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Updated 10:00 AM September 10, 2007
 

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Interactive program takes publishing to new level

A virtual book discussion has taken on a new interactive form through the enterprising work of the University Library's Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO).

The SPO created a Web site featuring a report about the future of digital publishing using a program that allows readers to comment on long online texts, paragraph by paragraph.

The report, "University Publishing in a Digital Age," was written by Ithaka, a nonprofit group that promotes information technology in academia. The software, CommentPress, is an open source program developed by the Institute for the Future of the Book. Both were released in the same week of July, which prompted the SPO to attempt this experiment with interactive publication.

Shana Kimball, electronic projects editor at SPO, invites the campus community to join in this online discussion. She sees it as a model other university units might consider.

"Scholars and researchers could use it for pre-publication review of article drafts," Kimball suggests. "Students and instructors could use it to mount real-time, nuanced discussions of papers-in-progress."

The report is at scholarlypublishing.org/ithakareport.

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