Electronic journals are rapidly increasing in importance as a means of communication, but there is, as yet, little available in the way of training in their production or use. An experimental online electronic journal has therefore been established to provide such training. The journal is provided on the World Wide Web as a distributed activity: in the recently concluded evaluation phase, issues were produced at three nodes Loughborough University, City University and the University of South Australia. The students involved in the evaluation have been on courses in information, library and publishing studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The main training topics are: accessing electronic journals and evaluating interfaces; refereeing and editing; evaluating layout and design. The results of the evaluation show that this simulation approach is highly acceptable to students. It also has the value of highlighting areas where students are uncertain, or experience problems in handling the material. Student reactions to, and comments on, electronic journals appear to parallel those among actual users of such journals. Hence the training activity throws some light on the general problems that can be expected in making the transition from printed to electronic journals. As a result of the evaluation activities reported here, an online training package is being assembled, which will be made available over the Internet.
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