The Publishers Association has been monitoring developments in new technology as they affect publishing over a period of years. The central forum for discussions has been the Electronic Publishing Committee. Three main areas of electronic publishing have been identified as areas into which traditional publishers will want to extend their activities. These are databases/document delivery systems, video/film publishing and the development of computer software. The Committee has produced a number of publications including an introductory guide to electronic publishing, a survey of microcomputers in schools, a check‐list of opportunities and pitfalls which publishers may encounter, and lists of organisations active in the various areas of electronic publishing. These last lists indicated that of 81 organisations currently active in video and online publishing only 6 could be described as traditional publishing firms, so in looking at the market overall, we are talking about the policies of nascent specialist industries as well as those of present publishers in print. As far as databases and document delivery systems are concerned, the activities of the Committee have largely to date concentrated on the establishment of Publishers Databases Limited, a novel co‐operative company through which publishers can, through individual shareholdings, invest jointly in setting up their own distribution systems. The brochure of this company is currently available to bona fide print publishers on specific request to The Publishers Association.
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