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Symposium to look at impact of electronic publishing

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The simultaneous development of the Internet and electronic publishing has resulted in a "relentless" flow of new technologies and models of information delivery.

Nowhere have the changes been as dramatic and profound as in the field of scholarly communications. Some changes have been smooth, natural progressions in publishing, while others have cost institutions millions in lost dollars and more significantly, permanently lost information.

What separates the clinkers from the successes is "the continued communication among the information providers, the intermediaries and the users." So say Karen Schmidt and Greg Youngen, the organizers of an upcoming symposium designed to promote that continued communication.

Scholars from "all facets of scholarly communication endeavors" and from all across the country will take part in "The Impact of Electronic Publishing on Scholarly Communication: A Forum on the Future," which is to be held October 26-27.

Hosted by the University of Illinois, the symposium will meet near campus at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign.

According to Schmidt, associate university librarian for collections, and Youngen, physics/astronomy librarian, both at the UI, the symposium is unique in that it will explore future -- rather than current -- models of communication in electronic publishing.

The goal of the symposium is to "build on the knowledge we already possess, to encourage new ventures and partnerships and to help set the stage for the next level of innovation in scholarly communication," Schmidt said, noting that the symposium offers "an excellent opportunity to both observe and interact with all of the partners in this changing landscape and to participate in molding our future."

Speakers will be asked to address such issues as the changes they foresee in the field in the next five to 10 years; potential problems; and ways in which the changes "will improve our lives as scholars and consumers of information," Youngen said.

Because it is at the cutting-edge of disseminating and preserving knowledge, the UI Library is a logical place to hold the symposium. Symposium participants will be given a tour of the UI libraries.

Other sponsors include the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, American Institute of Physics, Elsevier Science, Institute of Physics, John Wiley & Sons Inc., and Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) Library Services. Symposium information can be found at