VPIEJ-L 05/93

VPIEJ-L Discussion Archives

May 1993

Date:         Sat, 1 May 1993 11:41:16 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
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              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Ken Laws <laws@ai.sri.com>
Subject:      Re: Reliability of electronic texts
In-Reply-To:  <9304302038.AB02717@Sunset.AI.SRI.COM>
Interesting.  The Computists' Communique takes the opposite
approach (from _EJournal_).  I often send out sample issues
or back issues, and won't knowingly distributed false information.
If I find a typo, I fix it.  This may give historians ulcers,
but the historians aren't paying me.
                                        -- Ken Laws
Date:         Sat, 1 May 1993 11:42:27 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
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              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Laine Ruus <laine@vm.utcc.utoronto.ca>
Subject:      Re: Reliability of electronic texts
In-Reply-To:  Message of Tue, 27 Apr 1993 10:46:29 EDT from <hockey@zodiac>
On Tue, 27 Apr 1993 10:46:29 EDT Susan Hockey said:
>`it's in electronic form - therefore we must have it'. As Director of
>the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities, I do not want to be
>responsible for people doing work based on inferior or defective texts.
>I want to provide texts which will last and which can become more and
>more useful as we gain a better understanding of what can be done with them.
>The question for this group is then: what constitutes a reliable text
>and how do we know that it is reliable?
Just a suggestions, coming from the realm of numeric data sets,
But I would suggest that the same principles apply to text files.
The clue to the quality of a numeric data set is very often
its provenance. I.e. who the producer was, and what edition the
data set is. We know, through experience that if the data set
comes from the ICPSR, ZA, or some other established data archive,
then the quality of the data is more reliable than if it comes
from Prof. Joe Blow at XYZ university.
The problem with numeric data is that producer name and edition
statement cannot be actually included in the data file itself, as
the software that we use to read them will up-chuck at alphabetic
characters where it expects numeric ones. This problem does not
apply in the case of text files.
So that, in short, my suggestion is that one moves to a widespread
ethic that includes a clear statement of author, title, date
(these three elements are increasingly commonly appearing as part
of text files), BUT ALSO a statement of producer and edition as
part of the regular baggage that text files carry by way of internal
identification. Eventually, the 'industry' will shake down, and
we will know from experience that text files coming from place X or Y
are reliable and have been through various cleaning and verficiation
procedures, whereas those from other souces have not and may well
be 'dirty'. This is really nothing more than what we already do
with print publications, where we already know that for example
that a title from Oxford University Press is more likely to be
definitive than one from Gophertail Press in East Overshoe, Sask.
>1. If the original is in print form, an accurate transcription which
>means no typos, markup which enables the user to locate a reference exactly,
>and a clear indication of the bibliographical source.
But I would suggest not only the bibliographical source, but a
statement of the producer and edition of the _electronic version_ is
Laine G.M. Ruus                      Bitnet : laine@utorvm
Data Library Service               Internet : laine@vm.utcc.utoronto.ca
University of Toronto
Date:         Mon, 3 May 1993 08:14:22 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
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From:         jbcondat@attmail.com
Subject:      How to Receive All _Chaos Digest_ issues?
You have writte me to receive the new computer security e-journal called
                               _Chaos Digest_
that present some security aspects: frauds, hacking, swapping, legislation,
The delivery costs are extremely expensive on the CCCF AT&T account, and if
you would receive all issues, don't hesitate to subscribe.
Send a message to:
with a mail Header or First line containing the following informations:
                       X-Mn-Admin: join CHAOS_DIGEST
Available on some ftp anonymous, like:
        * kragar.eff.org [] in /pub/cud/chaos
        * uglymouse.css.itd.umich.edu [] in /pub/CuD/chaos
        * halcyon.com [] in /pub/mirror/cud/chaos
        * ftp.cic.net [] in /e-serials/alphabetic/c/chaos-digest
        * ftp.ee.mu.oz.au [] in /pub/text/CuD/chaos
        * nic.funet.fi [] in /pub/doc/cud/chaos
        * orchid.csv.warwick.ac.uk [] in /pub/cud/chaos
Ask for file "chaos-1.xx" with "xx" as the issue number.
If you have some question, don't hesitate to ask me, directly!
--Jean-Bernard Condat
  General Secretary, Chaos Computer Club France
  CCCF, B.P. 155, 93404 St-Ouen Cedex, France
  Phone: +33 1 47874083, Fax: +33 1 47877070
  InterNet: jbcondat@attmail.com   or   cccf@altern.com
Date:         Tue, 4 May 1993 08:30:10 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Colin.Day@um.cc.umich.edu
Subject:      Call for papers
Might I suggest that our fearless e-caucus leader thinks about
the strategy we might want ot adopt? We obviously should contribute.
Do we volunteer several papers on separate topics - they could be
drafts of things we will be writing for the Symposium III - or
do we send in one strong paper that summarizes our position and
our concerns?
Date:         Wed, 5 May 1993 08:18:38 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         M.Eid@uts.edu.au
Subject:      What is an E-journal?
I am looking for a reference called "What is an E-journal?" by Franks. has
anybody heard of it? I have already tried the VPIEJ-L ftp archive site with
no luck. I would appreciate any additional information.
Mireille Eid
Acting Faculty Liaison Librarian
Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney                Tel: 61-2-330-5359
P.O Box 123 Broadway, N.S.W., 2007              Fax: 61-2-330-5535
Australia.                                      E-Mail: M.Eid@uts.edu.au
Date:         Wed, 5 May 1993 13:17:59 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
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From:         Rae Dubois <rdubois@nalusda.gov>
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
In-Reply-To:  <9305051223.AA15462@nalusda.gov>
This article appeared on PACS-L this past January, in 4 parts.
The author was John Franks, Dept. of Mathematics, Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208-2730, john@math.nwu.edu.  He would probably be able to
tell you better than I how to retrieve it from PACS-L.
Rae Dubois
Gift & Exchange Section
National Agricultural Library
Beltsville, Maryland
On Wed, 5 May 1993, M.Eid@uts.edu.au wrote:
> I am looking for a reference called "What is an E-journal?" by Franks. has
> anybody heard of it? I have already tried the VPIEJ-L ftp archive site with
> no luck. I would appreciate any additional information.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Mireille Eid
> Acting Faculty Liaison Librarian
> Social Sciences
> University of Technology, Sydney                Tel: 61-2-330-5359
> P.O Box 123 Broadway, N.S.W., 2007              Fax: 61-2-330-5535
> Australia.                                      E-Mail: M.Eid@uts.edu.au
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date:         Wed, 5 May 1993 13:18:24 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         David Robison <drobison@library.berkeley.edu>
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
Franks' "What is and E-Journal" was posted on PACS-L@UHUPVM1.bitnet
in four parts on January 21, 1993.  By searching the archive of postings
you can obtain them.  I have appended the commands to do so to the
end of this message.  Just cut and paste the section below and send it
to the LISTSERV@UHUPVM1.bitnet.
David F.W. Robison                 Internet: drobison@library.berkeley.edu
Editor, Current Cites                            Bitnet: drobison@ucblibra
Information Systems Instruction & Support             Voice: (510)643-9494
UC Berkeley Library                                     Fax: (510)643-7891
Berkeley, CA 94720
***************************************CUT HERE***************
Database Search DD=Rules
//Rules DD   *
Search franks electronic journal in PACS-L from 93/01/21 to 93/01/21
Print all
Date:         Wed, 5 May 1993 16:39:54 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Harald Lux <lux@dmrhrz11.bitnet>
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
In-Reply-To:  Message of Wed, 5 May 1993 08:18:38 EDT from <m.eid@uts.edu.au>
John Franks posted his article on the list PACS-L@UHUPVM1.BITNET on
Thu, 21 Jan 1993 12:10:42 CDT in four parts.
Date:         Thu, 6 May 1993 13:43:16 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         "Charles Bailey, University of Houston" <lib3@uhupvm1.bitnet>
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
In-Reply-To:  Message of Wed, 5 May 1993 13:17:59 EDT from <rdubois@nalusda.gov>
For instructions on how to search PACS-L, send the following e-mail
Best Regards,
Date:         Thu, 6 May 1993 13:44:28 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
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From:         Steve Foote <libsf@emuvm1.bitnet>
Organization: Emory University - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
In-Reply-To:  Message of Wed, 5 May 1993 08:18:38 EDT from <m.eid@uts.edu.au>
On Wed, 5 May 1993 08:18:38 EDT <m.eid@uts.edu.au> said:
>I am looking for a reference called "What is an E-journal?" by Franks. has
>anybody heard of it? I have already tried the VPIEJ-L ftp archive site with
>no luck. I would appreciate any additional information.
    What is an electronic journal? by John Franks was published
    as a four part posting to the Public Access Computer Systems
    Forum (PACS-L@UHUPVM1) on 21 Jan 1993.
To retrieve those 4 notes send the following job to
    listserv@uphuvm1.bitnet     or to
Database Search DD=Rules
//Rules DD  *
Search franks in pacs-l from 93/1/21 to 93/1/21
Print all
It is available by anonymous ftp at
        cd        /pub/GopherData/resources/bytype/epubl
        get       franks
Or in GopherSpace viewed by the Unix curses client:
Lund University, Lund
 2. Welcome to Lund University Gopher Server!. English menus here./
    4. All local information servers
       8. Lund University Electronic Library, Sweden: UB2/
          12. Subject trees, other inform. systems, Internet resourc.../
              1. Internet resources by type/
                 6. Electronic publications
                    7. Franks: Different solutions for electr. journal pu
(Sorry that it was necessary to truncate the menu titles for 12 and 7)
Franks's article is worth getting.
Hope this is helpful.
 Steve Foote                    Health Sciences Center Library
 libsf@emuvm1.cc.emory.edu      Emory University
                                Atlanta GA  USA
Date:         Thu, 6 May 1993 14:02:58 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Subject:      Re: What is an E-journal?
In-Reply-To:  <01GXT3NGVX2O000R5U@nuacc.acns.nwu.edu>; from "M.Eid@uts.edu.au"
              at May 5, 93 8:18 am
Obtained this from John Franks, Mathematics Dept., Northwestern University.
Leslie Bjorncrantz, Ed/Psych Bibliographer, Northwestern Univ. Library
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
According to M.Eid@uts.edu.au:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> I am looking for a reference called "What is an E-journal?" by Franks. has
> anybody heard of it? I have already tried the VPIEJ-L ftp archive site with
> no luck. I would appreciate any additional information.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Mireille Eid
> Acting Faculty Liaison Librarian
> Social Sciences
> University of Technology, Sydney                Tel: 61-2-330-5359
> P.O Box 123 Broadway, N.S.W., 2007              Fax: 61-2-330-5535
> Australia.                                      E-Mail: M.Eid@uts.edu.au
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              What is an Electronic Journal?
        by John Franks
        Department of Mathematics
        Northwestern University
        Evanston, IL  60208-2730
        January 1993
There is considerable enthusiasm among scholars for creating purely
electronic journals which can be distributed via the Internet.
However, in discussing this with colleagues and other interested
parties, I find that there are widely varying conceptions, many of them
conflicting, of what should constitute an electronic journal.  Most
scholars, when asked, are supportive of the idea of such a journal.
But, often they have only a vague sense of what it should mean --
sometimes little more than the hope that like electronic mail, articles
which interest them will magically appear on their desktop computer.
In this article I would like to explore some alternative possibilities
for an electronic research journal and comment on the strengths and
weaknesses of these alternatives.  My focus will be a narrow one --
restricted to a scholarly research periodical, marketed primarily to
research libraries.  In particular, I want only to address a
publication whose authors and editors are unpaid.  The addition of
royalties paid to author or editor could have a major effect on the
issues considered here.  Likewise, the electronic publication of a
book, even one with a narrow scholarly audience, might entail quite
different considerations.  Moreover, I want only to address the
possibilities for journals distributed via the Internet, rather than
say, publication in CD-Rom or magnetic tape formats.
The first question for an author in the Internet arena is why publish,
in the traditional sense, at all?  Why not simply write articles and
make them freely available on the Internet to anyone who is
interested?  After all, there is no direct monetary incentive for the
In fact, journals are not an absolute necessity.  Making articles
freely available via the Internet is one way to publish electronically
and some authors will choose this method.  I would call this form of
electronic publishing the ``vanity press model.'' Like all the models
of electronic publishing considered here it has some advantages and
some disadvantages and we will try to enumerate both.
The Vanity Press Model
First, let's look at the drawbacks, and answer the question why have a
journal at all.  There are at least three important functions which a
journal can provide beyond mere distribution of text.
The first of these is certification.  A journal has an editor who
chooses a referee or referees to read a submission and attest to its
scholarly worthiness.  The editor also maintains quality control in
non-content areas such as language and presentation (usually with the
aid of a copy editor).  Different journals have different scholarly
standards.  This process provides a peer review mechanism for
certifying the quality of scholarly work.  Academic institutions rely
on this process when judging the merits of an individual for promotion
or tenure.  While an author may have no direct monetary incentive
to publish in a journal, the indirect one can be significant.
The second important function is  archiving.  An author would like
to know that twenty or thirty years from now, perhaps after she has
retired, her work will still be available to other researchers.
Additionally, scholars in the field would like to have an authoritative
version of the author's text together with, at least, a definitive date
of its creation.  Traditionally, archiving is a function not provided
by the journal, but by libraries which purchase the journal and
maintain its preservation.
The third function which a journal offers is marketing.  If I
simply write an article and make it available from my personal or
departmental computer to  anyone on the Internet, how will other
scholars know of its existence?  By contrast, if I publish in a
recognized journal, other scholars are much more likely to be aware of
my work.  This might be because the journal is in their library and
they glance at its contents on a regular basis, or because they consult
a second order table of contents such as  Current Contents.
These three functions, certification, archiving, and marketing
constitute the primary value added for the author who publishes in a
journal rather than using the ``vanity press'' model.  As we discuss
other models of electronic publishing we will want to see how well they
all perform these author support functions.
It is equally important to ask how well an electronic journal supports
subscribers.  This is the area where there are the greatest potential
advantages over traditional paper journals.  Indeed, if an electronic
journal is not substantially better or cheaper than a traditional
journal, its success will be limited.  And if it offers less
functionality than a traditional journal it is difficult to see how it
will be able to survive in the long run.  At an absolute minimum, it
must be possible for the subscriber to an electronic journal to print a
hard copy of an article of interest, which is of the same quality as a
photocopy of an article in a printed journal.  Simply viewing an
article on a computer screen will not be acceptable, nor will a printed
copy in a markup language.
Beyond this minimum, two of the most important criteria by which we
should judge different models of electronic publishing are their ease
of access and and the quality of their user interface.  These are the
areas where an electronic format can surpass the functionality of a
traditional journal. It might, for example, allow the scholar to browse
and search electronically on his desktop computer before printing a
copy, on his own printer, for detailed study.
Despite its seeming weakness in the author support functions, the
vanity press model does quite well in these scholar support areas.
Since the scholar downloads the electronic text to his personal
computer, he has complete freedom and flexibility in the choice of how
he views it, searches it, or prints it.
Another big plus for the vanity press model is speed.  An article can
be made available to the scholarly public, literally the instant it is
completed.  This is such an important asset that many authors already
use this model, in addition to publishing in a traditional journal.
This practice, of posting an article to a so-called ``preprint data
base'' can take different forms.  Typically, an author submits an
abstract of his work to a moderator who periodically distributes a
collection of abstracts, together with information on obtaining the
full text of articles, to an electronic mailing list of interested
scholars.  In all cases of which I am aware, anyone can join the
mailing list without charge and there is little or no editorial control
by the moderator (i.e. the certification function is not provided).
The full text may be kept centrally by the moderator or supplied by the
author either through anonymous ftp (see glossary) or, more commonly,
by electronic mail.
There are several variants of this process and there will surely be
evolutionary changes in the future.  Already some groups in physics are
making preprints available via gopher (see glossary).  This provides a
much better mechanism since it provides a number of features not
available through the e-mail process.  The most important of these
       *  a simpler, easy-to-use user interface
       *  on-line browsing of abstracts or full text,
       *  keyword searching of abstracts or full text,
       *  immediate downloading of desired articles.
If only to meet the need of preprint distribution, the vanity press
model of electronic publishing will be with us for the foreseeable
future, and its use is likely to expand greatly.  There is sufficient
interest that the ease of use and functionality of this model will
likely continue to improve.
