The crisis in scholarly publishing: Exploring electronic solutions

Peter Roberts
Vol 17, Number 1, p.1
Talk of a crisis in scholarly publishing has become commonplace in recent years. Critics have pointed to the escalating costs of academic journals, pressures on library space, and excessive delays in publication processes as key dimensions of this crisis. With the arrival of the Internet, a solution to some of these difficulties appears to be readily available. This paper supports the move toward electronic publishing, while nonetheless raising some cautions about cyberspace as an alternative realm for academic activity. The importance of maintaining scholarly rigour is reinforced, and the development of sophisticated 'filtering' mechanisms for assessing the quality of electronic information is seen as necessary and important. At the same time, the potential value of new modes of scholarly communication, dialogue and debate (made possible by the Internet) is acknowledged and discussed.