E‐publishing readiness assessment in Iranian publishing companies

Publication Date09 Aug 2011
AuthorSamrand Toufani,Gholam Ali Montazer
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
E-publishing readiness
assessment in Iranian publishing
Samrand Toufani and Gholam Ali Montazer
Department of Information Technology, School of Engineering,
Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Purpose The purpose of this paper is first to construct an e-publishing model and then to
implement the model in Iranian publishers.
Design/methodology/approach – This article critically tries to evaluate Iranian publishing
companies involved in e-publishing based on a new model which is made in this paper. Moreover, it
has tried to investigate the readiness of the society and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
as a legislator toward e-publishing. Furthermore, some suggestions to remove challenges toward
e-publishing based on the findings will be made.
Findings – A new e-publishing readiness model is made based on e-readiness prior models. Based on
the new model, the e-publishing readiness level of Iranian publishing companies is evaluated. It was
found that, to improve e-publishing, it is necessary to have a holistic view toward the model in a way
that considers all dimensions of e-publishing. Furthermore, it was found that in some constructs like
technical infrastructure, social, and economical and financial constructs, Iranian publishers did not
enjoy a good status, while in other factors this was better. Consequently, based on these finding, some
suggestions are made toward improving the e-publishing readiness level of Iranian publishers.
Originality/value – This research is probably the first to support the perspective of critical issues
regarding e-readiness assessment in publishing companies based on macro models. It will give a good
insight which it is expected could be helpful for managers to consider the critical issues with respect to
e-readiness assessment of their organization in an effective way.
Keywords E-readiness,Electronic publishing, ConfirmatoryFactor Analysis, Publishers,Iran
Paper type Research paper
We are in the throes of another revolution in knowledge communication. The
complacent publishing industry that has been in deep slumber for 550 years since
Gutenberg invented the printing press in AD1452 is now being shaken up with the
advent of e-media (Moira, 2002). Electronic publishing (e-publishing) is the process of
creating and disseminating information via electronic means including e-mail and via
the web. The greatest benefit of electronic publishing is the richness of informati on
that is available to the end-user. Users now have access to information that print
technology could not deliver. For instance, encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
This research has been partially supported by ITRC (Iran Telecommunication Research Center)
grant with the number 87-12-84 and the researchers wish to express their appreciation. The
authors would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Maryam Hoorali, Phd student of
Industrial Engineering Department, Tarbiat Modares University for her special assistance in the
drafting and editing of this paper.
Received March 2010
Accepted March 2010
The Electronic Library
Vol. 29 No. 4, 2011
pp. 470-487
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/02640471111156740
audio information which shows how certain words are pronounced – which is much
simpler and more straightforward to understand than trying to read and decipher
complex pronunciation guides provided in dictionaries.
Publishers have embraced electronic publishing technology because it speeds up
the publishing process, makes editorial changes easier to accomplish, and enables the
relatively small publishers to effectively participate in publishing activities. Electronic
publishing has opened up new markets such as publication of encyclopedias in
CD-ROM format, creation and distribution of electronic databases of indexing and
abstracting services, and electronic journals. In fact, since most of the publishers are
now requiring their authors to send in their manuscripts in electronic format, it is
relatively simple to load them on computers and make them available to readers and
libraries. By the end of 1980, these trends converged and the explosive phenomenon of
electronic publishing started taking shape.
The entrance of e-publishing was begun from 1996 with the imported compact
discs. These compact discs were generally databases of the abstract of the most
famous scientific researches in the world, and encyclopedias. By 2007, more than 4,300
e-books in different branches like education, religions, culture and art were made in the
forms of CDs (Enayat Tabar, 2006).
Recent empirical evidences from several countries show a strong tendency toward
information technology (IT) investment in general and e-publishing in particular.
However, most publishers in Iran still use their traditional business strategies and are
resistant to any changes. As e-publishing is in its infancy in Iran, it is necessary to
begin the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) at both
micro and macro levels to bring and ease the related changes of Iranian publishers. The
first step is assumed to be an e-readiness assessment. E-readiness of publishers is
defined in this paper as the ability of publishers to successfully adopt, use, and reap the
benefits of the current IT’s stratagem. In the following, we describe the e-readiness
concept and various e-readiness assessment tools in depth.
E-readiness concept
The concept of e-readiness is important because its level can be a strong predictor of
how well a country can perform in the new economy (Mutula and van Brakel, 2006a).
An e-readiness assessment would provide policy makers with a detailed scorecard of
their economy’s competitiveness relative to its international counterparts (Bui et al.,
2003). In the current internet age, competitiveness of countries is being increasingly
associated with their level of e-readiness (Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM
Corporation, 2004, p. 26). Countries with high level of e-readiness can use the internet to
improve services and create new opportunities and have a competitive edge over those
whose levels of e-readiness are low. Furthermore, high level of e-readiness allows
enterprises to transact business electronically in order to achieve less turn-around time,
faster delivery of services, enhanced product selection, international competitiveness, a
broader market reach, increased convenience for customers, reduced procurements
costs, decreased average transaction costs, efficient purchasing processes, enhanced
profitability, faster and limitless access to new customers and suppliers, increased
depth of communication, exchange of information, and enhanced open standards
allowing start-ups of small companies (Mutula and van Brakel, 2006b).

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