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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

4.6.1 Strengths

Electronic documents are much easier to move and carry around than print, particularly large amounts of information. For small amounts, print is more portable than the combination of the medium to store it on and the device (even if this a laptop) to access it. Once the amount of print exceeds about 500 pages of A4 paper (about 1.75 MBytes of data), a notebook computer will be lighter. Of course, the electronic documents stored on the hard disk of this computer are not just print-equivalents. They can contain both text and image (as can paper) but they can also contain colour (at no extra cost) and dynamic media such as audio, video and embedded simulations.

Electronic documents can easily be copied and sent from one location to another. If users of the documents go to a server to access them, then the documents can be updated by making the change on the server. The next user to access the document will get the latest version

Electronic documents are (to varying degrees of ease, depending on the format) directly searchable, and can be provided with a range of navigation mechanisms, particularly if hypertext technology is used.

Brown and Duguid also argue that electronic documents (such as e-mail) can be used instead of phone messages to introduce delay and fixity into what would otherwise be ephemeral exchanges [Brown and Duguid, 1995]; one should not only think of electronic documents in terms of mutability and immediacy.

Last modified: Monday, 18-Sep-2017 03:27:00 AEST

© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * *