Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 4, Number 1 (Winter 1998)
Academic journal publishing is changing dramatically. Publishers are beginning to exploit the Internet as a medium for delivering journals. Before, only scattered journals were offered electronically, usually with only the recent issues online. Now electronic publishing seems to be settling into a pattern: a vendor offers a World Wide Web interface to a collection of journals, then the campus library arranges for an institutional-wide license for the entire campus network. A user on campus then simply accesses the vendor's Web site, and downloads the article for reading or printing. This allows publishers to generate revenue despite the electronic medium.
One vendor that looks particularly promising is called JSTOR. It offers the complete run of a journal, not just the last few years. It offers the articles in Portable Document Format (PDF) which is created by the Adobe Acrobat application and can be read by the freeware application called Acroread. The articles are full image, including illustrations and the original page numbers for citing references. JSTOR charges libraries a large initial payment, and then a yearly maintenance fee. For that, the campus has access to all of the journals housed on their server.
While the list of JSTOR journals is currently small, it is growing. Of particular interest to the statistics community, the Journal of the American Statistical Association will soon be available. There are also a number of American Mathematical Society and SIAM journals that are either available now or will be available soon. For comprehensive information on JSTOR, look at the homepage at http://www.jstor.org.