The Journal of Electronic Publishing Is Reborn

Good news! The Journal of Electronic Publishing is coming back after a long hiatus (the last issue was published in August 2002). New issues will be announced on PACS-P and other lists. See the press release below for details.

Contact: Maria S. Bonn Director, Scholarly Publishing Office, 734-763-3343, mbonn@umich.edu

Journal of Electronic Publishing Re-Launched by Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office

Ann Arbor, May 31, 2005—The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan University Library will re-launch The Journal of Electronic Publishing (JEP) in January, 2006.

"JEP is an excellent fit for us in several ways," says Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office. "It is another outstanding journal that we can make available free over the Internet, it fits with our commitment to library-based scholarly publishing, and it covers the very area we are involved in, electronic publishing." Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office currently publishes 10 journals and four scholarly monograph series online.

JEP was started by the University of Michigan Press in 1995. In 2003 the press agreed to transfer the journal to the Columbia University Press, but the transfer was never completed and the journal—still at http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/—has had no new issues since then.

"Since its first issue, JEP has been a source of innovative ideas, best practices, and leading-edge thinking about all aspects of publishing, authorship, and readership in the electronic environment," says Mark Sandler, Collection Development Officer for the University of Michigan University Library. Returning after a three-year hiatus, JEP will "continue to document the changes in publishing with the growth of the Internet, and to stimulate and shape the direction of those changes."

The Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO; http://spo.umdl.umich.edu) was founded in 2001 to support academic publishing through a library-based publishing platform. SPO is also teaming with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition; http://www.arl.org/sparc/index.html) on the recently announced Publisher Assistance Program to provide business planning and digital publishing services to facilitate open-access publishing in the social sciences and humanities. Those services will be available to JEP as well, ensuring its future and keeping it at its original University of Michigan home.

SPO’s first issue of JEP will be in January, 2006. "JEP burst on the scene with a focus on experimentation, vision, and prediction," Sandler said. He said that now, ten years later, electronic publishing practices have stabilized for some formats and markets (for instance, scholarly journals have shown significant convergence of distribution and pricing models), but that many unresolved issues remain for newspapers, trade books, magazines, and newer forms of publishing like blogs and wikis. "All aspects of electronic publishing still face considerable change and sometimes upheaval, and a great deal of the creative turmoil that JEP captured in the mid-nineties still challenges publishers, authors, librarians, and readers. We still struggle to understand author and reader preferences, and still search for stable economic models that will allow publishing to flourish in an age of electronic communication," he said. "The new JEP will continue to look back over the past 20 or 30 years to see how we’ve come to this point in the history of publishing, and look forward to where publishing may be heading. It will look inward at key players and practices of publishing, and also look outward at movements on the margins that are challenging traditional publishing interests, and at readers worldwide affected by the interplay of technological and economic forces that have revolutionized social communication."

JEP‘s editor, Judith Axler Turner, will remain at the helm, with editorial input and publishing support from Mark Sandler and Maria Bonn. A new editorial board will be constituted, and JEP will solicit articles that present wide-ranging and diverse viewpoints on contemporary publishing practices, and encourage dialogue and understanding between key decision-makers in publishing and those who are affected by the decisions being made.

The first new issue will focus on the changes in electronic publishing in the past three years, exploring topics such as the rise of open access publishing, the increasingly complicated intellectual property landscape, the rise of new communication technologies, and the new economics of scholarly publishing. JEP is actively seeking feedback on its new direction and is also looking for high-quality submissions on these topics. Authors and others are invited to discuss JEP‘s future or submit articles by contacting the editorial team at JEP-info@umich.edu. Back issues of JEP may currently be found at http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/

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