Electronic publication

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As electronic publications is referred to publications in the form of electronic media , for. B. Videos , podcasts , computer games , digital reference works, and online publications . A digital player is required for use. Electronic publications are distributed either on a physical data carrier (for example DVD ) or as online publications available via the Internet . There are also mixed forms in which additional content and forms of use are offered via the Internet.

In a further development to conventional radio or the classic print media , electronic publications today usually have media-specific added value in the form of search options, interactivity , multimedia , hypertext and copying. Since the production of electronic publications can be costly and their reception is tied to reading devices, they have so far only been able to establish themselves (for example as e-books ) in certain areas.


Electronic publications have so far been able to prevail primarily in the following areas

Challenges for electronic publications in science

Electronic publications differ from print publications in certain properties, which are due to their lack of materiality: Electronic publications can be copied much faster, with a new, identical copy of the original copy being created, which leads to challenges in the area of copyright . In addition, an article in a printed magazine edition cannot be changed subsequently ( integrity ). In the case of electronic publications, on the other hand, subsequent changes can be deliberately permitted by using version control systems. In contrast, the field of long-term maintenance is concerned with avoiding undesired changes.

Long-term preservation of electronic publications

The long-term preservation of electronic publications is a major problem due to the rapid development and volatility of storage media and software. In contrast to print media and microform , digital storage media usually only have a limited shelf life of up to 50 years. However, even the archiving of the data, which can be realized through regular copying to new data carriers, does not guarantee long-term availability . While written paper can be read even after several 100 to 1000 years, an electronic publication can no longer be used after 10 years because the required computer systems and data formats are out of date. The main tasks of long-term preservation of electronic publications are therefore the conversion into new data formats and the emulation of obsolete computer systems. Open, media-neutral data formats such as XML are helpful here .


Document servers are set up to collect and archive electronic publications . As part of its collection mandate, the German National Library (DNB) is obliged to collect electronic publications and to preserve them for posterity. A start will be made for dissertations in electronic form for which strategies were developed as part of the DFG project DissOnline and which have been recorded in the German national bibliography (also DNB) since 1998 .

Several other national libraries and other institutions are currently experimenting with automatic " harvesting " methods for archiving sections of the Internet , especially the World Wide Web . The best known is the Internet Archive . Such a collection can, however, only consist of snapshots without further indexing.

See also


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