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Electronic Journals using

Acrobat, Mosaic and Guide

Judith Wusteman and Heather Brown

Computing Laboratory

University of Kent at Canterbury

England

Abstract

This paper considers some of the issues affecting the use and readability of electronic journals. These issues are considered in relation to prototype electronic journals implemented using Adobe Acrobat[14], the Mosaic browser for the World Wide Web[3, 4] and the Guide hypertext system[6]. The potential of each system as a vehicle for electronic journal provision is discussed.

Keywords

Electronic journals, hypertext, indexing, browsing

1 Introduction

According to publishers at the 1993 Book Fair, electronic journals have now arrived [17]. The concept of the online journal has been in existence for some time; indeed, it is claimed that there were, by 1993, already one hundred and thirty strictly electronic journals" in circulation [17]. Despite this proliferation, the future form and organisation of such publications is still wide open for debate.

This paper considers some of the issues affecting the use and readability of electronic journals. These issues are considered in relation to Adobe Acrobat[14], the Mosaic browser for the World Wide Web[3, 4] and the Guide hypertext system[6].

The paper first discusses the concept of the electronic journal and introduces the three systems. The techniques that people use to read and skim paper-based journals are considered and an attempt is made to identify which of these could be constructively replicated in electronic form. The availability, or the potential for development, of appropriate online tools to aid journal users is discussed in relation to Acrobat, Mosaic and Guide. This discussion is illustrated using prototype electronic journals based on each of the three systems. Following from this, the potential of each as a vehicle for electronic journal provision is assessed.

2 Electronic Journals

Opinion differs as to what constitutes, or should constitute, an electronic journal. A journal may be defined as any collection of learned articles which has been accepted via the peer review process for publication as part of a series" [23].

An electronic journal could then be defined as a journal in which the end product is available electronically, whether this is over the network or via storage devices such as the CD-ROM. However, this discounts many of the products currently describing themselves as electronic journals, not least because the majority do not employ the peer review process.