On Mon, 16 Jul 2007, Sharon Foster wrote:
> I absolutely agree that reading articles online from a database is
> nothing like reading a magazine or a journal. But why must the
> experience be "atomized"? For example, I find reading The New York
> Review of Books online to be very nearly as satisfying as reading it
> in print was, and plus I don't have to recycle it.
> Online databases are not currently configured to simulate a journal's
> website but, as we used to say in the embedded systems world, SMOP.
> It's just a Simple Matter Of Programming.
I don't think that a website is a fair substitute for a printed journal.
Yes, there are journals that online-only, but I view the two publishing
styles completely differently. I admit, I don't deal with bibliographic
records, so I can only view the issues from a user's point of view.
I view print publications as being more 'push' than 'pull'. They show up,
and I read them. (well, lately, I've been so busy, that I haven't been
reading them, but I have a stack that I go through when things calm down,
and I need a chance to clear my head, and stop worrying about current
I use online database when I'm trying to research a specific topic,
rather than trying to keep up on the general trends in a community.
In that case, I find it harder to use the print publication -- but if I
have the print copy, I'd rather read from that, once I've identified the
articles of interest.
The only online 'journal' that I read is on web design (A List Apart) ...
as I think it makes sense that a serial on web design doesn't make sense
as a print publication. There might be other fields where this is the
case, as well.
> On 7/16/07, K.G. Schneider <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I'm doing some exploratory poking around an issue that is of dual importance
> > to me as a librarian and writer: the fidelity of the print journal in online
> > databases. I feel as if this is such an obvious issue that there must have
> > been EXTENSIVE discussion about this over the last ten or fifteen years, so
> > bear with me if I am missing the fly on the end of my nose.
> > Let's set aside some of the characteristics that can't be dragged to the
> > online medium (the feel and smell of paper, for example) or arguments I find
> > specious (how many people take baths any more, anyway?). That said, to what
> > extent do databases (or do not...) recreate the "issue experience"-that
> > sense of aboutness and completion for a journal issue? Do we care?
It's the 'grab it at the last minute, and you might find something
interesting' aspect that I prefer from print magazines. It might be that
I'm missing an aspect of RSS feeds or similar, but I still prefer reading
from paper. So, if I know I'm going to have to kill some time (waiting at
the DMV, airport, doctor's office, etc), I'll grab a couple to read.
Although I think this is an important aspect for me, I don't know if it
really translates to library usage.
> > I see some work is done in metadata that can express the relationship
> > between articles in a journal. But I'm curious how much we (librarians) care
> > about this business of fidelity or whether it's just another silent victim
> > of change. I worry that without intending to we could hasten the death of an
> > entire area of literature.
Actually, I'm interested in the FRBR work on aggregates, as I don't think
the relationships for collected works (eg, serials) are as well defined in
FRBR, and it's more difficult to browse at the collected level, and then
find the individual works (articles) of interest.