The absence of the marketing function in this model is not as big a
problem as it might initially seem.  Also its significance as a
drawback is diminishing and will continue to do so.  The abstract
distribution mailing lists and other preprint distribution channels,
provide an author with an increasingly effective way to provide
electronic visibility for his work.  It seems likely that some authors
who are indifferent to (or actively resent) the certification function
of journals, and are willing to forego the archiving function, will
opt to publish some of their work only via the vanity press model.
It is worth noting, by the way, that the practice described above of
``double publishing,'' -- first electronically, using the vanity press
model and then traditionally through an established journal -- may
generate some controversy in the near future.  Publishers would like
the electronic availability of preprints to cease as soon as an article
appears.  Some publishers, in their copyright transfer agreement,
explicitly deny the author the right to make his work available on an
electronic data base [1].  I know of no instances of this restriction
being enforced, however, and current practice seems to be for
electronic versions of articles to be available indefinitely.
Surprisingly many people who are strong proponents of creating an
electronic journal haven't thought a great deal about the answer to
this question.  Those who have seem to offer a wide array of very
divergent answers.  More than anything else it is the answer to this
question which distinguishes the different models of electronic
publishing.  As we characterize some of the different visions of what
should constitute an electronic journal, it is useful to keep the
varying answers to this question in mind.
The Data Base Model
The second model of electronic publishing (and the first which involves
what we could really call a journal) is  the ``data base model.'' In
this model all articles reside on a centralized data base maintained by
the publisher and what the subscriber gets is the right to access that
data base and probably use search software on the central computer to
locate and download articles of interest to him or her.  This is
roughly the way the commercial data services like Lexis/Nexis or Dialog
In practice this might work as follows for the scholar wishing to make
use of the journal.  The subscription to the journal would be purchased
by the library of the scholar's institution.  The library  would
acquire a password allowing access to the journal data base, and would
be responsible for protecting it.  To use the journal the scholar would
typically schedule a time slot with the library and go the library at
the appointed time where a librarian who has access to the password
would login to the central data base.  When the scholar finds an
article of interest, it is probable (though not certain) that he would
be permitted to make a single hard copy of it for personal use.
Because of concern about unauthorized redistribution it is unlikely
that the publisher would allow an article to be downloaded in
electronic format.
The publisher might only charge the library a fixed annual fee for
subscription, but current practice suggests that some publishers are
likely to impose additional charges.  For example, cost may be a
function of the maximum number of simultaneous users.  Some publishers
will also likely want to charge extra for the use of their search
software and perhaps also for connect time.  This may not be entirely
negative.  If the price of a journal depends on the frequency of its
use then libraries would have to pay less for access to infrequently
used journals.  Moreover, publishers of several journals might well
offer package deals enabling libraries greater access to journal
material at less cost.
How well does this model meet our three author support needs of
certification, archiving and marketing?  Certification and marketing
would likely be quite comparable to a traditional paper journal, but
archiving would be dramatically different.  Since the library does not
maintain a copy of the text, it has no archival function in this
model.  There are significant trade offs here, which are difficult to
evaluate.  On the plus side, if a library starts subscribing to such a
journal they presumably have immediate access to all past issues
(though publishers may want to charge extra for this).  On the other
hand, if a library cancels its subscription to such a journal it loses
its access to all issues including those which appeared during the time
it was a subscriber.
More importantly, however, if a publisher should go out of business it
is not clear who, if anyone, would assume the archival responsibility.
This appears to be a major weakness in the archiving function for this
This model is also quite weak in the scholar support criteria: ease of
use and quality of user interface.  It's functionality is roughly
comparable to that of a traditional paper journal and almost identical
to a journal which is traditionally marketed but published only on
CD-Rom.  This model realizes very few of the potential electronic
journal advantages, which have sparked the interest of scholars.  Most
noticeably the scholar must still physically go to the library and with
the aid of a librarian produce a copy for personal use (assuming this
is possible).  In some ways the functionality of this model is less
than that of a traditional paper journal.
The Software Model
One of the most miraculous technological achievements of this century
is the development of economically important goods which are
essentially infinitely reproducible at negligible cost.  The miracle of
the loaves and fishes pales by comparison to the ease with which anyone
with a personal computer can duplicate either software or electronic
documents, or someone with a digital tape recorder can duplicate an
artistic performance.  It must be one of the greatest ironies of our
age that this capability is less often viewed as a boon to mankind than
as an enormous liability to the publication of music, or software, or
even scholarly research.  By now we are all familiar with the downside
of this technological miracle: unauthorized reproduction of
intellectual property deprives its creator of the fruits of his labor.
If the creator has no incentive to create he will not do so.  (For a
fascinating contrarian view of this subject see [2]).
Given the similarities in the nature of this problem for electronic
publishing and software publishing, it is not surprising that one
vision of an electronic journal seeks to leverage the techniques used
in software publishing.
What the subscriber gets in the ``software  model'' is a piece of
software.  It should run on a networked personal computer or
workstation and probably be available in the several standard flavors
of such devices.  Other than the addition of this software this model
is quite similar to the data base model.  Here's how it might work.
A library or individual subscribes and receives in exchange a floppy
disk in the desired flavor.  When the software is run on an Internet
connected computer it connects to the data base on the journal's
central computer.  The user can then perform searches, download etc.,
but all downloaded materials will be sent in a proprietary encrypted
form which the software can decrypt and display to the user.  There is
no need for a password, since someone who is not in possession of a
currently valid copy of the software cannot decrypt the text.  The
software might, or might not, allow the user to print a copy of a text
document for personal use (it would be technically difficult to allow
this while disallowing the creation of an electronic copy of the
document).  The software would have an expiration date which at each
use would be compared with the current date on the central server.  The
problem of unauthorized access to the journal is reduced to the problem
of preventing the unauthorized reproduction of the software (a
previously addressed if not totally solved problem).
Since this is really a higher tech version of the data base model it is
comparable to that model in meeting the certification, archiving and
marketing needs of the author.  In particular, it shares the major
archiving weakness noted above.   On the other hand in terms of
functionality for the journal reader it is potentially an improvement.
For example, it is possible that the scholar's library could negotiate
a site license for the software or perhaps a floating license (see
glossary).  In this way the software could run on the scholar's
personal computer and display text there, even though the only
subscription is through the library.
The Subnet Model
The next model of electronic publishing may be the most commonly used
commercially as of today, but it is not as yet used for scholarly
journals.  Instead it is currently used primarily for electronic
journalism.  Here is an example of how it works.
My university subscribes to a daily news service called ClariNet which
provides all UPI syndicated articles. It consists of an enormous amount
of material, including not only world, national and regional news (from
all regions), but also sports, and columns.  There are several hundred
newspaper length articles daily.  The university is licensed to make
this material freely available only to members of the university
It is distributed using software which also simultaneously distributes
USENET (see glossary) articles.  This software, like all client/server
software (see glossary), splits the distribution function into two
parts.  All the text resides on a central server, but a server central
to my university -- the archiving function now resides with us.  This
central server provides the articles via a standard protocol to
``client'' programs running on a variety of platforms.  These include
networked personal computers and workstations, microcomputers in
publicly available labs, and larger computers designed to provide dial
up access to electronic mail and other network services for faculty and
students.  The protocol used is called the Network News Transfer
Protocol, (NNTP),  and the software for both servers and clients is
readily available without cost.  Surprisingly, it seems that, on
average, this software is of higher quality and better supported than
most commercial software.
The restriction that the ClariNet information be distributed only
locally is enforced by the server checking the IP address of the
computer running the client software.  The IP address is that strangely
formatted number, like, which is associated with a
networked computer and provides the basis for routing network traffic.
(IP stands for Internet Protocol).  This number has a hierarchical
structure.  For example, all IP addresses at my institution begin with
the two triples of digits 129.105.  This means the news server
software can simply deny access to any client whose IP address does not
begin with this sequence.  In other words, the service is offered to
anyone on our university ``IP subnet.'' There are a variety of
different software ``clients'' for this server.  These are software
packages designed to run on a particular platform (e.g. Mac or IBM
PC).  They allow the user to browse the available documents on the
server and present selected articles to the user for reading,
downloading or printing.  It is the responsibility of the client
software, not the server, to deal with any display idiosyncrasies of
the user's computer and to take advantage of any of its features.
The license granted my university permits us to archive these
documents, but, we do not.  Individuals have the right to make copies,
electronic or printed, for their personal use.  Protection against
unauthorized use is afforded by copyright.
The subnet for my university is divided into further subnets by the
additional digits in the IP address.  For example, appropriately
specifying the next three digits designates all those networked
computers in my academic department.  And, of course, specifying all
twelve digits (usually) uniquely determines a single computer.  This
makes it equally feasible for a publisher to provide access to everyone
who has access to a computer on my departmental subnet, or to everyone
who has access to an individual computer.
The particular client/server software and the NNTP protocol used for
news articles is not appropriate for a scholarly journal, but there are
several alternatives which are generally available without cost. In
particular, the National Science Foundation has funded the Clearing
House for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR), which
will develop and support client/server software using the ISO standard
protocol for electronic text known as Z39.50 (see glossary).  There has
also been substantial development of software appropriate for this use
by Universities wanting to create campus wide information servers.
Most notable in this category is the gopher project.
There are many advantages to a scholarly journal distributed in a way
similar to this.  The utility to the scholar is much greater when he or
she has direct access to documents.  This model would rank quite high
in the scholar support criteria of ease of access and quality of user
interface.  If a journal is made available through a standard protocol,
the user should have substantial choice about the interface which he
uses to view or download the data.  I routinely use three different
clients to read the UPI news described above, the choice depending on
whether I am using my personal computer at home, or a workstation in my
office.  This kind of flexibility is not likely to be possible with the
software or data base models described above.
The mechanism used by gopher or NNTP servers for restricting access to
to certain subnets is much simpler than a password scheme and cheaper
to implement.  It is very much cheaper and simpler to maintain than a
model where the publisher must create and support all client software.
There are substantial economies for the publisher who uses standard
software supported by university computing organizations or
organizations like CNIDR.  It may seem surprising, but the quality of
the client/server software supporting standard protocols and available
without cost is much higher than what a publisher is likely to develop
and generally of at least as high quality as the average of mass market
commercial software.  The level of support for such software is
commensurately high.
In the subnet model the publishers flexibility in charging is somewhat
limited.  Subscriptions can be offered to universities, departments, or
individuals, but since the text is now archived by someone other than
the publisher, it is no longer possible to charge for searching or
connect time.
The Subsidized Model
The three electronic journal models described so far, the data base,
the software, and the subnet, differ primarily in the extent and method
of their efforts to *prevent* the contents of an electronic journal
from being read by those who have not paid for it.  In the first two of
these models the cost of these efforts will represent a substantial
fraction of the cost of publishing the journal.  It is not
inconceivable that the cost of restricting access to the journal will
represent a majority of production costs.  These costs, of course, will
be passed on to the subscriber, but there is another less tangible cost
for the subscriber which may be more significant.  Experience with the
publishing of software has shown that attempts to prevent unauthorized
use, make the use much harder for the authorized user.  This is true to
such an extent that many publishers have abandoned software copy
protection, in response to user demand, and rely instead only on the
protection afforded by copyright.  It is quite possible that the
inconvenience resulting from schemes to protect electronic journals
will be even more obtrusive than in software publishing.  In
particular, any scheme which requires the user to physically go to a
library and perhaps to enlist the aid of a librarian, or to login and
supply a password *each time* a journal is consulted is unlikely to
find favor among subscribers.
All this is especially ironic since the authors and editor derive no
benefit from the attempts to restrict access.  On the contrary, the
best interests of the authors and editor are served by the widest
possible distribution (even to non-subscribers).
These considerations lead naturally to the consideration of alternative
methods of funding electronic journal production, which would permit
free distribution to any interested user.  Electronic journals
currently in existence are mostly of this type, though, as yet, only a
few could be considered true scholarly journals as opposed to newsletters.
A subsidized journal which provides a good example from the point of
view of technical production and distribution, is  EFFector
Online, the newsletter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation [3].
This publication, which appears approximately monthly, is available to
any interested party through at least four different electronic
protocols.  As issues appear they are posted to the USENET system.  In
addition they are made available for anonymous ftp, they are made
available via a gopher server and they are indexed and available to
WAIS clients (see glossary).  This shotgun approach to distribution
meets the subscriber needs of easy access and quality user interface
better than any other electronic publication of which I am aware.
Not all of these distribution channels would be appropriate for a
scholarly journal, but until such time as a standard emerges for
browsing and downloading electronic documents, it is a wise choice to
make documents available via a variety of mechanisms.  The cost of
duplicating distribution protocols is not high, and is far outweighed
by the benefits to users.
A second electronic publication worthy of mention in this category is
the Ulam Quarterly.  This is a refereed mathematics journal
provided primarily in an electronic format. Issues of the journal are
available by anonymous ftp and are ``offered without charge, courtesy
of Palm Beach Atlantic College Mathematics Department with support from
the University of Florida.[4]''  This provides an example of a journal
in this category where certification is handled in the traditional
manner.  At present this journal is electronically archived at two
sites and marketing is minimal.
Who might underwrite the costs of electronically publishing a journal
if there are no subscription revenues?  There are a number of
possibilities.  A professional society might sponsor such a journal and
pay for it out of members' dues.  Costs might be provided, at least in
part, by government grants.  A journal might be sponsored by a
University, or even a single academic department, as in the case of the
Ulam Quarterly.  An important factor is that with effectively
free distribution via the Internet, and the fact that authors and
editors are not paid, the cost of producing an electronic journal can
be quite modest.
This is a difficult question to answer.  It is not clear what direction
commercial publishers will take.  At the moment they seem generally
conservative and uninterested in innovating.  But, in addition to
publishers, two other groups, scholars and librarians, will strongly
influence the development of electronic journals.
It is in the interest of scholars, both as producers and consumers of
journal articles, to have the widest possible distribution with the
fewest encumberances.  While a scholar's strongest motivation in
selecting a journal for his work will likely be to place it in the most
prestigious journal which will accept it, it seems likely that other
factors being equal he or she will opt to publish in a subsidized
journal where the article's exposure is likely to be greater.
While the interests of librarians may overlap with those of scholars,
they do not coincide.  A key issue is the state of libraries' readiness
and willingness to archive electronic journals.  On the one hand
librarians have little desire to become computer center managers.  On
the other hand they understand that if they only license access to
information that is owned by a publisher then their role as librarian
is diminished.  They become little more than a conduit to the publisher
for University funds.  For a library to own electronic materials it must
archive them.  This in turn requires  computing facilities and new
It is important to understand that the attitudes of many
library staff members towards electronic publishing, or computing in
general, are influenced by their experience and expertise with the
software and computers they use for Online Public Access Catalogs
(OPACs).  These are typically commercial software systems like NOTIS,
which were designed (and often run on computers which were designed) in
an era before personal computers and workstations were widely used.
It is likely that among many librarians there is still an expectation
that systems like NOTIS and the computers on which they run can be
relevant to providing online access to archived electronic journals.
In my opinion, there is very little chance that this expectation can be
realized.  Librarians have already come to realize their traditional
OPAC platform cannot provide access to information in CD-Rom format and
that to provide this access it is necessary to acquire separate
computers and even separate local area networks.
Access to electronic journals, provided using modern protocols, will
likewise require new computing facilities and new expertise.  It is not
completely impossible to provide access using the old software and/or
hardware, but it will be much less cost effective to do so.  Moreover, the
quality of service will be so low that users will find it unacceptable
when compared with similar services provided on modern computers.  It
may be possible to teach an old dog new tricks, but it is very much
cheaper to buy a new dog.
Of course libraries will make the transition.  But it will likely take
time and in the short run libraries will be ill equipped to archive
electronic journals and provide their patrons with access to them.
This lack is even more dramatic for materials which are more
complicated than ASCII text.  For example, in mathematics and some
sciences, it is very common for journal articles to be created in the
TeX text formatting language.  The Ulam Quarterly provides its users
with articles in two formats  -- the TeX ``source'' which is what the
author prepares, and the Postscript output which is obtained from
processing that source, and is suitable for sending to Postscript
capable printers.  Almost no libraries today are prepared to deal
constructively with TeX source.  And relatively few are prepared to
handle Postscript on a substantial scale.
