What is Electronic Publishing?

Already firmly established in the consumer sector, electronic publishing is redefining the boundaries between print and digital, still image and video, passive and interactive. Modern digital workflows support almost any form in which content might appear, from traditional print to digital, web, video, and even interactive content. Building in the full spectrum of potential publishing avenues — print, web, video, mobiles and tablets, and interactives — from the beginning is not only a way to streamline production overall, but also to increase the reach of the materials produced by leveraging the content over a wide range of media. If the first revolution in electronic publishing was making publishing platforms accessible to anyone, the next phase is the linking of these platforms together to produce new combinations and new types of content. New concepts like the Online Scholarly Catalog Initiative (OSCI) and Responsive Design will allow that content to be easily archived as well as ported to any device.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Printed art historical journals have schockingly few readers. If we want scholarly research to be regarded as relevant to society (which we should, granted that a lot of scholarly research in the arts is publicly funded) we need to rethink how this knowledge is distributed. Publishing in digital formats, that are easily searchable, shareable and can be dynamically updated is an important stepping stone. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Oct 22, 2014
  • Merete makes an important point - we need to consider the end-user (reader) and their needs rather than just do an e-publication for the sake of it or because everyone else is. - lkelly lkelly Oct 26, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014- jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014
  • But we also need to recognize the reluctance of the scholarly sector to embrace electronic publishing. While MLA (the English literature professional society) has guidelines regarding digital scholarship for tenure and promotion, and AHA (American Historical Association) has draft guidelines in process, the College Art Association is just now organizing a committee on this topic. See http://www.collegeart.org/news/2014/10/29/mellon-foundation-awards-grant-to-caa-to-partner-with-sah-on-digital-scholarship-guidelines/. - AHelmreich AHelmreich Nov 2, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014
  • Good points made above - in addition, many universities in the USA have not decided how to track digital publications for qualifications of tenure. - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014
  • I continue to believe that electronic publishing is a huge area that museums and higher ed are not taking advantage of to the extent that we should be. Increasingly, scholars coming into the system want to publish in rich media, but often (not always, and it is changing) their peer review committees can only accept paper based, peer reviewed journals, or a published *cough* "book." Too bad about the fly through 3D video of the ancient temple you spent the last 5 years doing, right?! In the museum world, I'm seeing a few places thinking more about digital publishing, but we've been burned too many times by changing standards and platforms. Just Friday I was visiting an academic museum and the director gave me a CD about a show they did saying, "No idea if it still runs on today's computers," with a sigh. THIS IS A #%%&*!!! HUGE PROBLEM. When are going to get together and take it on? Just asking.... - weberj weberj Nov 3, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014
  • Electronic publishing and the full embrace of platforms creates a huge opportunity to broaden the museum audience, extending beyond our physical spaces/programs and traditional notions of education. We need to be thinking about publishing more broadly (maybe this belongs under themes), to include storytelling and for some museums/art centers, arts criticism. - rdowden rdowden Nov 5, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • We need not only to embrace electronic publishing as a distribution and learning technology, but also address open licensing of scholarly and educational content for maximum reach and impact. Open licenses like Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike should become default for museum research in the near future. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Oct 22, 2014 Yes! - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014
  • We need to think about how e-publishing and navigating e-texts is fundamentally changing our reading brain. This not only affects how we read on screeens but how visitors may navigate (read) in-gallery text in future:http://musdigi.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/the-reading-brain-in-the-digital-age/ and the Scientific American article is a good read too:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-reading-brain-in-the-digital-age-why-paper-still-beats-screens/ - lkelly lkelly Oct 26, 2014
  • We need to throw the entire weight of the museum and academic worlds behind an effort to force the tech industry to create formats and machines that will LAST AT LEAST 50 YEARS AND STILL RUN. Can anyone imagine that today? No way. But the museum world and the education world need this technology, desperately. Simply upgrading our data files and re-engineering our front ends every 5 years...that's death. Yeah, I'm cranky about this issue. But not without reason. My ten year old car runs. Why doesn't my 10 year old CD play? - weberj weberj Nov 3, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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