This article reviews the present and expected future environments for network‐based electronic publishing and network access to bibliographic and journal databases. Emerging visions of “electronic libraries” are considered. The difficulties inherent in the development of full text and images as networked information are outlined. The growth and diversification of library collections in electronic form and the requisite network access systems are discussed, as are the prospect of increased resource sharing among libraries and the subsequent explosion of document delivery requests (and costs!). The issues of storage and format of electronic publishing are developed, and perspectives on electronic publishing are presented for all those involved: the author, the library, the reader, and the publisher. A change in the scope, and thereby in the definition, of the library is anticipated.
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