Announcing Emerald Backfiles – Note from the publisher

Bringing knowledge to new readers and
re-opening historical scholarship

We are pleased to announce that as part of Emerald’s 40th anniversary year commemoration, we will be digitizing our entire full-text article inventory and delivering the backfiles of all Emerald’s live journals online in 2008.

Emerald currently provides the full-text of its journals online from 1994 onwards (when we first started to capture content electronically). Through the digitization of the backfiles, all articles will be made available online from the very first volumes of the journals. This is a very large project and we are partnering with the British Library to scrupulously source and scan each article. We anticipate that we will be able to achieve virtually 100 per cent coverage of full-text article content, adding over 50,000 articles to our existing database of 85,000 items.

There are a number of key benefits for our authors in digitizing the backfile articles. Over recent years we have seen a huge increase in the usage of articles online. (In 2007 alone we anticipate over 19.5 million article downloads.) This clearly highlights changes in reader behaviour; content is chiefly accessed online rather than via the hard-copy journals. However, having undertaken some analysis, we have identified that over 12per cent of cited Emerald articles are not available online. In addition, four of the five most cited papers in Emerald journals were published before 1994.

Therefore, through digitizing the archive, we will be able to bring this knowledge to new readers and re-open historical scholarship. In turn this will maximize the dissemination, usage and citation of your work.

Further, guaranteed perpetual access to all Emerald article content is a cornerstone of our publishing mission. Working in collaboration with LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe), digital preservation of Emerald articles will be secured on behalf of librarians and the community at large in the event of a disaster. We are unable to guarantee perpetual access in hard copy.

With only a few exceptions, Emerald holds the copyright to the content it has published or acquired. This has enabled us to invest in this project. However, as a responsible publisher, we wish to communicate our plans to digitize the Backfiles to any author who has had an article published in an Emerald journal prior to 1994 or has had an article published in a journal that Emerald acquired without a digitized archive. If you have any specific objections to your article being digitized and disseminated electronically, please do contact us immediately.

We hope that you will be as excited about the Emerald Backfiles project as we are and, as always, thank you for the contributions you have made to Emerald journals over the years.

Yours sincerely,


Rebecca Marsh
Publishing Director
Emerald Group Publishing Limited