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I too find it difficult to imagine life without a novel on the beach or the BMJ in the loo. But the very nature of the imaginative process roots it in the familiar. I fear we are about to enter a world unfamiliar to most of us over the age of 30. Gutenberg is giving way to Gates. And I urge myself to embrace it with a grin. Electronic Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI Online) was born in September alongside other illustrious journals at HighWire Press, a division of the Stanford University's Green Library, whose mission is to “foster research and instruction by providing a more direct link between the writers and readers of scholarly materials”.1 This is not a gimmick, but an effort to stay one step ahead of the inevitable. As a 19th century philosopher once said, freedom is the recognition of necessity. We chose this path freely but, as pioneers, we want also to influence how things develop.
As with most revolutions the e-revolution is essentially unavoidable. This one has come about because the scientific community believes that scientific research belongs to all. Some original papers are already being put on the web, for all to see, on sites such as the NIH's PubMed Central. It is not a wild guess that in a few …