All this, may, for the short term, give libraries a reason to prefer
the data base or software models described above, because these models
will require the least new computer hardware and expertise. On the
other hand, there are strong countervailing forces. There is a desire, I
think, among librarians to continue their role as archivers.  They are
likely to be willing to acquire the new skills necessary for this
purpose.  This argues for an electronic journal model which permits
librarians this role.  Likewise, current intense budget pressures
should make the subsidized model popular among librarians.
This article is, of course, highly speculative.  The track record of
those who try to predict the course of developments in the use of
computers is rather poor.  Nevertheless, for those of us thinking about
the development of new electronic journals, choices have to be made
now.  It is my hope that is article can clarify the array of
possibilities which lie before us.
anonymous ftp: (see ftp)
client/server software:
Software whose use involves two computers connected on a network -- a
``server'', on which some information physically resides, and a
``client'' which provides a user interface and requests information
from the server.  The advantage of this scheme is that the server needs
no information about the user's interface.  The client and server
communicate via a specially designed protocol.  Thus a single server
can communicate with users of many very different kinds of computers
without knowing anything about the screen or terminal characteristics
of those computers.  It is the responsibility of the client (running on
the user's computer) to know about the display characteristics of the
user's interface and to supply the information in a way compatible with
them.  See {\it gopher} for an example.
floating license:
A client/server mechanism for licensing software for use on computers
on a network.  If N licenses are purchased for use on a network with
many more than N computers, the first N client computers who want to
use it are permitted to do so.  Subsequent requests are denied until
fewer than N copies of the software are in use.  This has the advantage
of making it possible to use the software on a very large number of
computers (though not simultaneously) while purchasing a much smaller
number of licenses.
File transfer protocol.  A standard protocol for transferring files
between computers on the Internet.  Normally, it requires the user to
have an account on both computers.  However, it provides a mechanism
called {\it anonymous ftp} which allows the owner of a file on one
computer to make it freely available for copying by anyone on the
network.  Most ftp clients have no capability of viewing or browsing
the files they transfer.
The most widely used electronic information delivery system (not
counting USENET which is really a conferencing system) is called
Gopher.  Initial development on gopher was done at the University of
Minnesota (whence its name), but important parts have been developed at
Illinois, Indiana, Rice, Stanford, Utah, and elsewhere.  Gopher is a
client/server based distributed information delivery system.  (see {\it
client/server}).  At present there are gopher clients for the Apple
Macintosh, IBM PC, IBM mainframe (CMS), NeXT, Dec VMS, Unix (curses),
and X-Windows (including Sun Openwindows).  All the client and server
software is freely available without cost.  A unique feature of this
software is the ability to make links from one server to another so it
appears to the user that the contents of the second server is a subset
of the hierarchy of the first.  Currently the NSF and NIH run gopher
servers as one means of online access to their public documents.
Several hundred colleges and universities use this software as the
basis of campus wide information servers.
Network News Transfer Protocol -- the protocol used for transferring
text on the USENET conferencing system.  It has facilities for
transmitting text documents between servers and between servers and
clients.  (see USENET)
This is a large conferencing system with a distributed data base which
exists on literally thousands of ``servers'' world wide. It contains
``articles'' in various ``groups'' organized by subject.  There are
currently in excess of 2,500 groups.  Articles are kept only for a
short time (typically 2 weeks) and then discarded, thought some groups
are archived.  The collection of articles present on a server at any
one time can easily exceed a gigabyte (= 1,000 megabytes) of disk
space.  Groups can be ``moderated'', in which case articles are
submitted to an editor who accepts or rejects them for inclusion, or
``unmoderated'' in which case anyone can ``post'' an article to the
group.  This would be an appropriate mechanism to distribute a
newsletter, and is used to distribute the newsletter of the American
Physical Society.  There are a number of client software programs
available for most major platforms.
WAIS stands for Wide Area Information Service.  It consists of a full
text search program utilizing a client/server model.  WAIS is
complementary to Gopher.  It is useful when one wants to do keyword
searches through a very large number of documents and then browse those
documents with the best matches for the search terms.  It also has some
built in capability for auditing in order to charge for access.  It is
based on an older (1988) version of the ISO standard Z39.50 for full
text search and retrieval.
An International Standards Organization Standard protocol for full text
search and retrieval.  Public domain servers and clients using an older
version of this protocol are currently available (see WAIS).  It is
expected that similar software supporting the latest version of the
standard will soon be available without cost from the Clearing House
for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR) which is
receiving NSF support to develop it..
[1] American Math. Soc.,  Transfer of Copyright Agreement
[2] Richard M. Stallman, The GNU Manifesto,
available by anonymous ftp from prep.ai.mit.edu in /pub/gnu/GNUinfo/GNU
[3] EFFector Online, a publication of the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, ISSN 1062-9424, available via gopher at gopher.eff.org
[4] Ulam Quarterly announcement on Amer. Math. Soc. gopher
at e-math.ams.org port 70
Copyright 1993 by John Franks.  Permission is granted to reproduce this
article for any purpose provided the source is cited and the author's
name and affiliation are not removed.
Date:         Thu, 6 May 1993 14:04:17 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Michael Strangelove <441495@acadvm1.uottawa.ca>
Subject:      Listserv Needed for The Internet Business Journal
I need to find a listserv, gopher and FTP site for the electronic
version of The Internet Business Journal (table of contents, abstracts,
editorial, occasional full text of article).
The Internet Business Journal is a commercial publication (hardcopy),
the eversion is free. We are pursuing full electronic commercial
publication within the next 12 months.
Does anyone have the means to make this available on their server(s).
Best Wishes,
Michael Strangelove, Publisher
The Internet Business Journal
         BITNET: 441495@Uottawa
         Internet: 441495@Acadvm1.Uottawa.CA
         Compuserve: 72302,3062
         S-Mail: 177 Waller, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5 CANADA
         Voice:  (613) 747-0642
         FAX:    (613) 564-6641
Date:         Mon, 10 May 1993 08:12:44 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Subject:      Call for proposals:  Computer networking and scholarly
                     Call for Proposed Manuscripts
              Computer Networking and Scholarship in the
                        21st Century University
                   a collection of essays edited by
               Teresa M. Harrison and Timothy D. Stephen
                   Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
     In the past decade, we have glimpsed the beginning of a revolution
in scholarly communication, which, it is now widely acknowledged, will
be comparable only to the invention of the printing press in its impact
upon research and education.  The availability of international computer
networks and the widespread proliferation of computer-mediated
communication within the academy signifies a radical break with forms of
scholarly communication of the past and promises that a diverse set of
electronic research, educational, and publication practices will
comprise scholarship in the twenty-first century university.
     This collection of essays will explore how computer networking and
other forms of computer-mediated communication will change research,
teaching, publication, and other professional activities in the
university of tomorrow.  In addition to examining the changes that
computer-mediated communication is already stimulating in research and
education, the essays in this volume will speculate about the processes,
the forms, and the products of scholarly communication in the decades to
    The core of the collection will be essays that present an array of
computer networking applications in research, teaching, disciplinary or
professional organizations, publication, or other scholarly contexts.
In this section (see tentative table of contents below), we envision
that essays may focus on the history, evolution, successes, and/or
challenges of a particular project, research technique, or
teaching/learning strategy, together with recommendations or
implications suggested by the application.  Attention will be devoted to
featuring scholarly practices across a wide range of disciplines.
    Beyond these chapters, the collection will include two additional
sections: one that addresses broader issues in higher education policy
and one that focuses on supportive roles played by information
technology in the future.  Essays in the policy section should examine
broader, trans-disciplinary questions related to electronic scholarly
communication (e.g., economic issues, planning the evolution of the
network, the academic status of electronic scholarship, etc.).  Essays
in the information technology section will consider how the university
library of the future will exploit the potential of the network and
accommodate the development of new electronic textual products as well
as how networking hardware and software can best support and enhance the
potential for scholarly communication and information exchange.
     We invite interested authors to submit a proposal for a contributed
essay relevant to one or more of the topics described above or
identified in the tentative table of contents that appears below, or
related to some other aspect of scholarly communication as it is or will
be influenced by computerized communication technologies.  Proposals
should be brief (3 or 4 pages) descriptions of the projected essay and
should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae and information about where
the author may be contacted during the summer.  These materials may be
submitted electronically or on paper to one of the following addresses:
                           Teresa M. Harrison
                           Dept. of Language, Literature, &
                           Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
                           Troy, NY  12180
                           Harrison@Vm.Its.Rpi.Edu (Internet)
                           Harrison@Rpitsvm  (Bitnet)
     Deadline for RECEIPT of proposals is:  June 4, 1993.
    Authors will be notified of decisions regarding their proposals by
July 15, 1993.  Authors of accepted manuscripts must submit the
completed drafts of essays by Nov. 30, 1993.  Completed manuscripts
should be approximately 20 but no more than 25 pages (at 350 words per
page) and conform to the citation style of the Publication Manual of the
APA (3rd edition).  We expect that the completed volume will consist of
approximately 25 essays.
    The collection of essays is under contract to SUNY Press and,
pending favorable review by content experts and the SUNY Editorial
Board, will appear in the SUNY Press Book Series on Computer Mediated
Communication in Education, Work, and Society.  For more information
about the Series, send the following command to Comserve@Vm.Its.Rpi.Edu
(Internet) or Comserve@Rpitsvm (Bitnet):  Send SUNYCMC Announce
             Tentative Table of Contents and Sample Topics
          I. Policy -- Sample Topics:
             -- Design and evolution of a national network
             -- Access to networking across the disciplines
             -- Credit for networking in the academy
             -- Internationalization of academic disciplines
             -- Economic and structural inducements to electronic
        II. Scholarship
            A.  Research Applications across the Disciplines -- Sample
                --Use of networking by disciplinary organizations
                --Research collaborations
                --Textual research
                --The development of new scholarly communities
            B.  Teaching and Learning -- Sample topics:
                --Classroom applications
                --CMC and learners with special needs
                --Distance education
                --Internationalizing education
            C. Electronic Publication -- Sample topics:
                -- Design, delivery, future of electronic journals
                -- Text encoding
                -- Electronic scholarly monographs
       III. Information technology  -- Sample topics:
                --  Librarians as information managers
                --  The electronic library
                --  Cataloging and/or navigating the network
                 -- Network information and discovery tools
Date:         Mon, 10 May 1993 08:13:55 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Diane Kovacs <dkovacs@kentvm.bitnet>
Subject:      ARL Expands 3rd Edition of Directory of Electronic Publications
ARL Expands 3rd Edition of Directory of Electronic
AVAILABLE for delivery as of May 15th, 1993
For Further Information Contact:
Ann Okerson
Office of Scientific & Academic Publishing
Responding to the library and academic communities' increasing use
of and interest in the burgeoning number of electronic
publications, the Association of Research Libraries is publishing
the third edition of the hard-copy Directory of Electronic
Journals, Newsletters, and Scholarly Discussion Lists.
With the extraordinary expansion of microcomputers and linked
networks as vehicles for scholarly exchange, the problem of how
and where to find various academic forums grows continuously.
Although many journals, newsletters, and scholarly lists may be
accessed free of charge through Bitnet, Internet, and affiliated
academic networks, it is not always a simple chore to find what is
The new edition of the Directory is a compilation of entries for
1152 scholarly lists and 240 electronic journals, newsletters, and
related titles such as newsletter-digests -- an increase in size
of close to 60% since the second edition of March 1992 and nearly
2.5 times the size of the first edition of July 1991.   The
directory provides specific instructions for electronic access to
each publication.  The objective is to assist the user in finding
relevant publications and connecting to them quickly,  even if he
or she is not completely versed in the full range of user-access
Author/compiler of the journals and newsletters section is Michael
Strangelove of the University of Ottawa.  Diane Kovacs of the Kent
State University Libraries, continues to lead the KSU team -- nine
individuals who collaboratively created the third edition's
scholarly discussion lists and interest groups section.   The ARL
directory is derived from network-accessible files maintained by
Strangelove and Kovacs.  The directory points to these files as the
authoritative sources.
The third edition is produced in 8.5 x 11 paperbound format.
Scholarly lists are grouped by broad subject areas, and journals
and newsletters are in alphabetical order.  In a new enhancement,
a substantial index of keywords, titles, and institutional
affiliations is provided.   As in the previous two years,
front matter of value to electronic serial readers is included.
Again, a scholarly article on networked scholarly publications
leads (James J. O'Donnell,  University of Pennsylvania with a
provocative view of "St. Augustine to NREN"), followed
by bibliographies commissioned from David Robison, University
of California at Berkeley Libraries and an editor of the e-journal
Current Cites, on electronic publishing; and Michael Strangelove
on electronic networking.
Finally, a widely felt need is addressed by inclusion of the
standard format for citation of electronic serials, bulletin boards,
and electronic mail.  This was prepared by the National Library
of Medicine and is now accepted for use among many scholars and
scientists wishing to make adequate reference ot networked
The Association of Research Libraries is a not-for-profit
organization representing 119 research libraries in the United
States and Canada.  Its mission is to identify and influence
forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process
of scholarly communication.  ARL programs and services promote
equitable access to, and effective use of recorded knowledge in
support of teaching, research, scholarship, and community service.
These programs include annual statistical publications, federal
relations and information policy, and enhancing access to
scholarly information resources through telecommunications,
collection development, preservation, and bibliographic control.
The Office of Scientific and Academic Publishing works to identify
and influence the forces affecting the production, dissemination,
and use of scholarly and scientific information.
DISCUSSION LISTS  (ISSN:  1057-1337), Third Edition, April 1993
To order, contact:
Gloria Haws
Publications Manager
Association of Research Libraries
21 Dupont Circle, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20036
Voice:  202-296-2296
Fax:      202-872-0884
E-mail:  osap@cni.org
Address:  (street, city, state, country)
Price per copy:  $42 US
PLUS:  Postage, Shipping, Handling:
  $ 5.00 USA
  $ 8.00 CANADA
  $12.00 EUROPE (air mail)
  $15.00 OTHERS (air mail)
1.  Some copies of the 1992 edition are available for sale at a
reduced price.
2.  A diskette version will be available.  Contact us for price
and details.
3.  Special prices for orders of 5 copies or more and Special
prices for the 119 libraries which are members of the Association
of Research Libraries are available.  Please contact us for these.
Date:         Mon, 17 May 1993 08:19:32 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Michael Strangelove <441495@acadvm1.uottawa.ca>
Subject:      E-Text of The Internet Business Journal NOW AVAILABLE
The Internet-Accessible ELECTRONIC EDITION of
The Internet Business Journal
Available as of May 14th, 1993 Via
Gopher, LISTSERV and FTP
For Further Information Contact:
Michael Strangelove, Publisher
The Internet Business Journal
Christopher Locke
The Internet Business Journal is now freely available on
the Internet via Gopher, LISTSERV and FTP. These servers
have been made available through the the sponsorship of
the Wladyslaw Poniecki Foundation.
The electronic version *only* contains the table of
contents, article abstracts, editorial, letter from the
publisher, and the column, Access--Ability, by Dr. Norm
Coombs. This e-version is freely available in low ascii
text and will soon be available as a PostScript file. The
electronic version is roughly 11 pages in length (770
lines, 31238 bytes)
To access Volume One, Number One (June-July, 1993):
send the command:
get ibj ibj-1993.jun-jul
to LISTSERV@poniecki.berkeley.edu
NOTE: Only subscribers of IBJ-L@poniecki.berkeley.edu will be able to
access this LISTSERV copy. To subscribe, send the command:
SUB IBJ-L YOUR NAME to  listserv@poniecki.berkeley.edu
Send the command in the body of the message, NOT in the
Via anonymous FTP
FTP to poniecki.berkeley.edu
cd pub/ibj
get ibj-1993.jun-jul
Via Gopher
gopher poniecki.berkeley.edu 70
select Info Services
Contents (in brief)
RFC/FYI - Editorial
     Christopher Locke
The National Information Infrastructure
     Dr. Vinton G. Cerf
The Rise of Commercialization in the Internet
     Robert Larribeau, Jr
Benefits of Commercial Use and Commercialization of the
     Bill Washburn
Advertising on the Internet
     Adam Gaffin
Internet User Survey Results
     Thomas J. Cozzolino & Thomas H. Pierce
Corporate Cybrary Networks: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
     Michel Bauwens
The Cornell GateDaemon Consortium
     Martyne Hallgren
National Science Foundation InterNIC Services
Regular Features:
Internet in the UK
     Susan Hallam
News From Europe
     Michel Bauwens
Internet User Profile
Access-Ability: Assistive Technologies and the Net
Access-Ability: Assistive Technologies and the Net
     Dr. Norm Coombs
Virtual Markets and Network Niches
Resources for Networked Business, Commerce and Industry
Government Online
Network News Network
The Internet in Print
Queries regarding The Internet Business Journal should be
sent to:
Michael Strangelove, Publisher
The Internet Business Journal
         BITNET: 441495@Uottawa
         Internet: 441495@Acadvm1.Uottawa.CA
         Compuserve: 72302,3062
         S-Mail: 177 Waller, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5 CANADA
         Voice:  (613) 747-0642
         FAX:    (613) 564-6641
Date:         Mon, 17 May 1993 08:30:13 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Michael Strangelove <441495@acadvm1.uottawa.ca>
Subject:      VIP -- Corrected Access Information
The previous announcement contained an error in the command
to retrieve the LISTSERV version of ibj-1993 jun-jul. The command
should have read:
get ibj-l ibj-1993.jun-jul
The corrected announcement follows below.
