D-Lib Magazine Pioneered Web-Based Scholarly Communication

Michael L. Nelson, Herbert Van de Sompel

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeContribution to conference proceedingsScientificpeer-review


The web began with a vision of, as stated by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, "that much academic information should be freely available to anyone". For many years, the development of the web and the development of digital libraries and other scholarly communications infrastructure proceeded in tandem. A milestone occurred in July, 1995, when the first issue of D-Lib Magazine was published as an online, HTML-only, open access magazine, serving as the focal point for the then emerging digital library research community. In 2017 it ceased publication, in part due to the maturity of the community it served as well as the increasing availability of and competition from eprints, institutional repositories, conferences, social media, and online journals - the very ecosystem that D-Lib Magazine nurtured and enabled. As long-time members of the digital library community and frequent contributors to D-Lib Magazine, we reflect on the many innovations that D-Lib Magazine pioneered and were made possible by the web, including: open access, HTML-only publication and embracing the hypermedia opportunities afforded by HTML, persistent identifiers and stable URLs, rapid publication, and community engagement. Although it ceased publication after 22 years and 265 issues, it remains unchanged on the live web and still provides a benchmark for academic serials and web-based publishing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISBN (Print)9781450393454
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameJCDL '22
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery


  • D-lib magazine
  • open access
  • digital libraries
  • scholarly communication
  • worldwide web


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