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Ohio University professor launches electronic journal to connect worldwide network of scholars

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 14, 2005) -- With the launch of Global Economy Journal as an electronic publication, Ohio University is at the hub of a global network of scholars.

When Ohio Eminent Research Professor Al Eckes was named executive vice president of the International Trade and Finance Association in May, he sought a way to best connect the association's 300 members in 30 countries. With input from others across campus, Eckes decided that electronic publishing offered the best means to effectively communicate with a constituency that is wide-ranging in both the members' expertise and their global locations.

Berkeley Electronic Press publishes the journal, lending both professional expertise and legitimacy to the enterprise. The second issue of the Global Economy Journal was recently published and is available online at www.bepress.com/gej/.  

"Kent Mulliner of Ohio University Libraries first advanced the idea of going online and suggested I contact the Berkeley Electronic Press, which has been doing many innovative things and has a stable of journals that are produced electronically," Eckes said. "This type of publishing is popular in other fields and really puts Athens and the university at the hub of a specific academic university, a type of invisible empire."

"With assistance from [manager of academic technology in Computer Services] Dick Piccard, I designed and set up a Web site (www.ohio.edu/itfa/) for the organization. The site showcases Ohio University as the host institution and provides information about the International Trade and Finance Association and its activities," Eckes said.

Producing an electronic journal saves time and money, with no stamps or additional staff needed. This type of initiative is also essential to a collaboration that involves researchers, writers and scholars on six continents.

For example, Eckes recently received a submission from a professor at the University of the South Pacific in the Fiji Islands. The manuscript was returned for revisions and rewrites the same day, then forwarded to reviewers in Switzerland and Australia.

"The success of this project shows that Ohio University has the capability to be at the center of a global network of scholars and professionals working on important economic trends that are shaping the future that can have an impact on a number of areas that affect people worldwide," Eckes said.

In one 24-hour period, more than 1,000 articles were downloaded from the journal.

"The journal definitely has a global presence," Eckes said. "We live in an integrated world where goods and information flow rapidly and easily and where instantaneous communication is the norm, not the exception, and this project reflects all of that."

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Media Contact: Ohio Eminent Research Professor Al Eckes, (740) 593-0099 or eckes@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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