Broadening use of the Internet has spawned new online publications and induced changes in journals. Many print journals have now gone to electronic format, either to supplant or to complement print editions. These journals typically adhere to the same gate-keeping mechanisms, including peer review, that they developed for print. Some journals that publish exclusively in electronic form, for example Postmodern Culture,35 also have gate-keeping mechanisms equivalent to those for print. Others occupy a position midway between self-publishing and reliance on peer review, having submissions reviewed by the editors but not by outside readers. As long as editorial policies are clear to users, these electronic journals, whether partially or fully reviewed, can perform valuable services. Similar observations can be made about “technical reports” in computer science, which are usually published by the researcher’s organization and typically do not involve peer review. Web sites published through individual initiatives, lacking any validation mechanism, can have content that ranges widely from the authoritative to the misleading.


For IT-informed literary ventures and other forms of creative expression, Web-specific practices are needed for carrying out some of the reviewing functions that have developed over three or four centuries for artistic production. This is especially important given the surge in volume of material associated with the enabling of creative efforts by amateurs. One way this concept is being implemented is through curated Web sites that screen large amounts of material, evaluate the products, and then feature only those deemed to be the best. These sites combine traditional reviewing functions with the collection functions served by galleries and museums, where visitors can be assured that they will be able to see several pieces gathered together in a single physical location. As curated Web sites gradually gain credibility, they serve as important display sites for audiences interested in electronic art but unsure where to find it. Existing sites of this type include those curated by Marjorie Luesebrink, Jennifer Ley, and Carolyn Guertin that assemble the best of Web-specific electronic literature: “Progressive Dinner Party” and “Jumpin at the Diner.”36 “Best of the Web: Museums and the Web,” a juried competition coordinated by Maria Economou, identifies museum winners in the categories of online exhibition, museum’s professional site, educational use, and research site.37 Even individually curated sites can provide valuable recognition; for example, the Digital Libarian site38 produced

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