In 1665, academics experienced the first look at an academic journal published in print form. Print form journals had been the tried and tested way of publishing for the following 300 odd years. Now, with the onset of the 21st century bringing great technological advances, the internet provides the opportunity for online academic journal articles to be disseminated, translated, referred to and critiqued by academics worldwide. Journal articles are vital for academic discourse. Two examples of prominent online academic journals are: Asia Pacific Journal of Advanced Business and Social Studies and Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Education and Communication Technology.
Open discourse and collaboration with other researchers is essential when delving into large research questions. With the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society published in 1665, collaboration has required a partnership with the publishing industry. Yet, with the aid of the internet it is no longer essential for researchers to visit the library for access to hard copies of journals as they can now easily be found online academic journals on the internet. As the world becomes more reliant on the internet, changes in communicating, connecting, sharing and conducting business are evident in scientific research and academic publishing. Traditional journals normally come with expensive access fees, whilst online academic journals are usually free to access. Publishing in online journals equals higher visibility; as access is easier. Hence, potential collaborators and sponsors are easier to reach.
Online journals, originally on CD-ROMs, now have all of the print version features and can arguably replace print. The electronic version can be a duplicate of the print version or simply be published electronically without a print form. In academic and research libraries, the latter is expanding quickly. Additionally, there are opportunities for integrated text, hypertext links and multimedia not available to print editions. Moreover, articles can be published online much faster than waiting for publication in a hard copy edition.
Social media provides ways to facilitate the bi-directional flow of information between authors and readers. Social media or blog posts can include the link to an online academic journal article directly for a viewer to access immediately. The viewer can then add to the discourse by commenting on the social media post once the article has been read, further enhancing the online experience. The article can also be sent around the internet in other ways, such as email.
More and more scholarly communications are becoming electronic, presenting a blurring of boundaries between research activities with research publishing in extremely integrated and interactive electronic environments. New technologies have had a large impact on the way research is conducted, but needs to be utilised more effectively for the way research is reported and peer-reviewed. These are some of the benefits to using online academic journals for researchers.