A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge   © SCUP 2003
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Repositories and Emerging e-Knowledge Marketplaces (continued)



Chapter 4

Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge

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Challenging Business Models for e-Publishing. The Internet culture is challenging the current publishing culture. It comes as no surprise that a significant groundswell has developed across a number of communities of practice that are challenging the traditional models of publishing and distribution. This is particularly so in the case of online scholarly journals, where the processes of peer review, editorial compilation, publication, and dissemination are all unbundled.

Pet food stores weren’t the killer app for the Web . . . but peer-reviewed scholarly journals might be.

Sarah Milstein, 2002

As reported in The New York Times, there are about 25,000 peer-reviewed journals in science, technical, and medical fields. This means they are vetted by two or three specialists plus the journals’ editors. For example, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for one, has trimmed its submission and review cycle to five weeks, down from six to eight, since it adopted an electronic peer-review system in January 2002. Glenn Collins, the journal's managing editor, expects to eliminate 80 percent of his mailing costs, which had typically run between $60,000 and $70,000 US. Even when the cost savings are minimal, though, publishers often install electronic systems for convenience. "The reason you do it is so that the authors can track the status of their manuscripts," says Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor in chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which plans to have an electronic peer-review system in place by January 2003. Once the Web-based system is installed, authors will be able to track the progress of a review in much the way as UPS and FedEx customers can track packages online (Milstein, 2002).


Jeffrey Young (2002) and Raym Crow (2002) have both provided a compelling rationale that institutional repositories will build “superarchives” or collections of intellectual output. Such collections (or repositories) could stimulate new practice and new market conditions. Some of this new practice will foster growth in “publicly owned” knowledge through greater willingness to share intellectual output among institutions. Conversely, some new practice will focus on creating new syntheses, combinations, or extensions of existing forms of knowledge. These new offerings will command new premiums and drive new markets. Significant benefits could be experienced by authors, consumers, and institutions. Publishers will need to remain agile in discerning their roles in these new markets.

Institutional Repositories. In discussing the development of institutional repositories, Crow observes that the technical effort is dwarfed by the effort and organizational costs of addressing repository policy, content management, and faculty marketing: “These tasks include:

  • developing content accession policies;
  • deciding on what metadata to store and present;
  • creating digital object identifiers (DOIs);
  • crafting author permission and licensing agreements to disseminate work indefinitely;
  • developing content creation and input guidelines suitable to long term archiving and proper presentation;
  • training staff and authors in using the software to submit content;
  • creating document submission instructions; and
  • marketing the repository concept to respective depositors.” (Crow, 2002)

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  We conclude that the Information Marketplace will touch essentially all human activity.
Michael Dertouzos