2005, and describes the discussion surrounding the introduction of an “e-only” policy for academic journals, and the opposition it met, especially among the subject specialists from the humanities. It deals with the perceived problems in this early stage of the new publishing paradigm in the academe, and describes the worries of the librarians in the form of a set of stories about breakdowns, malfunctions and absences. The article concludes that although the electronic journal may seem not to have radically changed academic journals, a more inclusive approach to technology in use reveals that our ways of relating to the journals have changes significantly, and that we may not be aware of all the consequences that follow from this. Especially, this relates to how academic resources is being used, and consequences for the research that is being produced.


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