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Presentation Details


Interface Issues for Electronic Publishing: What Should the New 'Book' Look Like

Paul Mercieca.

The printed book, as an artefact, has withstood the test of time. We are used to the linear structure of the book format and to the conventions of an index and content page for 'non-linear navigation'. The migration to online publishing sees the need for a new artefact and a new navigational process. This paper will explore some of the current interfaces used for the publishing of e-books and other electronic titles. The paper will examine the features that are being called on from the market place. A focus of the paper is the functionality that higher education students have identified for electronic texts. This is based on evaluative feedback from students completing electronic publishing course at RMIT. There has also been interest from libraries as a means to provide access to e-book titles. This interest may assist in drawing e-books into mainstream access. However, libraries are also calling on functionality that can assist in the integration of these digital texts into their collections. This functionality is needed for the digital texts to ‘compete’ with the traditional books that are housed in the collections. This paper will outline some of the identified functionality for digital texts and examine current trends in design for digital texts. This examination will be presented from a digital publishing perspective as a means to determine functionality that is required for successful electronic publication.


Paul Mercieca  (Australia)
Lecturer – Information Management and Digital Publishing
School of Business Information Technology
RMIT Business

Paul Mercieca is a lecturer in Information Management and Digital Publishing at RMIT University. Paul’s academic profile includes issues associated with electronic publishing and e-business modeling. Prior to this, Paul was Publisher and Strategic Development Manager for RMIT Publishing where he led the development of online publishing initiatives. He holds a Master of Business (Information technology), which examined interface design issues for online bibliographic content.

  • Electronic publishing
  • Interface design

(30 min Conference Paper, English)