The principal affordance of publishing texts online: Possible implications for the bibliographic universe model


  • Steven L. MacCall School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama



Textual transmission, networked publishing, WEMI


In this presentation, I argue for focusing the attention of classification theorists on the implications of what I argue to be the principal affordance of publishing texts online, in contrast to their publication on paper, and that is the capability for an author or creator to update an online text without the text having to be republished as a new physical edition. This affordance is a result of the possibilities provided for by a shift in the materiality of textual carrier from physical to digital. I examine the implications of this capability for the WEMI model and argue that its starting point in terms of online “things” in the bibliographic universe should be modeled more granularly.