‘Communities’ has become a buzzword in the strategy departments of publishing companies. It is clear – and becoming clearer – that the Internet is not merely a potential information delivery route but a vehicle for bringing together communities. One of the problems, however, is that much of the scholarly activity on the Web is driven by people with a traditional information delivery role – writers, publishers, booksellers and subscription agents and librarians. Nobody questions the importance of these roles but community creation is different and requires skills which are frequently closer to caterers or advertising agencies or hoteliers. Time will tell how communities will develop. Whatever happens it is clear that the world of scholarly publishing is going to change beyond recognition in the next decade – and most of that change is for the better.
Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.
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