|High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine|
Issue 2 / October 2000
Gilda Leoni (*)
We report on topics discussed at the 2nd CERN Workshop on Electronic
Publishing: New Schemes in Electronic Publishing in Physics in March 2000
here to access].
The emergence of new models of e-publishing, from the experiences of e-archives and independent journals, and the initiatives from commercial publishers to face this evolution are described. A new definition of the e-journal, the different approaches and solutions proposed, future developments and open issues are also examined.
The 2nd CERN Workshop on Electronic Publishing confirmed a successful
formula: to bring together publishers and non-commercial publishers to
discuss experiences as well as future developments. With approximately
80-90 people in attendance, the meeting aimed to focus on new schemes for
electronic publishing in Physics.
The analysis of current e-publishing shows substantial changes. Until a few years ago the almost monopolistic journal industry benefited from an unbalanced market, where an established journal was the only way for a scientific work to be disseminated and recognized, and the few academic journals could not really compete. The first electronic versions of journals were fully consistent with the paper version and they still are. This approach configures the electronic journal as a collection of articles, it maintains also a visual order (year, volume, issue). Despite its traditional pattern, the article is nonetheless retrieved within a dynamic environment (hypertext), so that the focus is not on the single issue anymore, but on the "document".
The passage from a single document (the old "article", even if publishers still continue to call it that way, as noted by André Heck)  to a more complex, dynamic one, is the most innovative approach of electronic publishing and this changes the intellectual context, the environment for documents.
In this new landscape there are two main landmarks: one is the CrossRef service born in June 1999 and the other is the use of the Link Manager Systems.
CrossRef will link reference citations to the online content that those references cite, and already contains more than three million documents across thousands of journals linked through it. Its current members publish over 50% of the annual volume of journal documents indexed for INSPEC .
Being documents citable independently of any volume, issue, or page number, Robert Kelly of APS remarked on the importance of identifiers, which should be transparent, using a metadata structure. For e-first, he stressed the necessity to implement on the editor's site a Link-Manager system for inbound links to wrappers based on year, volume, (issue), and first page of the document. Some APS journals use electronic identifiers in place of page number.
The APS Link-Manager  facilitates the use of links to on-line journals through a very simple URL scheme, based on the information found in a typical journal citation. With this program, issue numbers are not always necessary.
The main functionalities of the APS Link-Manager are given on their site:
In the potential Over and Underlay context the CrossRef agreement DOI based , will be a strategic "trait d'union" between some publishers. The Digital Object Identifier is a means of identifying a piece of intellectual property in a digital environment. It scores over the URL as it identifies the object and not the location. This gives it a permanency that the URL does not have.
- Check if the URL contains the minimally required journal/volume/page (or electronic identifier) information.
- Check if the citation is valid.
- Check if the citation is on-line.
- Redirect the browse using the "Location :" directive to the proper URL.
- Try to give informative error messages.
The emerging model of the new electronic journal, attracts publishers and enables one to add functions and service, in a variety of "packages" and retrieval tools.
Business reasons push to create appealing products, adjusted to the academic market; extended services made possible by the digital environment are offered in the perspective of a customized product. The concept of personalization is, according to Elsevier, a reference point for the development of a business model in the immediate future.
Many options are available:
The experience of e-archives is, in this perspective, a fundamental one. It has broken the connection between publishers and peer-review and has shown the possibility of a free, online publication. The Los Alamos Archive  does not conflict with publication in a printed journal, it acts as an adjunct to the traditional publishing mechanism, speeding up access to papers and providing an archive.
A similar function is performed by E-BioSci  an initiative to provide a European platform for a wide range of high-quality electronic services relating to full-text access and retrieval in the life sciences. The spreading of archives, with different conceptual, organizational and technical foundations, poses problems of interoperability across e-print initiatives. A single interface is needed to reach over 120 archives, as pointed out at the Santa Fe meeting in October 1999.
Open Archives Initiative proposed two models for the archives:
The technical model is based on the use of the DIENST Protocol(version
5.1) arranged by NCSTRL (Networked Computer Science Technical Reference
Library)  and based on Dublin Core Metadata
for minimal metadata with Dienst subset .
Soon this protocol will be replaced by the Open Archives Harvesting protocol.
Current developments at Cornell University's Website, are the Math Book Collection , also on Cornell's site the project of NCSTRL and the ERCIM Digital Library Initiative. The latter, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, was born to promote research and collaboration between research teams working in the field. This includes establishing links between on-going digital library projects and other initiatives in public and private institutions .
The goal of all these intiatives is to create a Metadata Library that could be used by many libraries, through the use of common protocols and metadata.
Some authors are already referring to the numbers of downloads of their documents in their curriculum vitae. Another criterion for filtering, like the Amazon model quoted by Daniele Amati of SISSA,  for identifying best sellers in commercial publishing, might work for the scientific literature.
In the future, central access points such as archives and patterns based on established usage of literature may not only facilitate research by providing fast access, but can also represent a quality filter.
Future developments :
 IOP with Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), Dutch, Polish, Australian and Swiss Physical Societies joined as Associates
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (Rome)