The Internet-Accessible ELECTRONIC EDITION of
The Internet Business Journal
Available as of May 14th, 1993 Via
Gopher, LISTSERV and FTP
For Further Information Contact:
Michael Strangelove, Publisher
The Internet Business Journal
Christopher Locke
The Internet Business Journal is now freely available on
the Internet via Gopher, LISTSERV and FTP. These servers
have been made available through the the sponsorship of
the Wladyslaw Poniecki Foundation.
The electronic version *only* contains the table of
contents, article abstracts, editorial, letter from the
publisher, and the column, Access--Ability, by Dr. Norm
Coombs. This e-version is freely available in low ascii
text and will soon be available as a PostScript file. The
electronic version is roughly 11 pages in length (770
lines, 31238 bytes)
To access Volume One, Number One (June-July, 1993):
send the command:
get ibj-l ibj-1993.jun-jul
to LISTSERV@poniecki.berkeley.edu
Send the command in the body of the message, NOT in the
NOTE: Only IBJ-L subscribers will be able to retrieve the LISTSERV copy.
To subscribe to IBJ-L, send the command:
SUB IBJ-L YOUR NAME  to  Listserv@poniecki.berkeley.edu
Via anonymous FTP
FTP to poniecki.berkeley.edu
cd pub/ibj
get ibj-1993.jun-jul
Via Gopher
gopher poniecki.berkeley.edu 70
select Info Services
Contents (in brief)
RFC/FYI - Editorial
     Christopher Locke
The National Information Infrastructure
     Dr. Vinton G. Cerf
The Rise of Commercialization in the Internet
     Robert Larribeau, Jr
Benefits of Commercial Use and Commercialization of the
     Bill Washburn
Advertising on the Internet
     Adam Gaffin
Internet User Survey Results
     Thomas J. Cozzolino & Thomas H. Pierce
Corporate Cybrary Networks: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
     Michel Bauwens
The Cornell GateDaemon Consortium
     Martyne Hallgren
National Science Foundation InterNIC Services
Regular Features:
Internet in the UK
     Susan Hallam
News From Europe
     Michel Bauwens
Internet User Profile
Access-Ability: Assistive Technologies and the Net
Access-Ability: Assistive Technologies and the Net
     Dr. Norm Coombs
Virtual Markets and Network Niches
Resources for Networked Business, Commerce and Industry
Government Online
Network News Network
The Internet in Print
Queries regarding The Internet Business Journal should be
sent to:
Michael Strangelove, Publisher
The Internet Business Journal
         BITNET: 441495@Uottawa
         Internet: 441495@Acadvm1.Uottawa.CA
         Compuserve: 72302,3062
         S-Mail: 177 Waller, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5 CANADA
         Voice:  (613) 747-0642
         FAX:    (613) 564-6641
Date:         Mon, 17 May 1993 10:24:49 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Jim Gerland - Network User Support <gerland@ubvm.bitnet>
Organization: State University of New York at Buffalo
Subject:      Re: E-Text of The Internet Business Journal NOW AVAILABLE
In-Reply-To:  Message of Mon,
              17 May 1993 08:19:32 EDT from <441495@acadvm1.uottawa.ca>
On Mon, 17 May 1993 08:19:32 EDT Michael Strangelove said:
>To access Volume One, Number One (June-July, 1993):
>send the command:
>get ibj ibj-1993.jun-jul
>to LISTSERV@poniecki.berkeley.edu
>NOTE: Only subscribers of IBJ-L@poniecki.berkeley.edu will be able to
>access this LISTSERV copy. To subscribe, send the command:
>SUB IBJ-L YOUR NAME to  listserv@poniecki.berkeley.edu
>Send the command in the body of the message, NOT in the
I must caution everyone against subscribing to this list unless and until the
author fixes his incorrectly configured UNIX listserver.
This is *NOT* a LISTSERV.  It is a poorly configured UNIX wannabe.
On Friday one of my users subscribed and proceeded to receive over 250
messages confirming his subscription.  I sent a SIGN command (believe it or
not this software is so poorly written that SIGN is the command to UNSUB
from a list).  He then proceeded to receive another 100+ notices that
he was not subscribed.
I told my mailer (LMAIL) not to accept mail from
list-errors@poniecki.berkeley.edu and sent mail to the list owner and the
postmaster at berkeley.edu and have not yet heard a response to this problem.
So, a word of warning....
Jim Gerland  - Consultant, Network User Support           University at Buffalo
Academic Services, Computing & Information Technology     Buffalo, NY 14260
716.645.3557 Work                                         716.645.3734 FAX
gerland@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu                              gerland@ubvms.bitnet
Date:         Mon, 17 May 1993 11:29:37 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Lon Savage <savage@vtvm1.bitnet>
May 17, 1993
     The Journal of Fluids Engineering, published by The American
Society of Mechanical Engineers, has begun offering its readers
the opportunity to obtain electronic files, via the Internet, of
the full data on which some of its published research papers are
based.  It appears that many readers already are using the
     In its two most recent issues (December 1992 and March
1993), the Journal has published a total of five research papers
accompanied by extensive research data -- far too voluminous to
be included in the print journal; the data are archived
electronically in the Newman Library at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University and available via the Internet as
electronic files.  Readers are advised, through notes
accompanying each article and instructions at the back of each
journal issue, how they can retrieve the files electronically via
File Transfer Protocol (ftp).
     The service was initiated on an experimental basis through
the cooperation of the Scholarly Communications Project at
Virginia Tech, which publishes several electronic journals, and
the University Libraries, which contributed the storage space.
     Demetri P. Telionis, Professor of Engineering Science and
Mechanics at Virginia Tech and technical editor of the journal,
in introducing the service to his readers, wrote that the need
for such a data bank "arose naturally with the flood of
experimental data that modern experimental methods can produce.
Authors are often forced to select an example of their more
representative data to include in the figures of their paper.
This is often adequate to convey the basic message of their
findings.  However, researchers working on the same topic,
experimentalists or numerical analysis may need the entire set of
data to compare with their own results."
     In addition, Telionis wrote, "It is more convenient and more
accurate to have the exact digital data in a file rather than
trying to obtain such information manually from a scaled-down
figure" as it appears in a print journal.
     The journal's data bank, Telionis wrote, "was organized in
the spirit of an archival scientific journal...as a natural
extension of scientific archiving."  Data accompanying a paper
Fluids Engineering News Release "must be reviewed and deemed
significant to the engineering community.  These data are then
archived and remain in the bank for posterity in standard form.
This information is contributed to open literature and is
therefore available to all readers."
     Early indications are that readers are using the service.
More than 1,500 files were retrieved from the electronic archive
during April, 1993, according to James Powell, Technical Director
of the Project, and well over half of those files were data sets.
The retrievals came from more than thirty sites, including sites
in Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Chile, Canada and the United
States, Powell said.  Most appeared to be from university sites,
he added.
Date:         Mon, 17 May 1993 15:58:36 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Samuel Richter <richter%hook@beacon.com>
Subject:      Wierdness in AAP math DTD version 2.0.  Need more
I have version 2.0 of the AAP booklet describing the Markup of Mathematical
Formulas.  I am writing a LaTeX <=> SGML translator using the ICA programs.
While I was going through the AAP DTD and the Arbortext DTD I noticed that I
could not find any content model that included  element in it (in the
AAP DTD).  This makes me wonder about the completeness of the DTD that I
am looking at.
Is there a newer version of the AAP math DTD available?   If so, where can
I get it?  I tried ftp.ifi.uio.no but they had nonesuch thing.
Thanks loads
Date:         Wed, 19 May 1993 08:23:35 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         "Arthur R. McGee" <amcgee@netcom.com>
Subject:      TeleRead Proposal
In-Reply-To:  <9305181656.AA23851@mail.netcom.com>
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
Please respond directly to the author, David Rothman. Thank you. :-)
Content-Type: APPLICATION/octet-stream; name="teleread.doc"
Content-ID: <pine.3.05.9305181052.c12429@netcom2>
From 73577.3271@CompuServe.COM Tue Apr 27 19:53:00 1993
Date: 27 Apr 93 21:02:19 EDT
From: "David H. Rothman" <73577.3271@CompuServe.COM>
To: "Arthur R. McGee" <amcgee@netcom.com>
Subject: File #1
        My proposal below calls for digitized libraries that eventually
would be affordable to many individuals, not just to rich people
and wealthy nations.
        Except for this added note, you are receiving the same
material that I have posted on U.S. networks.
        I am aware of projects to digitize material for national libraries in
English, France, and elsewhere; but in many ways, my TeleRead proposal for
the United States goes further than most other plans do. Other countries may
want to adapt and adopt some ideas here.
        Among other things, the plan tells how the U.S. could promote the
manufacture of *inexpensive* computers that were far more powerful than
those little terminals in France's Minitel program. Such machines
would be especially designed to encourage reading and even promote literacy.
        The TeleRead plan also tells how to combine a central database with
America's existing system of public libraries. Thousands of experienced
librarians could help choose books.
        In yet another twist, I have devised ways to assure fair compensation
of authors and publishers so that most creators of books are actually *better*
off than before. I am even allowing for Wall Street to be able
speculate in expected dialup fees.
        Also, I suggest that books are more valuable than television; and I
advocate a national TV tax to finance the start of TeleRead, rather than
simply pay for more television programs. TeleRead would not kill
off televison. It would simply promote and help preserve books,
which can convey details and emotions beyond the realm of the
electronic media. TeleRead, of course, could also spread educational
software, though I myself see the written word as the main
        I conceived TeleRead to help narrow the information gap between
"haves" and "have-nots" in the United States, but along the way, other
countries could benefit too. For example, I propose that the U.S.
require all new books to be digitized to qualify for copyrights. That could
make it easier for nations to sell whole libraries to each other someday.
        At the same time, TeleRead might offer some hope for developing
nations without well-financed library systems at present. I suggest that
in the future the United States should help other countries replicate the
TeleRead program and stock their libraries with their own books, too, not
just those from the U.S. and other wealthy nations. Certainly, of course, I
see developing countries selling books and other material to Western countries,
 not just *buying*.
        Also of interest outside the United States, TeleRead offers Americans
an alternative to high U.S. tariffs on imported computer products.
        True, I suggest that TeleRead promote the production of American-made
laptops for the program itself; and, of course, the integration of
TeleRead into the U.S. public school system would make American workers more
competitive and prosperous. No, I won't hide my own concerns as an
American. However, TeleRead would help developing countries just
as much in the end:
        1) The overwhelming majority of the U.S. laptop market would remain
open to all--and, in fact, would be much bigger than if TeleRead were not
around to spur demand for the technology.
        (2) The program would drive down the cost of the technology for
everyone eventually, so that the whole planet would benefit.
        (3) TeleRead could even be a bargaining point in intellectual property
negotiations between wealthier countries and developing nations.
Rich countries might help poorer nations set up TeleRead systems in return for
true protection for intellectual property. Nations could be site-licensed for
books or for even whole libraries, just as software is site-licensed
today at large corporations. Or perhaps dial-up fee arrangements, audited by
an international agency, could be worked out. Without TeleRead treaties,
massive piracy of books might occur someday over international computer
networks; in fact, this is already happening in the world of software. What's
more, optical character recognition is declining in price, and without
TeleRead treaties, even nondigitized books will be bootlegged en masse
someday. So if wealthy nations are rational, they will negotiate TeleRead
treaties with developing countries.
        (4) While respecting property rights--and, indeed, protecting them
better than 100% technologically based copy-protection schemes--TeleRead
provides a paradigm for every nation interested in making books and
educational software affordable to all.
        (5) The same paradigm could also benefit people in many countries by
thwarting censors and increasing the range of available books and
ideas. TeleRead, for example, encourages the *decentralized* purchase of books
for national databases. What's more, the approval of librarians would not be
needed for publication per se. In an era of rapidly falling prices for mass
storage, the plan proposes that virtually all books should go online--*and*
qualify for compensation if enough readers dial them up. Yes, yes,
TeleRead also allows for readers to narrow their choices to avoid being
        (6) The TeleRead paradigm would make it impossible for one
nation (or racial or ethnic group) to obliterate the memories and culture of
another. No one could burn down somebody else's national library. In the United
States, experts talk of the time when the whole Library of Congress could
be on one computer chip. If nothing else, read-only backups of TeleRead-style
databanks could exist in many places--one way, too, to protect against computer
        There will be as many variants on the TeleRead idea as there are
readers of this proposal. I would hope, however, that most readers would
agree with me about our present copyright laws, national and
international. They are obsolete in this in this network era. I vaguely
recall the old movie in which women strolled on the moon carrying umbrellas.
Today's copyright laws are about as appropriate as the parasols.
        We must change them to provide true protection for creators, while at
the same time making books and other material affordable to all.
        --David H. Rothman
        Alexandria, Virginia, USA
                      TELEREAD: HOW ELECTRONIC BOOKS
                       COULD COST LESS AND BE EASIER
                          TO READ THAN PAPER ONES
        Vice President Gore has long championed electronic books--a fine
cause. But how much will books, educational software and other material
cost the average American family to dial up?
        And is there a way to build millions of inexpensive computers with
sharp, viewable screens that would be *easier* to read than books?
        Technology is destiny. What's our destiny, though, if video stores are
everywhere but half the school libraries in California have closed since
         Here is a proposal addressing those issues--an expanded version of my
article in the April 4 Washington Post Education Review.
       -- David H. Rothman,
          Alexandria, VA
          April 27, 1993
        Updates: (1) Greg Simon, Al Gore's domestic policy advisor, recently
forwarded the TeleRead proposal to the Office of Science and Technology Policy
for consideration. (2) Michael Dirda, the steel-town native whom I mention in
my argument *against* "Knowledge Stamps," has just won the Pulitzer Prize for
literary criticism.
                             TABLE OF CONTENTS
        --TeleRead: How Electronic Books Could Cost Less and Be Easier to
Read than Paper Ones. By David H. Rothman.
        --Who Wins and Who Loses if Online Libraries Are Affordable? Students
and teachers could be winners. On the other hand, some Washington
think-tankers might not fare so well.
        --Stamping Out Curiosity: The Trouble with Pay-Per-Read and "Knowledge
        --Nine Myths--and Responses. TeleRead should appeal to many parents,
educators, researchers, librarians,  writers, editors, software developers
and, yes, enlightened publishers of books; but the pay-per-read gang will
hate it. Here are arguments and counter-arguments.
        --The Origins of TeleRead. TeleRead is not a group, just one writer's
        --Acting on the Idea. Why you should *not* fax or e-mail the White
House or your local member of Congress.
        --How to Reach Me (David Rothman). Please reply directly to me or
rather than to the network IDs of the people posting this file.
        --Copyright Information. Alas, TeleRead doesn't exist yet, and
cumbersome copyright laws do. So please read the notice at the end of this
file if you want to publish this proposal on paper--yes, the old-fashioned
way--or print long excerpts from it. You are free to distribute the
material online and pass out disks with the TeleRead file.
        --Addendum One: Is Bridgeport the Future? Without TeleRead, what
happens when cities slash library funds?
