School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Library Journal

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WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT ELECtronic journals? That was the question raised by Michael Gorman, the outspoken president of the American Library Association (ALA), at a session on "Future of Libraries" at the recent Online Information Meeting in London. "What we want is articles," said Gorman, calling the idea of putting them together in things called journals "irrelevant."

"We don't need e-journals," said the controversial Gorman. Articles should be put together by "our interests, not the editor's." The real problem, according to Gorman, is that there is no viable economic model. "Buying all articles [including those no one reads] is not sustainable."

The comments got me thinking about the containers in which we package information. When the entire text is digitized and searchable through various search engines, traditional containers might not matter anymore. The concept of a journal may not matter now that we have article e-print servers and institutional repositories.

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