Publish and/or perish ? Some implications for publishing of electronic document storage and supply.

The electronic storage and delivery of serial articles will affect not only libraries and their users but publishers, whose main market is libraries. In particular, the ability of libraries to acquire individual articles rather than whole serials could destroy the viability of conventional published serials and result in the use of market rather than quality criteria in deciding which articles to accept for "publication" : the system would become user-driven rather than author-driven. The large investment required for electronic publishing might lead to the take-over of traditional publishers by large corporations whose interests were purely commercial. Data-bases handling the electronic texts would be in a very powerful position. Material not accepted into the "commercial" system might be put into an alternative store, perhaps at the "authors" expense, so that there might be a "rich" system of high-use material (only a portion of it serial articles) and a "poor" system containing the body of research literature.