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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

6.2.1 Early stirrings

Even comparatively early in the development of mainframe computers researchers were starting to think about their possible use to enhance scholarly communication. In 1972, Bamford proposed a system based around editorial processing centres and using OCR and magnetic tape technology [Bamford, 1972]. Somewhat later Senders proposed an alternative model (without apparently being aware of Bamford's work) using paper tape or magnetic tape and some unspecified networking technology [Senders, 1976], [Senders, 1977 - now citing Bamford]. Four years later, having worked with an early and very experimental system, he famously wrote "I have seen the future and it doesn't work" [Senders, 1980]. As early as 1982, some commentators suggested (fairly presciently) that it would be at least a decade before electronic journals would substantially supplement print [Turoff and Hiltz, 1982]. The problem with these early systems was that the technology simply wasn't ready - [Senders, 1980] contains a positive litany of complaints. It wasn't until the development of better networking and display technologies in the late '80s that it was possible to start realising some of the earlier ideas. For an overview of the evolution of electronic publishing, see [Lancaster, 1995b]

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