        --Addendum Two: An African American Reflects on TeleRead and Affordable
Books. By William R. Murrell of MurrellBoston Telesis (Compuserve 71521,2516;
Internet: Wmurrell@Delphi.com; GENIE HOSB Advisor: W.Murrell1).
                      TELEREAD: HOW ELECTRONIC BOOKS
                       COULD COST LESS AND BE EASIER
                          TO READ THAN PAPER ONES
                            By David H. Rothman
        The Kid Next Door helped confirm the big bang theory. He was no longer
T.K.N.D. of course--rather, a bearded professor of astronomy--but I could
still see him as a gangly child perusing his father's physics journals. Ned
was always a reader. Even before he could puzzle out words on paper, he was
begging his mother to read to him about internal combustion engines. Years
later he relied on public libraries, not just the local junkyard, when he
built his first telescope. Luckily for science, Dr. Edward L. Wright grew
up in affluent Fairfax County, Virginia--not in Harlem or Watts, where the
libraries were wanting and where he could never have found those arcane
        We just cannot say where potential Wrights will show up. Given current
demographics, more will have to come from ghettos, barrios and other
book-short areas. Suppose, however, that we live out an old dream of
hackers and librarians. What if computers can drive down the cost of
providing books to African Americans, Hispanics, Appalachians and, yes,
Fairfax Countians?
        Already politicians have proposed online libraries. In the Scientific
American of September 1991, for example, Al Gore wrote: "We have the
technical know-how to make networks that would enable a child to come home
from school and, instead of playing Nintendo, use something that looks like
a video games machine to plug into the Library of Congress." A technology
plan, unveiled February 22 in Silicon Valley, helped confirm the White
House's interest in computer networks for the masses. With Bill Clinton
looking on, Gore even summoned back his high-tech child.
        Questions, however, abound. How much will it cost average Americans to
dial up books, articles, government records, phone directories and other
material? And what about Al Gore's mythical child? Just how many books will
he or she be able to retrieve without impoverishing the whole family? Will
middlemen make killings at the expense of the rest of us? If commercial
databases are any clue, the news will be bad. Extensive online research on
just one topic can cost hundreds of dollars today, a real burden for
students or small business people.
        What's more, special databases for education would not be the final
answer, even if they were free. The Edward Wrights of this world need all
kinds of information, not just facts from designated journals. Except for
proprietary material, we should put almost everything online for Americans
to dial up for free or at little cost; and reading-computers should be
affordable to potential users of online libraries.
        Technology is destiny. What's our destiny, though, if video stores are
everywhere but half the school libraries in California have closed since
1982? Even the libraries in Fairfax County, the ones where young Wright
read about the galaxy, have cut back their hours.
        Pollyannas rejoice that private enterprise will take over from
underfinanced public institutions, and that business people will make
billions off an enlarged information industry. As a country, though, we can
never grow richer just by selling bits and bytes to each other. Real
wealth--for example, 100-miles-per-gallon automobiles, cures for cancer and
a well-informed electorate--will come from how we use information. The
fewer price tags on knowledge, the more wealth created.
        Let me, then, propose a three-part plan, TeleRead, which would help
students, other readers, writers and the American computer industry, too.
I. Impose a Five Percent Tax
on TV-related Sales
        Many foreign countries tax television in one way or another. Why
shouldn't the United States? And why can't we use the money to promote the
activity with which television so often competes: reading? Extrapolating
from Commerce Department and industry figures, we could collect more than
$3.5 billion a year for TeleRead if we imposed five-percent taxes on cable
revenue, advertising sales of TV stations, and retail sales of new
television sets and other video products such as blank and recorded tapes.
When TV-computer hybrids arrived, they would be taxed, too, unless the were
clearly suitable for reading books online.
        The television taxes would hardly bankrupt consumers. You would pay
the equivalent of just $3.50 annually if you kept a $350 set for five
years. That's less than half the amount you might spend on a large pizza to
eat on Super Bowl Sunday. If too many small merchants complained about new
paperwork, the government might instead collect at the wholesale level.
        Unlike many taxes, this one would directly benefit millions of
Americans. Go to typical suburban public libraries on weekends, and you
will see crowds of frugal citizens borrowing books to improve themselves
professionally. Some college texts can cost $75 or more. Reeling from local
property taxes, even some of the most rabid tax-haters might champion
TeleRead as a way to slash the cost of buying books for local libraries and
II. Make Powerful, Affordable Laptops Available to All
        The student-computer ratio in American public schools is about 16-1;
imagine a bureaucrat at Agriculture or Exxon sharing a PC with 15
colleagues. So let's use part of the $3.5 billion a year to help subsidize
a long-range program to buy laptops that schools and libraries can lend to
students and the public at large. Eventually the schools could even give
away "TeleReaders" to many students from low-income families. By
encouraging mass production, the TeleRead program would make laptops almost
as cheap as calculators, so that middle-class children could buy them
without any subsidies. The procurement program would award contracts in
stages, of course, to avoid locking into outdatable technology.
        Using TeleReaders or substitute machines, students would learn
word-processors, swap electronic mail, and work with personal databases,
spreadsheets and other applications, such as educational programs.
Especially, however, TeleReaders would encourage reading, the most vital
skill. They would be small and affordable and boast sharp, American-made
screens that you could read more easily than you could a paper book.
        The screens would be flickerless; and you could adjust the size and
style of the type, and perhaps the screen colors, too. If you wanted, you
might even detach a TeleReader keyboard and curl up in bed with just the
screen. You could move on to another "page" or reach another chapter
by pressing a button or by touching the appropriate part of the screen with
a pen-like device. The same stylus could let you jot notes electronically,
or underline or highlight key paragraphs.
        Different TeleReaders might serve different needs. Some machines, for
example, might be able to read material aloud and highlight the spoken
words on screen--one way to help bring books to the very young, the
vision-impaired and the semi-literate. Voice recognition could pick up
commands from the handicapped. Sooner or later, some TeleReaders could take
dictation; users could write in corrections with the stylus.
        Since the screens on TeleReaders would be so good, you would not need
to print out books or magazines. Why clutter up your house? If need be,
however, TeleReaders could work with low-cost computer printers.
        TeleRead wouldn't just supply laptops or promote the production of
them. The program could also make certain that machines were used regularly
and well--it could help pay the salaries of computer instructors to bring
teachers and librarians up to speed. Let's not turn teachers into
programmers, however. Rather, instructors could show teachers how to apply
high-tech effectively to their respective disciplines. Teachers in the
future should be able to tell students how to write clear, well organized
prose with a word-processor, use spreadsheets, dissect electronic frogs,
retrieve facts on a proposed national budget, or send e-mail notes to local
members of Congress.
        While helping education most of all, the TeleRead program would be a
boon to Silicon Valley and other high-tech areas hit by defense cutbacks.
Flat screens, new kinds of memory chips, and other technologies would grow
more attractive to our oft-skittish venture capitalists. TeleRead would not
ban the use of foreign parts or ideas, but within reason would favor
laptops with a high American content. Simply put, TeleRead would be a sane
alternative to the mindless tariffs that the United States slapped on some
foreign-made screens for laptops.
        Moreover, since the government would buy finished equipment,
Washington wouldn't be setting up a massive research and development
bureaucracy. Rather, the taxpayers could benefit from competition for
TeleRead contracts.
III. Set Up a National Database
As Soon as Possible
        TRnet, part of the TeleRead program, would offer an electronic
cornucopia. Like most public libraries, it would avoid pay-per-read. TRnet
would be free or would charge reasonably for an annual subscription based
on family income, and perhaps included as an option on federal tax forms.
The poorest Americans, of course, should be able to dial up TRnet without
paying a penny. Think of the I word, consider TRnet an investment in our
economic and intellectual development, and use general revenue money to
make the network affordable to all.
        Reachable from anywhere in the U.S., TRnet would carry the full texts
of all new books and other publications. How? All material longer than
10,000 words, and intended for publication, would have to be in digital
form before the government would grant copyrights. The government could
phase in this change quickly with a voluntary program. As for undigitized
material shorter than 10,000 words, scanners could pick up the images,
either for conversion to computer text or as pictures to be dialed up on
        To transmit books and other material, TRnet could use old-fashioned
phone lines, fiber optic cables, radio or cable television
connections--whatever cost the least. The Great Gatsby could reach you in a
fraction of the time it took to watch a rerun of "I Love Lucy."
        Before you hooked into the network, you would answer a series of easy
questions to pinpoint exactly what you needed. you might punch in the name
of an author, dial up the network and instantly get a list of all of his or
her works, with quick descriptions. Then your TeleReader would disconnect
you from the network. At your leisure, without tying up the phone lines,
you would go on to choose which books you wanted sent into your computer
when you logged on a second time.
        You could select not only by author, but also by publisher, editor,
general category, subject, search words, geographical setting or other
criteria. If you keyed in "Washington" and "novels," you would see
everything from Democracy to Washington, D.C. Or suppose you added the word
"black literature"; then you could call up Afro-American fiction from the
local writers. Inner-city teachers could easily track down books that meant
thousands of times more to bright teenagers than anything on television. in
fact, they could tailor reading assignments to individual children.
        Electronic indexes needn't be the only technique with which
TeleRead might eventually direct users to the right material. Via hypertext,
you could highlight a word or phrase and be referred to another place
in a text, or even to another book or article. Or you might use
intelligent agents, sometimes described as electronic butlers.
       Intelligent agents could prowl networks, looking for material of
greatest interest to you, even while you slept. As telecommunications costs
shrank, the agents could grow in importance. Certainly if we trusted
agent-style software to ferret out books for us, a centralized
subscription arrangement such as TeleRead would make more sense than a motley
series of collections from providers of often-pricey information. What if an
agent accidentally downloaded megabyte after megabyte of material from a
library that charged outrages fees? Or suppose an agent-created summary misled
you into thinking that an expensive ebook was much more valuable to you than
it actually was? A truly centralized TRnet would end such risks. (For a
clear explanation of intelligent agents, see Steve Levy's article in the
May 1993 issue of Macworld.)
        Although I have mentioned books and article in examples, TRnet
certainly would carry educational software, too, from which teachers and
students could choose the best programs for *them*. Math and science students
could especially benefit. And young immigrants could use software rich in
moving images and synthesized speech to help learn English. Normally,
however, TRnet would favor the written word, which is so often the best way
to pass on detailed instructions and convey abstract ideas and feelings.
        Whatever the medium, TRnet would pay fairly. Software houses or
independent programmers would receive fees based on the number of times the
public dialed up their creations. And the same arrangement could apply to
individual articles from newspapers and other publications. When writers
kept rights to the articles, then payment would go to them.
        TRnet would allow publications a delay--maybe two weeks for daily
newspapers and eight weeks for monthly periodicals--before the network
posted issues online for all to see. So publishers could still make profits
off paper versions or their electronic editions. The latter editions could
be highly customized for individual subscribers, just as some experts now
foresee; they could even offer interactive ads through which subscribers
could order merchandise.
        Newspapers and magazines could rely directly on phone companies and
cable systems to speed these current editions to paid subscribers, but
often TRnet might make more sense. Understandably, many newspapers see
phone companies as rival publishers. Suppose, however, that
telecommunications firms signed long-term contracts with TRnet; then the
network could act as a buffer between them and the newspapers that
subleased the lines.
        What about TRnet's compensation for professional writers of books--and
their publishers?
        Authors could sell to TRnet directly, or, armed with this new
bargaining power, they could sign contracts with publishers. Without heavy
production and distribution costs, publishers could pay far better. Under
TeleRead, writers and publishers would earn fees based on how often people
retrieved books. And as a mass purchaser of material, TRnet could pay
de-escalating royalties on best-sellers to discourage publishers from
overhyping "big" books at the expense of midlist titles. Publishers could
set advances by the expected number of dial-ups. Outside business people
could pay authors and publishers for rights to anticipated TeleRead money;
let Wall Street invest in literary futures.
        Yes, if TRnet gouged readers, then the public would bootleg books
electronically and cheat authors, publisher, and literary investors; but if
network use were free or low cost, piracy just would not be worth the
trouble. TRnet would actually safeguard literary property better than any
copy protection scheme that publishers might happen to be contemplating.
Even CD-ROMs are not safe. You don't have to be Sony to be able to copy
them. And the more powerful computers grow, the easier it will be to defeat
copy-protection schemes. Hackers love a challenge.
        To answer an obvious question, no, people couldn't type their names
over and over again, go on for 60,000 words, call it a book, and have their
friends dial it up at public expense. Anyone could post virtually anything
on TRnet; but professional librarians, each working within his or her own
budget, would help decide which works merited royalties. The librarians
would be at national, state and local levels. After a certain number of
dial-ups, almost any book or program could earn dial-up fees regardless of
the wishes of the librarians.
        Writers and publishers could also bypass librarians by gambling a
certain amount of money up front to reduce the number of dial-ups required
for royalties. The TeleRead laws might require TRnet to reserve maybe a
fifth of its budget for "bypass books," as I'll call them. By raising or
lowering the fees charged authors or publishers, the network could help
control the total bypass expenditures. Sharply de-escalating royalties on
best-sellers would also keep a lid on costs.
        That still leaves open the question of TeleRead's total expenses. To
be hypothetical, suppose we could immediately put all paper books and some
other material on TRnet. My estimates add up to $30.05 billion:
        --$10 billion for online books, which would be more appropriate than
the less than $5 billion that publishers most likely spent on writers and
editorial workers today. The $5 billion is my estimate based on a book
industry study and on informal talks with publishing authorities.
        --$0 for fresh editions of newspapers and magazines--including
academic journals--since TRnet would be a mere conduit.
        --$5 billion for past editions and old articles. That's a fifth of the
approximately $25 billion that American readers pay each year for
newspapers and the magazines, according to Commerce Department figures.
        --$50 million for articles and papers that TRnet bought directly. As
any professional writer or academic can tell you, some of the most valuable
writing will never find readers because it is outside the commercial or
academic formats of existing publications. Granted, thousands of Americans
would upload material to TRnet without counting on financial rewards. But
TRnet could at least hold out a slim possibility of pay.
        --$3 billion for educational software, or about three times the amount
that schools and families now spend if you extrapolate from statistics of
the Software Publishers Association.
        --$2 billion for computers for libraries, schools and some low-income
people, and some computer training programs for librarians and teachers. A
billion dollars could buy a million TeleReaders at $1,000 each, or,
eventually, 10 million computers at $100 each. Again, the idea is not to
give every American a machine, but rather to spur production of good,
affordable portables for reading.
        --$10 billion for staffers, telecommunications and leasing of computer
facilities. Many would consider the $10 billion to be far high. I've tried
to err on the cautious side. Staff costs would be low since TRnet would
rely heavily on existing librarians, who are already accustomed to choosing
books for public use. Telecommunications might well be the biggest cost.
Rather than squandering tax money on rapidly outdatable technology, the
government could rely on private phone companies. As much as possible,
TeleRead could take advantage of the nooks and crannies of existing
networks. The system might even offer bargain subscriptions to user willing
to dial up their books after regular business hours. Also, TeleRead could
lease private computer facilities to avoid technolock (technolock: n. A
tendency of many large bureaucracies to keep using antique equipment to
justify past investment).
        The hypothetical $30.05 billion total is about two percent of the
federal government's 1993 budget, or around half a percent of the Gross
Domestic Product. What's more, the actual first-year expenses of TeleRead
would be in the hundreds of millions, and perhaps much less. Only a
minority of Americans would sign up in the beginning if we limited the
first users to specialized books and articles of a scientific, technical,
medical or educational nature. TV taxes and modest subscriptions
fees--maybe $50-$100 per year for an average family--would pay entirely for
this scaled-down program.
        TeleRead, then, needn't come to life full grown. At the start, it
could even send surplus TV tax revenue back to the U.S. Treasury. Let a
lean TeleRead sell itself; and then support will quickly grow for a
full-service system that can give the Wrights all the books they needed.
        Of course, TeleRead and its TRnet should be just one option for
readers. We should still be able to buy electronic or paper books from
publishers, stores and authors. That would be one way to cope with the risk
of censorship by officious politicians (another way would be to make
TeleRead an independent agency with long-range funding).
        Also, TRnet must not compromise privacy. If the program charged
nothing or just flat subscription fees, there would be no need to keep
permanent records on the reading choices of individuals. When you retrieved
a controversial political work--in fact, anything--your machine would tell
TRnet to pay the author or publisher. But the central computers would be
programmed to forget your personal selections in a week or two. TRnet would
keep the temporary records only as a way to guard against constant dial-ups
by those profiting off them.
