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The focus of the research dealing with libraries was on their potential new role as publishers. This phase of the research took the form of a series of in-depth case-studies conducted at five libraries in the U.K. and Europe. Each library was jointly or solely responsible for a significant and innovative electronic publishing project. The research methodology consisted of careful selection of five very different libraries, investigation of publicly available materials about their activities (both published articles and Web-sites), and a site visit combined with interviews. The interview questions covered definitions of publishing, questions of commercial sustainability, the role of libraries, the origins of the particular project, the critical factors for its success and a SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) section.
The intention of this phase of the research was to get a sense of how a range of libraries were approaching the challenges of the new technologies and rethinking the role they could play in the system of scholarly communication (see 8: Library Case Studies on page 145). The results are therefore primarily relevant to an analysis of the roles and practices of one key group of stakeholders and secondarily to the form and function of scholarly communication artefacts as published by these stakeholders.
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