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D-Lib Magazine
February 2006

Volume 12 Number 2

ISSN 1082-9873

Unrestricted Access

Within the past few days, several announcements of milestones reached by electronic magazines and journals have arrived in my e-mail. Some of those announcements are listed in columns of this month's issue of D-Lib Magazine, but I will mention two of them here as well. They concern publications that were launched within months of each other in 1995-1996 and that share the mission of disseminating digital content that is available without charge to readers.

The first announcement concerns the re-launch of the Journal of Electronic Publishing (JEP). The inaugural issue of JEP was produced in 1995, and the University of Michigan Press published the journal through 2002. In December of that year, it was announced that production of JEP would move to another publishing house, and JEP was to resume publication there in the spring of 2003. However, the journal was instead on hiatus until this year, when the magazine returned to the University of Michigan where it is now being published by the University Library Scholarly Publishing Office. The content of all issues of JEP has continued to be available free of charge throughout these transitions.

The second announcement is that – with the release of its current issue – Ariadne this month celebrates ten years of continuous publication on the Web. Ariadne, originally funded under the UK's e-Lib: Electronic Libraries Programme, began in 1996 as a bimonthly print publication with a parallel Web version, but due to funding concerns, after three years the print version was discontinued and the Web version changed frequency from bimonthly to quarterly. Issues of the Web version have been available free of charge throughout Ariadne's existence.

Although D-Lib Magazine, the Journal of Electronic Publishing and Ariadne each serve a particular audience, they are complementary in the topics they cover, and they face the same challenges as they strive to provide unrestricted access to the content they disseminate.

Few could argue with the goal of timely and open access to high quality scholarly information. New business models are emerging to ensure this goal is met and that such access will continue far into the future. However, it is too early to know whether these models will prove sustainable over the long term.

Bonita Wilson


Copyright© 2006 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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