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Program O
Discussion Group

Second Thoughts About Web Publishing

Stephen Sottong
Science Librarian
Payson Library
Pepperdine University

Although web publishing is increasing at a great rate, there are certain disadvantages which should be taken into account before the decision is made to either publish on the web or subscribe to web based publications. The disadvantages fall into three basic categories: hardware, software and archival.

Hardware problems include limitations in display technology, and speed and loading of the World Wide Web network and local networks over time.

Software problems include the lack of an open, accepted standard for publication; and the limited lifespan of software.

Archival problems include the short-term nature of the electronic publishing industry and its associated companies and the limited lifespan of archival media.

I will conclude that electronic publishing may be useful for certain limited applications, but that, for the present, material which is needed over time should be archived on paper.

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