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Existing print journals are so much part of the processes of scholarship that they can easily be taken for granted. It is useful, therefore, to look at the characteristics of print documents (and by extension of print journals) in a little detail before considering reasons for considering alternatives. A number of these characteristics are only notable by comparison with the alternatives (as will become apparent). The literature of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) describes the affordances of particular artefacts in terms of what they offer to the user [Gaver, 1991]. These affordances are governed by the form of the artefact: print journals will have different (although probably overlapping) affordances to e-journals. What then are the characteristics of the familiar print journal technology and what do they afford?
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