        What's more, for the really worried, private companies such as Barnes
& Noble could set up vending machines that would accept old-fashioned,
untraceable paper money as well as credit cards. The machines would copy
books onto a tiny memory card that plugged into your computer and held many
        Bearing bright logos, such machines could be a fixture at malls,
airports and other public areas. They could serve both the privacy-minded
and people who just did not want to become regular subscribers (revenue
would go both to TRnet and operators of the vending machines).
        As a rule, however, TRnet itself would be the best, most economical
way to spread the written word. Without it, students, teachers, and other
Americans may never be able to read so much and so cheaply by way of one
easy-to-use database.
        "This program would benefit average students as well as gifted ones,
and it would better prepare Americans for work in an information-dependent
society," says Dr. Vicki Hancock, an educational technology expert at the
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Alexandria, Va.
        Skeptics might dismiss TeleRead and its TRnet as socialistic; but they
are not, any more than a public library. If Andrew Carnegie--the
19th-century capitalist extraordinaire--were alive today, he would be
probably be funding demonstration projects, just as he helped small-town
libraries across  the United States, hoping that ambitious Americans could
use the technology of the day to better themselves.
David H. Rothman is the author of  The Complete Laptop Computer Guide (St.
Martin's Press).
                          WHO WINS AND WHO LOSES
                            IF ONLINE LIBRARIES
                              ARE AFFORDABLE?
        No, electronic books will not make all teachers and librarians go the
way of blacksmiths--quite the contrary. Even book chains might find new
roles. On the other hand, TeleRead could traumatic for some of the more
mediocre of Washington's think-tankers.
        Move ahead twenty years now; here's life in the TeleRead era.
Teachers and Students
        Humans in the classroom offer kindness and encouragement that silicon
chips can never replace. Teachers dial up TRnet to learn their subject
matters better. On paper and in classroom discussion, they demand more of
students--who can tap into the same databases.
        With so many books and educational programs to retrieve, teachers can
customize lessons for students with all learning styles. If high school
students show enough discipline, they can spend just several hours each day
in school.
        Students suffer less rote learning and fewer multi-choice exams.
TeleRead has revived the old-fashioned essay as a way to teach the research
skills and logical thinking that 21st-century workers need. Students modem
in their term papers. From elementary school on, they accustom themselves
to working off computer screens.
        At all levels, schools save billions on textbooks and have more to
spend on other resources and faculty salaries. And students at public
schools and state universities can retrieve the same books as those at prep
schools or Ivy League institutions.
        Paper books remain on library shelves. But spending for new ones has
fallen off steeply. Librarians teach patrons to use TRnet, offer assistance
online and help the national program select book to post on the network for
royalties. The profession enjoys new power. Well-educated librarians play a
bigger role in determining the nation's reading tastes than do the
marketers at the large book chains.
        Compared to the past, today's librarians spend less on clerical duties
and more time judging the worth of potential acquisitions. Under pressure
from librarians with easy access to a wide variety of facts, book
publishers are diligently fact-checking their nonfiction.
Small Bookstores
        Book-loving proprietors still cater to traditionalists who favor
paper. But they also offer vending machines that can copy electronic books
onto memory cards owned by the customers. Even the bookstore owners will
not know the choices of customers who insert paper money into the machines.
        Some bookstore owners have become publishers or editors--sometimes
specializing in locally oriented books .
        Plenty of good clerks have remained behind to sell paper books, answer
customers' questions, and put out chatty newsletters online that draw
people into the stores to discuss books and meet local authors. Other
clerks have left the business and become literacy instructors, teachers or
        Bad clerks also are gone. They can make more money selling golf carts
or refrigerators.
Bookstore Chains
        Inferior chains have shut down. The better ones sell not only paper
books, but also TeleReaders with capabilities far beyond those of basic
        Also chains have installed thousands of book-vending machines in their
stores and in public places.
        They offer electronic networks, too, for people who would rather not
deal directly with the TeleRead program. The program lets the chains enjoy
enough of a markup to make such efforts worthwhile.
        In addition, the smarter chains encourage their local stores to
imitate independent stores and publish online newsletters--and otherwise
serve the people of Albuquerque, Chicago or San Jose.
        Some chains may even want to become book publishers.
Book Publishers
        Editors have risen in importance in the book industry; sales reps and
marketers have declined. Perhaps 90-95 percent of professionally edited
titles qualify for royalties on TRnet; if they do not, the publisher can
pay to get them on the network as bypass books. All publishers enjoy
coast-to-coast distribution.
        Midlist works thrive. Publishers of all kinds have grown more
adventurous in their selections since they do not need to gamble fortunes
on paper, printers and warehouse space. They no longer worry about local or
federal governments taxing their back lists to the detriment of
        Nor must publishers bow so often in the direction of the large book
        Thanks to TeleRead, the transition to electronic books
were less bumpy than publishers expected. When a voluntary
program started, some publishers even used TRnet as a way to test
the market for certain paper books. Now, of course, virtually all
books are available electronically.
Newspapers and Magazines
        Like paper books, traditional newspapers and magazines have not
vanished immediately, but sooner or later, most subscribers switch to
        Good reporters and editors thrive. Publishers must offer enticing news
and prose, or see startups take business away.
        Many old publications, however, are earning bigger profits these
days--since they spend less on paper, printing and distribution, and since
Americans are more word-oriented.
Writers of Books
And Articles
        Few have become millionaires; but thanks to TeleRead's de-escalating
royalty rates, the average writer stands a little more of a chance of
enjoying a middle-class income.
        Technical, scientific, and medical writers fare much better than
before. Instant publication allows books and articles to appear with fresh,
easily updated facts, spurring innovation in the fields about which the
authors have written.
        The big losers are best-selling authors who are better marketers than
Software Developers
        Small software houses can distribute their wares more easily than
ever--either for free or for very reasonable charges.
        Back in the 1990s, many Americans programmers were not that different
from writers. They came up with original ideas, but often had to pay too
much to middlemen.
        Now a programmer on a West Virginia hilltop can reach big urban
markets even if he (or she) lacks contacts with national software stores.
He needn't rely on the uncertainties of "shareware" distribution.
        TeleRead has been especially helpful to publishers of educational
software. No longer is bootlegging so major a threat.
The Elderly
        TeleReaders have sparked a boom in reading among older Americans. The
machines can vary the size and style of type to make reading as enjoyable
as possible for people with poor vision. Pleasant, synthesized voices can
read out anything.
The Disabled
        The bedridden can enjoy whole libraries. Affordable machines respond
to spoken commands and can take dictation. They make telecommuting--working
from home--far easier for the disabled.
Politicians and Bureaucrats
        Sleazes lose more elections; honest politicians do better. Average
Americans can easily use TRnet to scour government records, and also to
retrieve the precise wording of politicians' past promises. Voters can see
the words that the candidates themselves posted online. This is the norm.
It isn't just limited to the high-tech elite.
        What's more, via TRnet, people can write back to politicians and
bureaucrats at all levels of government, while knowing exactly which ones
to complain to. Do you want a traffic light near your intersection on the
George Washington Memorial Parkway? TRnet will bring you up to date on the
relevant laws and regulations, the accident rates, and whom you should
contact at National Park Service.
        TeleRead makes government more attentive than can push-button TV
plebiscites. If an obtuse GS-15 tells you to get lost, then you can whiz
copies of your correspondence to the newspapers and broadcasters, and if
journalists ignore you, then you might post your grievance on an electronic
bulletin board and organize other voters to pressure the bureaucracy.
Literary Agents and Lawyers
        Writers can publish directly on TRnet, but most pros continue to rely
on editing and promotion from publishers. Literary agents and lawyers are
still around to help authors negotiate with publishers and Hollywood.
        Also, TRnet is a good research tool for lawyers of all kinds, whom
private information services can no longer gouge. Lawyers and nonlawyers
alike can look up official explanations--in clear English--of local, state
and national laws. International Markets
        The United States helps other nations start their on TeleRead
programs, and negotiates agreements with countries where similar programs
        Via TeleRead, we create new markets for American books and can share
technical expertise with the Third World. At the same time, foreign
countries can develop their own electronic library systems--well-stocked
with indigenous literature. The TeleRead approach encourages cultural
diversity. Perhaps someday one TeleRead system will serve entire planet,
but not until more countries grant freedom of the press.
        Of course, even now, people in most countries can dial directly into
the American TeleRead system and thwart many a censor. Corporations
        Years ago, when TeleRead was proposed, some corporations saw the plan
as a budget-buster from Satan. Instead, however, it consumes just a tiny
fraction of our Gross Domestic Product and has added vastly to our national
wealth. The smarter CEOs realized that the best way to protect capitalism
was to be more flexible than the communists of Eastern Europe were. Now
employers of all sizes can benefit from computer-savvy workers who need not
be supervised constantly. This skilled workforce makes us a more
competitive nation.
        Other countries can tap into databases, ours or their own, but in no
other land is high-tech so integral a part of the educational system. Even
the poorest American children can grow up with TeleReaders. We were among
the few countries that could make a computer available to each child, one
way or another; and we took advantage of this.
        (For an example of what a well-educated workforce can accomplish with
high tech, read The Virtual Corporation: Structuring and Revitalizing the
Corporation for the 21st Century, written by William H. Davidow and Michael
S. Malone and published last year by HarperCollins.)
        What's more, TeleRead is a boon to many corporate marketers. With so
much information online for free, they can more easily anticipate national
and international consumer trends--by searching databases for patterns.
Good companies enjoy more business since consumers can dial up detailed
reviews of specific cars, woks, or washing machines. Badly run corporations
are failing faster as word spreads of inferior products or financial or
environmental scandals. Stockholders can dial into TRnet for past articles
on companies, large and small; markets are more efficient at rewarding
winners and punishing losers.
        TRnet is a dream come true for the Gideon Society and equivalents. The
Old and New Testaments, the Talmud, the Koran, and other major religious
works are online. Christian fundamentalists once worried about dial-up
pornography, but now rejoice that the new generation of young people is
more contemplative, less hedonistic, as books regain much of the influence
they lost to television.
        With so many books and educational software on TRnet, it is easier for
conservatives of all faiths to home-school their children or start private
schools without draining resources from the public education.
        Retired managers and executives use TRnet to tutor students and
consult with small business people from afar. An Electronic Peace Corps
lets Americans share technical and medical expertise with people abroad
(see my proposal in the Washington Post of Feb. 5, 1984, Page D5). Thanks
to the EPC, we can now learn of any AIDSlike epidemic long before it
threatens the United States (see International Health News, November 1987,
Page 4).
Anyone Displaced by TeleRead and TRnet
        No worker got a pink slip without plenty of warning; everyone knew
TeleRead was coming. With so many educational resources online,
career-switching is much easier. Although employers have eliminated useless
mid-management jobs, many ex-managers have re-established themselves as
consultants or master technicians. Washington Think-Tanks
        A few hacks at Washington think-tanks--not the true stars, but rather
the plodders who turned corporate propaganda into academic research--are
among the displaced. TRnet for them is a nightmare come true. Grubby high
school students and Idaho professors can now dial up the same arcane
information as our national elite can.
        Fresh Insights are more of a commodity. The outsiders can't go to
Washington cocktail parties and hear the latest gossip. But the more
diligent among them can dial up a number of databases in search of trends
invisible to the duller of the D.C. think-tankers.
                            *   *   *
        We now return you to 1993 and a more immediate prediction. Somewhere a
dutiful tanker will boot up his word-processor and write, "Fascinating
idea; but of course it will take decades to resolve the copyright issues,
and we'll all go broke and end up slaves of the Japanese if we even dream
of spending half percent of our Gross Domestic Product on TeleRead."
(Continued in next file)
From 73577.3271@CompuServe.COM Tue Apr 27 19:53:14 1993
Date: 27 Apr 93 21:07:59 EDT
From: "David H. Rothman" <73577.3271@CompuServe.COM>
To: "Arthur R. McGee" <amcgee@netcom.com>
Subject: 2nd File
                          STAMPING OUT CURIOSITY:
                      THE TROUBLE WITH "PAY-PER-READ
                          AND "KNOWLEDGE STAMPS"
        Via computer, you've just dialed up Shakespeare, a biology text or
maybe a manual telling you how to fix a diesel engine. You log on the
network for the next series of books. And then a rude message flashes
across your screen: "User hereby agrees to transfer $20 for the designated
material. Type Y or N."
        Get used to such hassles if we go in the direction of pay-per-read.
One of the worst proposals comes from a Washington consultant who has
suggested that Americans receive "Micro-vouchers" to pay for courses and
instructional material and tools. Couldn't these knowledge stamps help
replace "government-run and -controlled institutions" with "free
        Excuse me. What about the Stalinist institutions known as public
libraries? When thousands of books go online and many are not even
available on paper, a national public library should store copies of
everything for ordinary Americans to dial up. Otherwise, we may have to
dart back and forth between, say, a Time Warner computer network and a
McGraw-Hill equivalent to retrieve all books on topic X.
        Even more important, our government should not limit our free reading
to stamp-style allotments (why have stamps if allotments or pay-per-read
schemes won't exist?). A traditional public library encourages curiosity
and browsing. We must not let the pay-per-read gang discourage them. If
pay-per-read wins out instead, future Michael Dirdas will suffer. Dirda, a
Washington Post editor from the Ohio steel town of Lorain, has written how
his clever working-class father used reverse psychology to cultivate a love
of books. Now, what if pay-per-read prevails in the 21st century? Then,
knowledge stamps or not, a future version of Dirda's father might truly
mean it when he discouraged reading:
        Mr. Dirda (looking at a record of young Michael's account): "Why are
you wasting your stamps? If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand
times. no more novels this month."
        Michael: "Not even Tolstoy? Not even Faulkner?"
        Mr. Dirda: "I thought you were practical."
        Michael: "Tom Mikus reads all the novels he wants. Bellow, Mailer, you
name it."
        Mr. Dirda: "Look, Mike, you've got only so many stamps. If we could
afford all those books on our own--believe me, we'd get 'em."
        Michael: "Just because his old man's a lawyer--"
        Mr. Dirda: "You've still got $300 in credit this year. Why not take
        Michael: "But I want to go to Oberlin. I want to save my stamps for
the classy stuff."
        Mr. Dirda: "Forget it, Mike. That's for people like Tom."
        I'm assuming, of course, that the future Michael could befriend the
future Tom in a public school attended by children of diverse backgrounds.
By draining away resources, knowledge stamps might kill off many public
schools where social classes mixed.-D.H.R.
                                NINE MYTHS
        Say "TeleRead" to a certain species of "information management" guru,
and it will be like touting Fords to a buggywhip maker.
        After Computerworld printed an early version of my TeleRead proposal
in July 1992, it received an angry letter from a Chicago consultant who was
"appalled." He hated the idea of the *government* spending money on
"universal access to on-line information." Presumably we should sit back
and let Fortune 500 companies and the information priesthood decide what's
best for the average American.
        I won't blame some elite consultants for loathing the idea. While many
would adapt to TeleRead--and actually come out ahead--others would find
that it took away their raison d'etre. Many prospective clients could
dial-up information for themselves.
        With people like the Chicago consultant in mind, I'll list nine myths
and rebuttals:
        --Myth #1: Apple started in a garage, so why do we need a new
government program like TeleRead? What a waste.
        Reply: By the time Apple came along, the government had poured
billions into military and space technology. Would integrated chips and
other key components have been invented without years of investment in more
primitive forms of electronics? Consider, too, the shot in the arm that the
laptop industry received when the Internal Revenue Service and other
federal agencies started buying portable computers.
        Such benefits, however, are small compared to those that TeleRead
could bring over time. Without being too xenophobic--not the smartest
mindset in an industry as international as high-tech--TeleRead would try to
favor vendors with American-made screens and other key components.
        The biggest need for TeleRead, of course, has nothing to do with the
immediate welfare of regions such as Silicon Valley and the Route 128
corridor in Massachusetts. It has to do with the decline of reading in the
United States. Millions of students are growing up in bookless homes and
going to schools that lack money for books or squander the funds.
        Some of the worst outrages have occurred in Washington, D.C. Schools
there spend more than half a billion a year, of which a mere $2 million
goes for books. Teachers are tired of using their own money to buy extra
books and other supplies for students.
