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eLearning and Digital Publishing (Computer Supported Cooperative Work)

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Our universities are facing immense pressures from within because of the increase in the ‘publish or perish’ syndrome. There are severe budgetary demands on university libraries attempting to enable access to this increasing avalanche of information. University teaching also needs to prepare graduates for a rapidly changing and connected world. This book explores the role of technology in this challenging scenario. Technology is portrayed as part contributor to the challenges higher education faces, and also part contributor to the solutions we need to explore. This book is not a ‘doom and gloom’ exposition but is forward-looking, offering fresh insights and new strategies for understanding the nature of scholarly communication in higher education. In this book there are three threads that are constantly intertwined – information literacy, eLearning and digital publishing – with information literacy acting as the glue that connects eLearning and digital publishing.

This book was designed to occupy a unique niche in the literature accessed by library and publishing specialists, and by university teachers and planners. It examines the interfaces between the work done by these four groups of university staff who have been in the past quite separate from, or only marginally related to, each other. Yet all four groups are directly and intimately connected with the main functions of universities – the creation, management and dissemination of knowledge in a scholarly and reflective manner. The structure of the book has three main sections: the first has primarily an educational focus, the second a focus on digital publishing, and the third builds on the first two sections to examine overall implications for the growth of knowledge and scholarly communication.

This collection brings perspectives (in alphabetical order) from Australia, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States of America. Various chapters, therefore, examine the central concerns with different lenses. Our ability to understand the extent of the shifts that are occurring in modern universities, and still need to occur in the next few years, relies on our ability to synthesize ideas and experiences from a wide range of university staff. This is just what we hope this book offers.
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