Scholarly publishing, peer review and the Internet

Authors

  • Peter Roberts

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v4i4.661

Abstract

The Internet is arguably one of the most significant technological developments of the late 20th century. From its modest beginnings some decades ago - where the use of networked computers was largely limited to to a select group of technical specialists in research institutions, the military and government - to the present situation, with a complex global grid of more than 50 million users, the Internet has become an increasingly important medium of communication in a variety of public and private spheres. In the international academic community the arrival of the Internet has received a mixed reception, with responses ranging from unbridled enthusiasm to outright hostility. My preferred stance is one of cautious optimism. This paper addresses one domain of academic activity where I believe such a stance might be appropriate, namely, scholarly publishing. A number of different forms of writing in cyberspace are identified, and some of the arguments in favour of moving from print-based publishing to electronic environments are assessed. The paper reinforces the need for rigorous systems of peer review in scholarly work, and considers possible futures for serials in cyberspace.

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Published

1999-04-05

How to Cite

Roberts, P. (1999). Scholarly publishing, peer review and the Internet. First Monday, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v4i4.661