        Courtland Milloy, a Washington Post columnist, recently wrote: "In the
absence of up-to-date textbooks, many teachers say they must rely heavily
on current publications, routinely spending more than $100 a year just on
duplicating news articles."
        Anyone still question the need for TeleRead?
        --Myth #2: Wouldn't TeleRead stifle competition among publishers and
writers. What's this about DE-escalating royalties?
        Reply: But what's so competitive about our present system? Go to the
computer-book stands at your local chain stores, for example, and you'll
very likely see the same colophons again and again. That's a hint of what
the rest of the book world may face.
        At least one famous publisher tells agents that it no longer wants
midlist books, only potential best-sellers or specialized professional
        Marketers at some big publishing houses don't exactly dream of
publishing Nobel Prize winners and printing scores of good first novels.
Their secret fantasy is a little more MBAish. They would like to print just
one book a year--anything, good or bad--and sell 20 million copies.
        Forget about the explosion in the number of small publishers. Desktop
publishing technology makes it easier to set type and lay out books, but
what's the use if you normally can't get the big chains to display your
wares as well as those from major houses? Most small publishers survive by
sticking to niches and paying meager royalties to writers, who, with less
at stake, often turn out sloppy, badly researched work.
        Nor does the present system truly promote competition among writers.
In a country of a quarter of a billion people, fewer than 10,000-20,000
freelancers are writing books full time and giving the trade their best
efforts. Going full time is normally out of the question unless you're
rich, hyperfrugal or have a working spouse. Write a $20 paperback, and you
may receive all of $1.20 for every copy sold.
        Sociologist Paul Kingston once calculated that writers could earn more
per hour by flipping hamburgers at Wendy's than they could make at the
typewriter. He co-authored a book with a rather apropos title: The Wages of
Writing: Per Word, Per Piece, or Perhaps (Columbia University Press, 1986).
No meaningful government figures exist on the average incomes of
professional book and magazine writers who freelance full-time; but you can
bet that you wouldn't want your daughter to marry one.
        Meanwhile, publishers keep bidding up the prices of a lucky few
writers without truly encouraging them to write better or even in a more
popular style. Judith Krantz will never turn out Pride and Prejudice--or
even a more popular Hollywood saga--just because the industry pays her $2
million rather than $1 million. The industry would be far more competitive
without all those blockbuster advances and without a tendency to promote
just a few writers at the expense of many.
        And that's where the concept of de-escalating royalties would come in.
It could revive the midlist book in America.
        Right now, printers give discounts for large printings--favoring
best-sellers, in effect, and harming many technical and educational books,
along with literary novels. And even with computerized inventory systems,
big chains would rather play up certified best-sellers than midlist books.
Most chain stores are in malls. Booksellers must pay the same rent on the
space a book takes up, whether it sells one or 1,000 copies a month.
        TRnet, however, would be different. It wouldn't cost that much more
per dial-up to distribute a first novel rather than a Krantz book.
Moreover, as suggested in the main TeleRead proposal, TRnet should be
entitled to a steep discount as a mass buyer.
        In the end, then, through de-escalating royalties, the new
book-distribution system would be skewed in favor of competition and
        --Myth #3: The government has no business funding writers and
publishers. What about the risk of censorship? Do we really want the feds
telling us how to spend money on books?
        Reply: Marketers already are censoring new ideas more relentlessly
than any government bureaucrats could.
        Write a book about a social or political problem, and watch the
typical publisher run in the other direction if you aren't good talk-show
fodder. Ideally, of course, you'll have your own show and a large audience
that shares your prejudices. Rush Limbaugh is the publishing world's gift
to itself.
        Pesky new idea lose out under this system. The wonderful witticism
from the late A.J. Liebling, the media critic, has held up well; freedom of
the press is for those who own one.
        TeleRead, on the other hand, would be a boon to new publications and
to small publishers of books, newsletters and magazines with original
ideas. I think of people like Roldo Bartimole, a former Wall Street Journal
reporter. For decades he has been taking on the Cleveland establishment.
Read his Point of View newsletter and you will understand why new
skyscrapers arose in Cleveland while neighborhoods crumbled.
        PoV is a delight for citizen activists, journalists, librarians,
academics and others. In fact, some of its most constant readers are its
targets. They keep up with Bartimole's little sheet for the same reason
many financiers read the front page of The Wall Street Journal; his exposes
enrage them at times, but uncover fresh facts that they could never find
        The problem is, many big law firms and others are not buying PoV so
much as they are *photocopying* it.
        Under TeleRead, Bartimole-style mavericks could reach larger audiences
without worrying about the costs of postage and printing. Yes, some copying
would take place. But the mavericks would still benefit from the wider
exposure. At the same time, big dailies would come out ahead, too, since
they could distribute electronic editions without relying on the goodwill of
the local telephone and cable monopolies.
        But what about the risk of politicians censoring material? That is
exactly why TeleRead would be an independent agency; receive long-range
funding; have many librarians involved in the selection of books and other
material; rely heavily on input from state and local levels rather than
being a top-down organization; offer explicit procedures for writers and
publishers to bypass the librarians; and allow private publishers to run
their own networks and sell books and magazines independently through
subscription programs of their own.
        TeleRead would not even have to be in Washington near the normal
policymakers and lobbyists. Spread out the functions. Let a Silicon Valley
office do much of the laptop-procurement. Have Boston help handle contracts
for the memory-bank facilities, in many different areas of the country. Let
the librarians--most of whom would work for local, state and university
libraries rather than for TeleRead--live anywhere.
        Keep the Library of Congress open as a servant of the Congress and as
a preserver of paper manuscripts, but don't let it run TeleRead, not when
the existing Library is within a short walk of the Capitol Building. In short,
make TeleRead a decentralized, virtual organization without a Washington
headquarters around which the usual lobbyists could hang out. Astute
politicians should welcome this approach. It would provide less opportunity for
book-burning group to hassle them over TeleRead.
        A decentralized TeleRead might lease TRnet computer facilities in
several regions and cut down on communications costs. Granted, each
facility would store the same books (so that comprehensive searches for
information would be easy). But many librarians, in different locations,
would be able to certify titles for dial-up fees.
        These TeleLibrarians, though federally funded, would be working within
their own budgets, just like doctors at HMO's. Consider a librarian in
Bismarck, North Dakota, who was employed by the local library system there;
he or she would use the central database to monitor all new books
submitted for possible certification--no matter where the authors or
publishers were located. Thanks to the powerful search capabilities of
computers, our North Dakotan could flag the system to look regularly for
books of interest to her.
        No book on the Great Plains or on the Dakota history would escape her
notice--nor would any biography of her favorite composer or artist.
        The central database would tell her which books already received
enjoyed certification. Armed with all these facts, she could intelligently
approve a certain number of books each week or two--whatever her budget
allowed. The money would come from the federal government, but this local
TeleLibrarian would be watching out for the interest of her fellow
        Statisticians would help TRnet monitor the dialup patterns and
constantly adjust the allowances for purchases of certain kinds of books
and other material. The book world already has a classification method,
none other than the Dewey Decimal system. Clearly, then, ways would exist
for TRnet to avoid cost overruns, especially if royalties on best-sellers
were de-escalating.
        With clear selection and budgeting procedures in place, TRnet in some
respects would be like the Internet, the giant network of networks that is
available to thousand of researchers, academics, business people and others
in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. The U.S.
government made the Internet possible, but the network has taken on a life
of its own. It now carries hundreds of message areas on topics ranging from
ozone to "Practical Christianity."
        In fact, the Internet offers much more freedom that people find on
some private networks. Some months ago, while researching a computer book,
my wife and I asked Prodigy members what they thought of this service. Our
neutrally worded notice vanished within hours. The book was many months
from publication and we did not even mention a title, yet Prodigy claimed
we were using the network for commercial purposes.  Prodigy has added some
wonderful new wrinkles, such as 9,600-b.p.s. services, and I very much hope
that this innovative network will survive and thrive--but with more freedom
of expression. Carly and I were hardly the first victims of the Prodigy
censors. A New York Times gardening columnist had a brush with them several
years ago and wrote about it in his paper.
        Should you still see TeleRead as more Big Brotherish than "Free
Enterprise" is, then you might consider the following scenario:
         Let's say the government gave your local newspaper what some have
called "a license to print money." As a believer in separation of state and
press, would you approve of this practice? Would you consider it to be
unfair federal intervention? Then you are a little too late. Television
licenses already exist--for newspaper companies and other businesses--and
the Federal Communications Communication can take them away if the FCC
believes that TV stations are not acting in the public interest.
        What's more, even opinion magazines must plead their case with the
Postal Service if they want to enjoy special mailing rates. And
publications of all kinds of all kinds must satisfy the Internal Revenue.
        So true separation between government and the media is a dream. If it
were reality, copyrights would not be with us. Jesse Helms notwithstanding,
federal copyright law makes it possible for Hustler to turn a profit--by
assuring Larry Flynt that if someone pirates his girlie photos, then Flynt
can sue. Copyrights do not exist like the Rockies and the Atlantic Ocean.
Bureaucrats must grant them.
        The real way to promote freedom of speech, then, is not to deny the
inevitable governmental role in what we read, watch and hear. Rather it's
to come up with a system of checks and balances to guard against censorship
by bureaucrats--or marketers.
        --Myth #4: But if you don't have censorship, you won't be able to
control what books children read.
        The best way for parents to protect their children is to set good
examples and spend enough time with their offspring. Certainly few books
are as likely to promote negative behavior as the barrage of graphic
material on commercial television.
        But, yes, for parents wanting a technological solution,
TeleReader could prevent children from dialing up objectionable
material. Parents and children could use different log-on procedures, just
as they can right now on some commercial computer networks.
        --Myth #5: A good $50 or $100 laptop? You've got to be kidding.
        Reply: What sells for $1,000 today is likely to sell for a tenth of
the price within the next two decades. Consider how much the early
televisions and calculators cost. Even without a government program, you
can pay $100 for a used PC that would have sold in the mid-80s for several
thousand dollars.
        Engineers are squeezing more power into less space, and driving down
costs in the bargain. Twenty years ago, it's been noted, we could not cram
more than 5,000 transistors into an integrated circuit. Now the upper limit
has been said to be five million, and even that estimate may be dated.
Meanwhile, computer memories are growing. An entire chip someday might
house the entire contents of the Library of Congress.
        What's more, portable computer screens are sharper than ever. Already
the Knight-Ridder chain has been studying the use of tablet-style portables
for reading newspapers. The technology may be ready in the next two years
or so.
        Today the screen of the typical portable is still not good enough for
many people to read whole books with. But we are not that far off from the
time when flat screens could actually be *easier* to read from paper. The
screens could be sharp and flickerless, and you would be able to vary the
color, type size and type style. Besides, the first material on TRnet could
be of the "must read" variety--for example,  medical and technical
material--so that the readability of the screen mattered less than for
recreational reading.
        What about battery life? High-tech companies are steadily increasing
the time between recharges. The batteries pack more energy and the
circuitry draws less power. This is one area with plenty of room for
progress, but hardly hopeless. Some portable computers without good screens
can last dozens of hours on penlight cells. Besides, what's so
tragic if the very first TeleReaders rely more extensively on AC
power than future models do?
        So in the end, the issue isn't technology. It's money. Get publishers
to digitize books, create enough of a market for TeleReaders, and Silicon
Valley will oblige. No, a powerful $100 laptop won't be here immediately.
But it will appear in the future--if Silicon Valley works on driving the
costs down, not just on pushing the limits of technology.
        Myth #6: Wouldn't the kids steal or destroy the equipment?
        Reply: But who says every child must get a TeleReader immediately?
        Schools could loan the first machines to the children with the best
prospects--the bright and the hardworking; reward them. Drug-peddlers
flaunt beepers. Now let's get some high-tech into the hands of honest,
well-motivated students who otherwise could never afford powerful laptops.
        Also, etch serial numbers into the cases. Compile a registery of
legitimate users of government-supplied machines, and make it illegal to
sell unregistered TeleReaders. Impose stiff penalties on offenders.
        Reduce damage to equipment by starting the program in the high schools
and working down. Also, insist that durabilty be one of the criteria for
awarding TeleReader contracts. Sooner or later we'd reach the point where
first-graders could blithely play catch with their TeleReaders or drop them
on the sidewalk.
        Yet another way to fight theft and breakage would be to involve
parents in the TeleRead program from the start. The machines could improve
their own literacy skills and make them more employable. Special video
games--with audio and flashy, Sesame Street-style graphics--might even be
designed to help parents and children work together to build up their
        --Myth #7: It's un-American to tax TV-watchers to support readers.
        Reply: But don't we tax single people and childless couples to support
the public schools?
        Even putting best-sellers online--everything from mystery novels to
Judith Krantz's work--would contribute to general enlightenment. People do
not maintain and sharpen their reading skills by just reading what they
must. They also do this by reading what they want. That's especially true
of children; literacy specialists are among the biggest boosters of comic
        --Myth #8: But why pick on the TV industry?
        Reply: By giving away billions of dollars spectrum space, the
government helped launch the industry. Now the industry and its offshoots
should repay the taxpayers.
        TV could survive TeleRead. The question is, Will books survive
        Outside the elite--especially in inner cities--many more children grow
up in TV-centered homes than in book-centered ones. Here's a chance to
right the balance for the good of society. Americans will never cure heart
disease, fend off international economic competitors, end poverty, or wipe
out the deficit by watching more television. But we might do all of the
aforementioned if we read more.
        Shouldn't our government, then, favor TeleRead over the refinement of
High-Definition Television? Powerful commercial motives exist for refining
HDTV, and surely, within two decades, a 40- or 60-inch television will hang
from the wall of the typical American home. But smarter television sets by
themselves will never mean Einsteinian children.
        Of course, TeleReaders should offer sounds and moving images where
appropriate; and eventually the units might come with goggles and
datagloves that children could don to enter the world of virtual reality.
However, let's not mix up our priorities here; reading is the most crucial
skill. Although Sesame Street and instructional videos are valuable, they
are no substitutes. Television often reduces our children's attention
spans. Books help lengthen them. Would a long or short span be better for
future doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, teachers--and, yes, voters?
        Do we really want push-button plebiscites where citizens obediently
agree with their leaders after seeing a few images flash before them? Or do
we want sophisticated voters who can tap into massive databases and send
persuasive e-mail to the government officials?
        Myth #9: But some TeleRead-style projects exist now. How about
competing activities such as Co-NECT Schools? What about groups such
as the New American Schools Development Corporation, which is promoting into
some of the same technologies?
        Bravo! They're not competitors at all. These programs are
a fraction of the size that TeleRead would eventually be. Besides, the more
the technology is tested beforehand, the faster we can get TeleRead
off the ground. TeleRead's TRnet would be a wonderful way to distribute
already-developed educational materials to children--and adults. And educators
already working in this area could help set up programs to accustom American
teachers to high-tech.
        The point to remember here is that no private effort could ever offer
as many books and as much educational software as TeleRead could, and do this
at affordable prices for all.
        Nor could any other program stimulate technological development as
much, by offering so massive a market for reading-computers.
        I have not heard of any private projects using machines as viewable
and affordable as the proposed TeleReaders, but if those ventures
can perfect such machines, that will *help*. It would especially be good if
educators in existing endeavors, computer companies, newspaper people, book
publishers and others worked with the government to come up with goals and
standards for TeleReaders.-D.H.R.
                          THE ORIGINS OF TELEREAD
        Several years ago, William F. Buckley, Jr., complained that many
students were using computers rather than card catalogues at the library.
He had a point. Library skills were declining. Skimming a few facts off
databases wasn't like reading *whole* books. I thought, "Why couldn't the
complete texts be online?"
        The idea of dial-up books was already many years old. But to my
knowledge, no one had truly resolved the big issue: Just how could we make
online books affordable--yet also provide for fair compensation for writers
and publishers? Without such a plan, we might well reach the point someday
where most public libraries folded. Suppose only the rich could afford to
be well read. I wondered if our library system would start failing the
average American as badly as our health care system had. Middle-class
people were reading books, but some of the fastest-growing demographical
groups were not. What's more, I feared that future technology might
increase the gap between the middle-class and the rich.
