> Why does it matter what librarians think about the change in formats?
Ah hah! That, sir, is the point. You are absolutely correct about the
readers needing a voice in this. But I guess what I am getting at is that so
far it has not worked out that way, at least in the humanities, and that has
had unintended consequences. Databases started out as print ancillaries, but
in many cases are replacing print as the format libraries are using to
purchase that content (another place where it matters). Librarians have been
the brokers for this content, wield tremendous power in the paper/print
decisions, and in some cases are playing key roles in determining the
direction of metadata used to describe the aboutness of serial publications
(just as librarians active in the open-access movement have played
influential roles in institution-wide policies about ETD requirements-again,
sometimes with unintended consequences).
> In some cases, 'journal-ness' is probably important. In others, the
> traditional model is probably inferior to other options.
Right, and in fact, context is important for the user; I'm not saying
database soup can't be useful for this journal content. (Using a very broad
writerly I) When I'm researching, I don't care (and in fact prefer spooning
through the database soup). When I want to read the latest American Scholar
or Pleiades, I do care.
(One of the dangly bits floating around as I mull all this over is how in
researching and using born-digital ejournals in the humanities, the library
is fully out of the loop for me. I don't know what if anything that means.)
Karen G. Schneider
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