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Creating Readable Electronic Articles

Mercury Summer 2009 Table of Contents


Gould opening page

Image courtesy of Leslie Proudfit.

by Alan Gould

Every year, more and more journals are switching from mailing paper copies to subscribers to putting material on the Internet either for free or via password-protected access. The primary driving force behind this is simple economics: the cost of publishing material online is a minuscule fraction of the expense of printing articles in a paper journal and mailing it.

The majority of people over 40 greeted the advent of online journals with much sadness and even some derision. "You'll take my hard copy out of my cold, dead hand before I'll read a journal online" has been the overt or implied attitude of many readers. Yet those same readers, simply by the sheer convenience and richness of information available on the World Wide Web, are forced to admit that they are reading more and more material on their computer screens.

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