Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Admin upset over independent pub plans

McMaster gets some Nortel money

Biz students make good

Credit checks part of loan program

United Way opens up shop at Galleria


Online journals get funding

Buzz Mecca

Online journals get funding

By Lindsay Satterthwaite
Gazette Writer

Three research centres at Simon Fraser University are using a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to improve the technology of publishing online journals.

According to Joanne Lavigne, communication assistant at the SSHRC, Simon Fraser was given a research development initiative of $25,000 per year over the next three years.

The money will be used to further develop the standardized electronic publishing tools which will help improve the current state of online publishing, according to Rowland Lorimer, director of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at SFU.

Lorimer said three SFU research centres – the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics and the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology – have joined together to create standardized online software.

The three centres have formed the Advanced Publishing Research Laboratory, which will attempt to improve the technology used by academics, students and the general public.

According to Lorimer, the new team is comprised of a number of people with extremely comprehensive skills. "The mathematics department have expertise on scientific journals, science and technology have sociological experience and the publishing centre understands the print and electronic side," he said.

The research improvement is expected to benefit non-profit journals, especially journals in the social sciences and humanities, Lorimer said.

"A basic system is already running," he added. "A demonstration system of our new technology will be available early next year and we will have a package available for other non-profit journals within the next year."

Richard Smith, assistant professor at the school of communication at SFU, said the technology would re-design online journals, making them more usable and versatile. "The focus is on the process between author and editor," Smith added.

"There will be added services including job postings and announcements online," Smith said. "Other media will also be available such as video and audio clips and interactive options."

According to Smith, academics will be the main audience of the journals but since a more diverse range of topics will be explored which will appeal to the average person, younger academics and the general public will also benefit.

"The SSHRC receives their funding through parliamentary allocation," said Denis Croux, director of strategic systems of the SSHRC. He added the council currently has a budget of approximately $120 million.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999