Mobile Publishing, Take Advantage of Technology
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Dr. Olaf Konstantin Krueger, M.A. | Mobile Publishing. Forschungsfokus 2001–2004: E-Publishing – Outline Of Research.

Last updated:


27.11.2015, 23:41 ACST


Overview: E-Publishing – Outline Of Research


Publishing in the Post-Gutenberg-Era








Value Added










Pressure to change










List of Annotated References

43 References



I. E-Publishing: Dimension

List of Annotated References


Photo: Zoom in. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are changing the world more radically than did the introduction of the steam engine, the railway, the car, the plane, or plastic. The Digital Revolution improves efficiency and productivity by further increasingly reducing innovation cycles. Moreover, it creates new products and brings about new developments in distribution, pricing, industrial dealings, business organization, working conditions, as well as in culture, arts, life-style, and settlement practice.

Photo: Zoom in.

For instance, the industrializing society tends to transport employees to and from production sites: a process requiring mobility and the readiness to migrate. The Communication Society of today tends to 'transport' information to and from employees. Instead of getting on the road for work at the office, tele-commuting staffs get on the Information Highway for work in their home studies.

Today's Knowledge Society is increasingly (globally) interlinked. And it is becoming more and more complex, aiming to retrieve, compare, check, analyze or provide at fairly reasonable prices any amount of the permanently growing diversity of information at any time and irrespective of where the computer with internet-access used is located. This framework requires strategies coupling effective time-management with the efficient and promising retrieval, communication, administration, and conveyance of information, as well as strategies for reliable long-term archiving of data. Against this background, the internet transforms information into goods, forcing the addition of value added, for example, in the form of services or solutions. Electronic publishing here encompasses all types of digital production, presentation, publication, and distribution of content.


1. E-Publishing: Value Added

List of Annotated References


Photo: Zoom in. Despite the undiminished interest in traditional print products, electronic publications offer (informational) value added either because of their high relevance to the present (via linking of static and managed, dynamic information) or because of their preparation on an interactive or multimedia basis. At the same time, the desire for infotainment and edutainment changes the communication and understanding of facts, as well as learning and teaching behaviour. Hence, in this Post-Gutenberg-Era all those are confronted with the revolution from its outset who occupy themselves with knowledge, information, and communication. Moreover, both the internet and electronic publishing redefine the understanding of the position and function of all those involved in the publication process and management of information: authors or content providers (or content experts), publishing houses, the book trade, and libraries.

Photo: Zoom in.

What applies to both the individuals and the businesses concerned, irrespective of their special context, is the fact that avoiding the use or application of new media or internet technology means provoking grave information deficits and competitive disadvantage. Especially called upon to meet market requirements here are publishing houses, the book trade, and libraries, all of whom can take these developments into account by adapting step-by-step part or all of their organizational structures. For instance, an e-shop of the book trade pursuing e-business in a resolute and single-minded way informs customers of new offers via e-marketing, obtains (print) media from publishing houses etc. via e-procurement and e-payment, sells these (print) media via e-commerce functions on its web-site, confirms customer orders via e-customer-support, and arranges delivery via e-fulfilment.


2. E-Publishing: Potential

List of Annotated References


Photo: Zoom in.

E-publishing has changed first and foremost academic and scientific activity. Here, the price for the publication organs that are handed down, such as periodicals or journals and books, have been rising for many years now. At the same time, the budgets of libraries reaching their spatial limits are stagnating or dwindling, which explains why publications of lesser significance are being cancelled in favour of those deemed of significance. In addition, handling and control of (small and medium sized) publishing houses with editorial, production, marketing, and sales departments - partly questionable from the standpoint of authors - can mean the critical prolongation of the publication process of a book by up to two years. And it may take up to an additional twelve months to make the bibliographical data available in data banks. What is more, some publishing houses expect authors or content experts to pay extra.

E-publishing, however, can easily ensure academics or scientists dependent on rapid publication of their research results the immediate and reasonably priced provision of a fairly long document on a FTP-server with easy access for a third via the internet. The extensive computer-based and topical distribution of publications through e-publishing thus smoothes the way for electronic manuscript reception, multiple utilization in data banks of publishing houses, as well as publication in a resolute and single-minded manner without paper or publishing house.

