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QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS, SESSION I

After stating that there must be a creative way to use computer and telecommunications technology to facilitate the slow and frustrating process of rights and permissions, Mr. Galvin invited questions or comments.

One participant raised the issue of how rights and royalties for classroom use of "electronic reprints" might be explored. Mr. Kraft suggested that publishers test the market by contacting key network groups. He believed that publishers would reach markets they normally did not without serious financial consequences.

The next observation centered on the functions of the hard-copy journal for quality control and subsequent peer review, and how these functions are handled in electronic publishing. Mr. Kraft stated that peer and tenure review in electronic media is a major concern because professors can publish work in electronic form and not have it count for promotion. He believes that there has been some testing of peer review with electronic publication, and that a key benefit is that criticisms of the material can be sent on-line before the material is actually published. There is, however, little electronic peer review. Duane Webster, Executive Director of the Association of Research Libraries and a panelist, suggested that there is not necessarily quality in the peer review process for printed publications either. The shift to publishers being in charge of peer reviewer selection creates problems. Christopher Meyer, Associate, Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn, and another of the colloquium's panelists, stated that publishers do consult with scholars in the field when selecting peer reviewers, a process that has been best implemented in the hard sciences where results can be replicated. Mr. Meyer said that the artifact of the paper journal would outlive everyone in the room, and that, interestingly enough, it was the publishers of paper journals who were taking the initiative to adopt electronic formats. Mr. Galvin commented that, in the interest of fairness, it should be noted that the scholarly journals are in the state they are in partially because the universities allowed publishers to take more of a role in the scholarly process.

The final questions and comments in this round concerned what can be done to enlarge the group that is involved with electronic transfers, and what can be done to assist a younger generation of graduate students as they move into electronic scholarship. Stating that a major concern of faculty in small universities is how to become connected to large networks, Mr. Kraft suggested that libraries would be an ideal location to make these connections, but other options worked too. For instance, some faculty have connected their computers to large university systems in other states, making use of telephone lines and software to download the materials. Mr. Kraft also commented that, in larger universities, it is often the graduate students who teach the older faculty about the uses of computers, not the other way around.