        My concerns have been all too justified. Within the past year, my
local libraries have cut back hours; this happened to me in Fairfax County,
Va., not Harlan County, Kentucky. Even the Library of Congress has scaled
back the schedule of its reading room. On top of that, more and more
students are shunning careers with public libraries, preferring to collect
lawyerish money working for data-hungry corporations.
        Something else is happening, too: Publishers and stores are even more
cavalier toward non-best-sellers than in past years. My books keep coming
out late for business reasons. Typically my publishers are too busy
promoting books by celebrities or hawking the 10 zillionth WordPerfect
guide. Readers never have a chance to discover many midlist books of the
kind that I write. When a writer for major computer magazines wanted to
review The Complete Laptop Computer Guide, he could not find a copy on sale
in all of Salt Lake City.
        Another outrage is the high price of books. Why is it that
schoolchildren must pay $8 for little paperback editions of classics? Or
that more and more of college textbooks cost $50 or $75? Or that many
students must resort to used, outdated textbooks because the new ones are
so expensive? Or that some novels list for $30? Just how can publishers
lobby for more aid to libraries when the prices of books keeps zooming? And
yet we cannot blame publishers alone, not when production costs have risen.
        I conceived TeleRead, then, as a good solution for readers, writers,
and publishers alike--and even for bookstores, too, if they were willing to
adapt to the new technology.
        Refining this proposal, I found that the Association of American
Publishers was helpful with facts on the economics of the trade. AAP has
not endorsed or even seen this detailed version of the plan; it has just
supplied data. However, an AAP staffer seems open-minded. Perhaps readers,
writers and publishers can put aside their differences and work together to
hasten the coming of TeleRead.-D.H.R.
                            ACTING ON THE IDEA
        If you like the TeleRead idea, spread this file around and write the
White House or the appropriate people on the Hill. Many officials in
Washington would rather not have their fax or e-mail boxes tied up. So
please use paper mail. Feel free to reproduce this file on paper to
accompany letters.
        I'm a writer, struggling with the usual deadlines, and I have just so
much time to lobby for this idea. I hope that others can follow up. Below
are possible people to contact. This list isn't all-inclusive; some of the
best prospects may not be mentioned here. Do not worry about writing to all
the names below, just to whomever you feel would be responsive.
Executive Branch
(In Alphabetical Order)
        --Pam Barnett, Executive Assistant for Domestic Policy, Office of the
First Lady, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,  Washington, D.C.
20500. We all know of Hillary Clinton's interest in educational matters.
        --President Bill Clinton, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C 20500. Contacting President Clinton and Vice President
Gore, I'll be making the point at a national data highway is just a start.
What really counts is what will be online, and whether the average
household will be able to afford it.
        --Jeff Eller, Media Affairs, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania, Ave.,
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500.
        --Dr. John H. Gibbons, White House Director of Science and Technology,
Old Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20500.
        --Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., White House, 1600 Pennsylvania
Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.
        --Ira Magaziner, Senior Advisor for Policy Development, Domestic
Policy Council, 1600 Pennsylania Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20500.
        --Roy Neel, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Old Executive Office
Building, Washington, D.C. 20503.
        --Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20210. Reich, of course, has long pointed out the
connection between educational opportunities and national prosperity.
        --Richard Riley, Secretary of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20202-0100.
        --Greg Simon, Assistant to the Vice President for Domestic Policy, Old
Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503.
        --George Stephanopoulos, Director of Communications, White House, 1600
Pennsylvania, Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.
        --Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Council of Economic Advisers, Old Executive
Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503.
        --Margaret Williams, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.
The Senate
        --The Honorable Max Baucus, U.S. Senate, 706 Hart Senate Building,
Washington, D.C. 20510-2602. Sen. Baucus has shown an interest high-tech.
His state, Montana, could benefit dramatically from a national electronic
library and improved telecommunications.
        --The Honorable Robert Byrd, 311 Hart Senate Building, U.S. Senate,
Washington, D.C. 20510-4801. Sen. Byrd chairs the Appropriations Committee,
and, like Sen. Baucus, comes from a rural state where most citizens lack
easy access to large libraries. West Virginians might appreciate TeleRead's
de-centralized nature. In this era of computer networks and faxes, why
should the Washington area drown in federal offices while people in other
states are begging for good white-collar jobs?
        --The Honorable Byron Dorgan, 825 Hart Senate Building, U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-3405. A North Dakotan, he sits on the Commerce,
Science and Transportation Committee. And like Senators Byrd and Baucus,
Sen. Dorgan is interested in ways to use high-tech to increase educational
opportunities for rural people.
        --The Honorable Edward Kennedy, 315 Russell Senate Building, U.S.
Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510-2101. Chairman of Labor and Human Resources,
the Senator has been interested for many years in long-distance learning.
        --The Honorable J. Bob Kerrey, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510.
Last October he gave a speech to the Software Publishers Association
calling for online networks for education. Sen. Kerrey is from Nebraska,
one of the many rural state that could benefit from affordable online
     --The Honorable Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senate, 464 Russell
Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 20510-3201. Himself an author
(well known for sociology), he represents New York state--which of
course is to books what Florida is to oranges.
The House
        --The Honorable Edward J. Markey, U.S. House of Representatives, 2133
Rayburn, Washington, D.C. 20515-2107. Rep. Markey sits on the Energy and
Commerce Committee and the Telecommunications and Finance subcommittee. As
befits anyone from Massachusetts, he is intensely interested in high-tech
issues such as national data highways.
        --The Honorable Major Owens, U.S. House of Representatives, 2305
Rayburn, Washington, D.C. 20515-3211. Rep. Owens, the only professonal
librarian in Congress, is on the Education and Labor Committe and is from
        --The Honorable Charlie Rose, U.S. House of Representatives, 2230
Rayburn, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515-3307.  The
chairman of the House Administration Committee, Rep. Rose jokes that he is
the "techno-nut" of the Hill. His state, North Carolina, has a number of
high-tech firms in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.
        You may contact me through the following networks:
        --America Online (DavidHR).
        --CompuServe (73577,3271).
        --GEnie (D.Rothman1).
        --Internet (DavidHR@aol.com, 73577.3271@compuserve.com or
106-5024@MCIMail.com). Please check with your technical contact to see if
you should preface the addresse with a prefix such as INET:.
        --MCI Mail (David H Rothman at the "To:" command)
        --Prodigy (TNFN63A). E-mail on this network can be cumbersome to
answer, so please use alternatives if possible.
                           COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
        A shorter version of the TeleRead proposal appeared in The Washington
Post Education Review of April 4, 1993. Opinions expressed here are my own,
not necessarily the Review's. You may make as many electronic copies of
this expanded version as you want without permission--as long as you do not
alter the text. Please check with me about publication on paper. The only
reason for "Please check with me" is that I may offer some material to a
newspaper syndicate or wire service for wider distribution.
     (c) 1993, David H. Rothman.
                                 ADDENDUM ONE:
                         IS BRIDGEPORT THE FUTURE?
        Bridgeport (pop. 143,000) is turning even bright children into
future cooks and janitors. A story in the April 6 Washington Post tells of
the decline of literacy in Connecticut's biggest city: "The public school
system is so strapped for cash that it spends less than one-third of the
state average on new books for its libraries.
        "And the public library system, a beacon for literacy for 143 years, is
open only about one-third as many hours as in the late 1980s."
         You can blame Bridgeport for short-sightedness, and you would be
right; but another reason exists, too--the disparity between the library
budgets of rich and poor cities. That is exactly what TeleRead would help
         Contrast Bridgeport with Westport and Fairfield, nearby towns that
boast thriving bookstores and libraries. The Post correctly notes that
middle-class Americans are buying and borrowing more books than in past
decades. That's good news in some respects (it suggests that a full-service
TeleRead program could enjoy a sizeable constituency). But white,
middle-class America is not the whole country.
         Some of the fastest-growing demographical groups are the least likely
to be readers; besides, women in all economic groups lag far behind men in
mastery of technical subjects. In an age when white male workers will soon
be a minority, we could all lose. The yuppies in Westport will not fare
well in their retirement if we lack enough skilled workers to support them.
        "With the growing inequities in schools and the cuts in libraries
across the country, literacy is becoming increasingly class-based," the
Post quotes Patricia Shulman, former president of the American Library
         Furthermore, as shown by the library cuts in Fairfax County, Va., even
the middle-class may not safe in the end. And this information gap will
only grow worse if electronic libraries are not affordable and
old-fashioned libraries go the way of the streetcar.
                           By William R. Murrell
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Please pass around this essay and the rest of this file. Ask
your local newspapers to print or quote from the material, and write editorials
about TeleRead. Tell your children to contact their school newspaper editors.
Spread the word among friends, teachers, and PTA contacts. Ask your minister to
give a sermon on TeleRead. This is a person-to-person project! My computer
addresses are at the ends of my essays, in case you want to reach me. The
TeleRead idea means A LOT to me as a parent and a Black person. In the past I
have taught technology to African Americans, and my wife teaches third grade,
and we're both tired of seeing children denied the books they need. Here is a
constructive solution.-W.R.M.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
        Have you ever picked up a book and noticed the famous words below?
                       "All rights reserved. No part of this publication
                       may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
                       tranmitted in any form by any means electronic,
                       mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
                       without the prior written permission of the
        I know there are business reasons for such restrictions, but I can also
imagine a world where knowledge can be free or at least cost much less than
it does now.
        Why should books be a "privilege"? Self-education is our right as
        If we can read enough books, then we'll be able to repay society by
using our skills constructively. My mother always told me, "The key to a
self-sufficent life is to get a good education." It's been said that genius is
born everyday, and a genius takes what he or she has and makes the best of it.
        How to help this process along? What about the masses of our African
American youth, potential geniuses? Someday could they use computers to dial
up electronic books that were as easy to read as paper ones? And
could these computers and books be extra-affordable, and even free
to the some low-income people? Is this possible? I know it is.
        Would this "TeleRead" program create more genuises with better
solutions to the problems that affect us and society at large? I know it would.
        And, since bookmaking is a business, would not smaller African American
publishers and writers be able to share in the dream of a successful
publishing business if they could effortlessly reach the best markets for
their products? I know so.
        Could not our high-tech entrepreneurs become more successful at
selling their services and systems? Could they not create viable,
profitable community-based businesses able to employ local folks? And could
they not also help foster a new generation of reading-computers affordable
by every household? Again, I know so.
        This TeleRead proposal should be taken seriously by anyone who believes
that technology should help all Americans, not just the rich.
        So before the "Information Highway" comes to your area, make sure
that it will provide affordable electronic books for you and your children.
        Black people and other Americans are fed up with the cost
of health-care, and now the politicians are getting the word.
Let's do the same for books. Let's work to make THEM affordable.
        Write the White House and your congressman NOW and tell them about
TeleRead. In particular you might want to write Greg Simon, Assistant to the
Vice President for Domestic Policy, Old Executive Office Building, Washington,
D.C. 20503. Also write Dr. John H. Gibbons, White House Director of Science
and Technology, Old Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20500. Dr.
Gibbons's office is now considering TeleRead.
William Murrell
Via Email to: Compuserve: 71521,2516 or Internet: Wmurrell@Delphi.com
GENIE HOSB Advisor: W.Murrell1
or write to: MurrellBoston Telesis  P.O. Box 190353  Boston, Ma.  02119
                              ADDENDUM THREE:
                            HOW TELEREAD COULD
                       SLASH THE COST OF GOVERNMENT
    Visit a government office, and you'll see clerks typing away--tapping
out data from citizens and businesses. What a waste. Suppose Americans
could fill out forms on TeleReaders, then send the information over the
phone lines, *directly* to government computers.
    Easy-to-use software could guide you as you worked on your taxes or
otherwise engaged in an official transaction. These programs would be no
dummies. You'd supply the relevant facts about your family or business, and
then the software would tailor the questions to *you*. Perhaps you could
even switch on a synthesized voice--if you wanted--to reinforce the
instructions you saw on the screen.
    What's more, the programs might tie in with commercial software meeting
official specs, so that, for example, you would not have to re-enter items
from your electronic checkbook. Also, the software would let you know how
it toted up your taxes--and let you change any entry if you disagreed. The
Internal Revenue Service might challenge your return later on, but at least
you'd still have just as much control over the tax form as you do know.
    If Americans could use TeleForms, as I'll call them, we'd all come out
ahead. We would spend less time and money keeping Uncle happy. And the
bureaucracies could more easily digest the information--without any need to
rekey it, and with less need to pester citizens about missing facts.
    Moreover, since TeleReaders would use pen interfaces, not just
keyboards, citizens could even sign tax papers.
    Tax forms are just one example of how TeleRead could help Americans in
areas besides reading. What about Social Security forms? Software could
deal with all kinds of "ifs" when Americans applied for benefits. We could
slash the staffs of hundreds of local Social Security offices.
    Similarly, government at all levels could use the same technique to
handle matters ranging from drivers licenses to unemployment compensation
or health-care claims. What's more, e-forms and databases could match up
workers and jobs (in a *truly* massive way) without adding an army of
    Computerized forms, of course, are hardly a revolutionary idea. Even
now, with inexpensive software, you can create a *paper* tax-return or even
an application to work for the government. And the IRS is working toward
electronic filing of returns from ordinary citizens directly--not just from
tax-preparation firms.
    TeleRead, however, would dramatically speed up this process. It would
drive down the cost of computers for all, promote mass computer literacy
and encourage refinement of computerized forms.
    As I've said in the main proposal, a huge TeleRead program shouldn't
start immediately. But imagine the potential for economy in government when
TeleRead reaches full size and most Americans use TeleForms.
    The ultimate savings--on both the government and private sides--would
more than pay for the costs of the dial-up books and the rest of the
TeleRead program.
Date:         Thu, 20 May 1993 08:19:39 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Anne Lobe <lobe@wln.com>
Subject:      independent librarians
The following message has been cross-posted to Library Collection
Development List,Open Library/Information Science Education Forum,
Libraries and Librarians, Library and Information Science Research, Maps
and Air Photo Forum, USMARC Advisory Group Forum, Publishing E-Jorunals:
Publishing, Archiving, and Access.
I am doing a survey for a research paper on professional librarians who do
contract cataloging or research with libraries, vendors or private
organizations.  If you are interested in participating in this survey, please
respond to me via email or at the address below and I will send you a copy of
the survey. If there is enough interest, I will summarize for the list.
Anne Lobe
PO Box 3888
Lacey, WA 98503-0888
1 800 DIAL WLN (800 342 5956) voice
206 923 4009 fax
lobe@wln.com Internet
Date:         Wed, 26 May 1993 08:39:38 EDT
Reply-To:     "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
Sender:       "Publishing E-Journals : Publishing, Archiving,
              and Access" <vpiej-l@vtvm1.bitnet>
From:         Raleigh Muns <srcmuns@umslvma.bitnet>
Subject:      FTP of hypertext presentation on e-journals
The following files can be retrieved via anonymous FTP from
oak.oakland.edu (, archive.orst.edu (,
and other updated SIMTEL20 mirror sites. For oak.oakland.edu the
files are in pub/msdos/hypertext, and for archive.orst.edu, the files
are in pub/mirrors/oak.oakland.edu/simtel20/msdos/hypertext.
MONTANA0.ZIP    Hypertext gopher and ejournal samples 1 of 3
MONTANAB.ZIP    Hypertext gopher and ejournal samples 2 of 3
MONTANAC.ZIP    Hypertext gopher and ejournal samples 3 of 3
In conjunction with a conference presentation at the University of
Montana (Missoula, MT) April, 1993, a hypertext resource was developed
to explain what e-journals are (over 175 sample issues, most in their
entirety), where e-journals can be located (e.g., CICNet's gopher archive
of electronic journals), and how to get them (documentation on gopher,
SGML, TeX, etc.). The bulk of the system is a hypertext simulation of
the CICNet archive of e-journals in which the same Library of Congress
Subject Classification system used in the archive is mirrored in the
simulation. The entire package is designed to fit on a single high
density diskette (1.44 MB) for dissemination to those who may not have
access to the Internet. This hypertext presentation is both a resource
for those wishing to obtain, publish, and understand the phenomenon of
the electronic journal, as well as a simulation and demonstration of
what such access entails. To that end, more than 175 sample issues of
actual e-journals are supplied for users to decide for themselves.
Uploaded by the author.
Raleigh Muns / Reference Librarian / Thomas Jefferson Library
University of Missouri - St. Louis / SRCMUNS@UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU


James Powell