Hence, through its potential (multi-media and multilingual capability, dialogue capability, search capability, accessibility), e-publishing allows both individuals and businesses to become interactive and virtual publishers whenever they want. This fact puts extra pressure on conventional media, such as newspapers, periodicals or journals, and books as information conveyors, as well as on traditional agents, such as publishing houses, the book trade, and libraries, all of whom are already faced with increasing pressure of costs and enforced economy measures.


3. E-Publishing: Pressure to Change

List of Annotated References

  There is no doubt: the classic model of the print specialist or technical journal is up for disposal. Academics and scientists primarily research in a selective way, which is why much of the information in a specialized organ may be irrelevant, while some of the information published in specialist periodicals of other neighbouring disciplines may be relevant. Given principles of scholarliness or scientific rigor place special emphasis on the beneficial value of information, the attachment to a particular journal would become obsolete as soon as special servers that may be located in different geographic places implement electronic full-text search facilities for available electronic publications. Abstract services and full-text retrieval functions of commercial, scholarly or scientific data banks and specialized information centres would also be obsolete. In addition, the basis for business of libraries would be withdrawn. Only digital periodicals or e-journals capable of using to the full the potential of e-publishing - for example, by integrating audio-visual explanations of concepts, linking with presentation films used at conferences, live observations via web-cams - in conjunction with permanent control of the interactive modules and long-term archiving could assert themselves because of their value added. To offer parallel versions of print specialist journals on the internet will remain but a timid interim step for the established academic and scientific publishing houses.

4. E-Publishing: Questions

List of Annotated References


For authors, publishers, the book trade and libraries, the rationalization potential of electronic publishing on the internet raises four major questions.

First, do authors generally have to give up their full entitlement to copyright in order to be able to take advantage of the rapidity and widespread effectiveness of electronic publishing on the internet? Researchers in particular take an original interest in the safeguard of academic contributions in terms of required quality standards, desired recording procedures, and long-term archiving. There is an arguably inhibiting view peculiar to academia which holds that the publication of an academic contribution in a print medium is the actual way to unalterably record the authorship of a research performance, thus ensuring for specialist discussion the quotability of contributions with on principle verifiable sources and their findability in archives. Moreover, every research field tends to cultivate a hierarchy of (established) print media which acts as a quality filter for prospective publications and a gauge of the kind of research results acceptable for specialist discussion. This particular view can be taken into account by permitting day-to-day specialist discussion to take place in e-journals and, in the course of time, allowing academic contributions accumulated over a certain period (e.g. a calendar year) to be printed and sold via print-on-demand.

Second, whose responsibility should the maintenance of required internet-accessible data banks be? Generally speaking, the construction, protection and maintenance of information technology structures for the sale and management of electronic publications necessitates investment of the order of a million dollars. For the time being, publishing houses could use Content Syndication, that is multiple exploitation of digital contents, for example, in the form of audible books, CD-R or DVD-R, or film, as a new source of return to make up.

Third, what is the most suitable mode of payment for the internet? To date, there is no one generally accepted electronic system and method of payment (e.g. Cyber cash, digital cash, money card, etc.) for services or the sale of electronic publications on the internet. In practice, different modes of 'closed user groups' can be observed who pay a subscription fee (annual license) for a password giving access to a FTP-server. Due to the support from businesses of strategic importance, the position of favourite in the Federal Republic of Germany is occupied by the money card for small sums and the SET credit card payment for large sums.

Fourth, what are the most suitable security systems for the internet? In order to prevent the unauthorized copying or distribution of electronic publications or Napstering (e.g. of e-books), agreement needs to be reached on suitable and globally standardized (en-)coding systems, technical protection or blocking mechanisms, as well as models of licensing.



Forschungsthematik in Deutsch.   

E-Publishing: Forschungsthematik auf Deutsch

Own Presentations

The Impact of ICT on Globalisation;

The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Globalisation (PDF: 9 slides, 600 dpi, 1,1 MB).

University Of South Australia, 16 October 2004, Adelaide.

Digital Rights Management im E-Publishing.

RWTH Aachen, Germany, September 2002.

Rationalisierungspotenziale des E-Publishing.

RWTH Aachen, Germany, August 2002.

Klassisches Publizieren und
Verlagskontrolling im Lichte
des E-Publishing; 20020304

Klassisches Publizieren und Verlagscontrolling im Lichte des E-Publishing (PDF: 19 slides, 612 KB).

RWTH Aachen, Informatik III, 04 March 2002, Gemünd, Germany.

Last updated: 27.11.2015, 23:41 ACST