CD-ROMs are an emerging alternative to paper publication and should be considered as a format for some Ag Experiment Station and Extension publications. Marketing the change to CDs to authors can be difficult. We emphasized the advantages of CDs, such as keyword searching, ability to hold several publications on one disk, and reduced printing costs. We also shared with authors a rough assessment of the audience’s computer capability and willingness to accept a short, summary-type publication at events with the full publication available electronically. We projected savings of more than $20,000 in one year by converting six Agricultural Experiment Station publications to CDs; to date the projections have been within $300 of actual savings. A “print friendly” design was chosen for the CDs because printed copies will be available to the public on demand. Because audience use of information has to be considered, CDs may not be best for publications designed as an in-the-field reference. Adopting CDs over paper publications was necessary to meet budget goals and also was beneficial for much of the public, who will get a searchable, comprehensive package of information rather than a single publication.
Rhodenbaugh, Eric; Holcombe, Gloria; and Hartman, Amy
"Changing Horses: Shifting Agricultural Experiment Station Publications from Paper to Electronic Format,"
Journal of Applied Communications:
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