Early Open Access Journal, the PACS Review, Established 20 Years Ago Today

On August 16, 1989, I announced the establishment of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. If it was published today, this e-journal would be called a "libre" open access journal since it was freely available, allowed authors to retain their copyrights, and had special copyright provisions for noncommercial use.

Here's the announcement:

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages regarding the possibility of starting an electronic journal. There was a very favorable response to this idea, and I am willing to give it a try.

The Public-Access Computer Systems Review will contain short articles (1 to 7 single-spaced pages), columns, and reviews. PACS Review will cover all computer systems that libraries make available to their patrons, including CAI and ICAI programs, CD-ROM databases, expert systems, hypermedia systems, information delivery systems, local databases, online catalogs, and remote end-user search systems. All types of short communications dealing with these subjects are welcome. Articles that present innovative projects in libraries, even those at an early stage of their development, are especially welcome. Proposals for regular (or irregular) columns will be considered on an ongoing basis. There will be a section for reviews of books, journal articles, reports, and software. As a style guide, use Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers (5th edition). If you are in doubt about whether your topic falls in the purview of PACS Review, consult my article: "Public-Access Computer Systems: The Next Generation of Library Automation Systems." Information Technology and Libraries 8 (June 1989): 178-185.

The initial editorial staff of the PACS Review will be as follows:

Editor: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., University of Houston

Editoral Board: Nancy Evans, Carnegie Mellon University
David R. McDonald, University of Michigan
Mike Ridley, McMaster University
R. Bruce Miller, University of California, San Diego

The PACS Review will come out on a regular schedule. I will determine the schedule based on the interest you show in submitting articles. If desired, authors can retain copyright to their works by notifying the editor. The logistics of distribution of the Review will be worked out at the release of the first issue. Either individual articles will be sent as PACS-L messages [PACS-L was a LISTSERV mailing list] or a table of contents will be sent and users will retrieve articles from the file server (at this point we do not have full documentation for the file server aspect of PACS-L). The PACS Review will have a volume and issue enumeration. It will be paginated.

I hope PACS Review will be timely, lively, and thought provoking. I hope that it will complement the PACS-L conference, potentially resulting in a unique interaction between formal and informal electronic communications. I welcome your contributions to this experimental electronic journal. Please send all articles to me at LIB3@UHUPVM1. Your contributions will determine whether this journal gets off the ground or not. Let's see if electronic publishing of library journals has a future!

The first issue of the PACS Review was published in 1990 and the last in 1998, for a total of 42 issues.

The following articles discuss the PACS Review:

  • Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Electronic (Online) Publishing in Action . . . The Public-Access Computer Systems Review and Other Electronic Serials." ONLINE 15 (January 1991): 28-35. (Preprint)
  • Ensor, Pat, and Thomas Wilson. "Public-Access Computer Systems Review: Testing the Promise." The Journal of Electronic Publishing 3, no. 1 (1997).

Also see my "A Look Back at Twenty Years as an Internet Open Access Publisher."

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