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1. The birth of the electronic journal In the autumn of 1987 Michael Ehringhaus and Bird Stasz of Syracuse University launched New horizons in adult education, probably the very first refereed scientific journal to be published in electronic form ( g. 1. 1). The rst issue was sent over the Adult Education Network (AEDNET). The journal still 2 exists today. In March 1991 Ted Jennings of the University at Albany (State 3 University of New York) launched EJournal, described as an ‘electronic journal concerned with the implications of electronic networks and texts’ ( g. 1. 2), coining the now popular term e-journal. The Online journal of current clinical trials, published from September 1991, has been described as the first peer 45 reviewed electronic journal in medicine. How significant is the phenomenon of the scientific electronic journal today, more than a decade and a half after its introduction? Over this period information and communication technologies (ICT) have been an important factor in the development of scientific communication. Applications such as communication over digital networks (converging towards a single network – the Internet), the use of computerized systems for creating, storing and retrieving 1 The scientific journal is also referred to as ‘scholarly’ or ‘research’ journal. We use the former term in this study. 2 Although no longer distributed over AEDNET but through the World Wide Web. The first issue is now ? available at http://www. nova. edu/ aed/horizons/vol1n1.