This model will also apply to the electronic journal. Electronic journals and the profusion of other electronic media are challenging the role of the information profession in making the body of know ledge available to society in an organised manner. This will continue.
In my view the development of the electronic journal will occur at the same time as the re-organisation and redefinition of the role of the information professional, the society they serve and the in formation industry, within which we all work.
For me the future of our industry is the creation of a worldwide library. In this library all of the digital sources in the world will be available in a well-organised context. The worldwide library will be available to all users, independent of location or computing platform and at utility prices.
One momentum behind the worldwide library is the expanding capability of technology. The continuing fall in the cost of technology and data storage will also play a significant role. The result of t hese collaborations will be to bring mass access to electronic information. Already we have begun to gain some experience of what this will be like with the growth of the Internet.
On many levels librarians are already playing a role in creating the worldwide library. For example, in May this year 15 of the largest research libraries and archives in the United States and the c ommission on preservation and access signed an agreement to implement a distributed open digital library. Their intention "to bring together from across the nation and beyond digitised materials tha t will be made accessible to students, scholars and citizens everywhere"
My own experience within SilverPlatter also proves that collaboration, not competition, is the way to build the worldwide library. Our goal is to make information available to everyone, everywhere, w hen and how they want it, both now and in the future. In order to do this, we now collaborate with four groups to organise our contribution to the worldwide library. Information partners bring intell ectual property; technology partners work with us to build excellent access tools; distribution partners ensure that these products are available globally; and librarians arrange and organise the con tent using the access tools to serve the information needs of the patrons.
These information navigators will not only work in libraries. They will also work in independent quasi commercial companies and will contribute to the organisation, growth and validation of the sour ces within the worldwide library. Within their expert area the role will be dynamic, changing constantly as more and more content enters the worldwide library.
The subscriber list of a print journal defines a community of like interest engaged in the creation of knowledge. For the electronic journal, creative collaborations between new and existing publishe rs and new partners will create and maintain the electronic journal defining new communities of like interest engaged in the creation of knowledge.
The electronic journal will be flexible. Its content will change frequently, incorporating text, video, sound, motion and other features. The creation of content for electronic journals will require peer review as does journal publishing today. This will take place in a closed electronic forum and the electronic medium will allow this to happen at a much faster pace than traditional print. Once the content is agreed the journal will then be published in another electronic forum for subscribers. The electronic medium will facilitate the readers to communicate with each other - allowing annotation to the papers and circulation by e:mail.
As the electronic journal will be published daily, ownership and the royalty structures of the journal will differ from those of today. In the worldwide library more royalty revenue will be shared be tween a wider group of collaborators including, authors, publishers, referees, technology providers and service providers. The security technology of the worldwide library will ensure a safe and pro fitable environment in which to publish.
As part of the worldwide library the electronic journal will be but one of the sources that the information navigator will use from the many others available. The onus is on us as participators in the information industry to ensure that the worldwide library is brought into being. Through collaboration we can all play our part in expanding and making available the body