Electronic sources are basically different from printed sources due to their completely different media-technological conditions. Internet publications, in contrast to periodicals in printed form, are neither spatially nor temporally bound, nor are they restricted to one specific media format: Beside written and static image documents they can also transport audio and film data, they can be read without time delay and they can be read without time delay and independent of their production sity on any internet-accessed computer in the world, they can be updated any time and due to the comparatively low financial costs and little technical and logistical effort can even be produced and published by one single person or – on the other hand – allows an unlimited number of authors to collaborate, thus reducing the role of the editor to that of a webmaster. The briefly sketched characteristics of digital literary „magazines“ makes it necessary for us in this project to abandon the definitions of „magazine“ and „journal“ as they have been used up to predigital times.
This means

- that first of all we will aspire to openess as a matter of principle, primarily because today it is in not possible to anticipate what will be of importance in the future. It would run contrary to the research purpose of this project if we were to already determine certain genres in advance. It is, however, a clear objective of this project to document the results at the end and thus also provide a detailed description of the applied selection criteria.
- Since, however, it is not possible to do entirely without any restricting criteria even in the beginning in order to gaurantee the feasibility of a project whose scope is temporally and financially limited, periodicity will therefore be an indispensable criterion for the selection. Certain genres that by the very nature are not open-ended, such us writers homepages, will be excluded. A further limiting criterium will be to scrutinize the public profile of each individual website. This can be determined by the following:
- the duration of at least half a year, in which time a website periodically appears with new contents
- the effect, which can be proved through crossreferences in other publications.

As has already been pointed out in the title of the project, we will include only purely online published magazines in order to distinguish our project clearly from the domain of traditional research projects focusing on print formats.
This means that online versions of printed magazines and journals will be excluded if the content of both versions do not differ in a significant way from each other.
It is of utmost significance to our project to make a clear distinction between born online publications and those publications in the internet which originally appeared in printed form because the primary goal is to describe, analyse and document an area of literary production which originated on the internet and which, due to the transitory nature of the internet and digital media, might otherwise be permanently lost to future generations.

We will also include hybrid types, such as online magazines offering pdf-downloads, print on demand editions, or printed versions that are published at the same time or after the online version because these sources  also originated on the internet and are thus part of the literary scene which emerged from the internet. Furthermore, services, such as pdf-download and POD do not guarantee per se long-term availability; thus it is necessary to preserve their digital source as well. Post-printed versions published in addition to the original online version often appear only after the magazine has been successful for a certain time in the internet. It would not make sense, therefore, to subsequently exclude such an online source only because of the later appearance of a limited edition in a printed version, moreover since some of them, as experience has shown, are abridged as well. Thus in such cases, we decide pragmatically in dubio pro reo.

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