From 1992 to 2002, CEEBP supported dozens of literary journals to enhance intellectual debate and book reviews. It awarded grants for translation and production, but in order to assist the journals to increase their circulation more effectively and to ensure their continuing existence, CEEBP also provided training, offered programs aimed at enlarging subscriptions, and stimulated journals to go online.
In 2000, CEEBP assisted the Central and East European Library Online, CEEOL, to set up an online platform enabling Central and East European publishers to publish, distribute and sell electronic versions of their periodicals in the fields of literature, the humanities and the social sciences. See further details
Since 2002, CEEBP has supported the Transitions On Line (TOL) for its Book Review section.
An online library that will contain a wealth of information on literature, arts, humanities, and politics from Central and Eastern Europe is in the making. Soon, if you log on to the website www.ceeol.com you will find the original texts of cultural, socio-political and philosophical periodicals from the region. The initiative to build the electronic reading room comes from the Frankfurt-based Palais Jalta East-West centre. According to the initiators, it is time for the exchange of information to flow in both directions, not only from West to East, but also from East to West.
The Central and East European Online Library offers readers anywhere in the world the possibility of closely following developments and debates in Central and Eastern Europe. The site is meant for émigré communities, public libraries, university and other research institutions, but also for Western media, governments, and non-governmental institutions. They can order - online - articles not only in their original language, but also in translation. The CEEOL server should become an indispensable tool for institutions and individuals interested in developments in Central and Eastern Europe.
Every article is registered in a detailed catalogue database by the author's name, the title, periodical, keywords, and a short English abstract. Access to the database is free-of-charge; downloading of the full text, however, costs money. The payment will be processed electronically. For those periodicals which offer their contents to CEEOL free-of-charge, the server opens up the possibility of widening their audience and adding income: 40 percent of the turnover will go to the publishers. In addition to the contents of journals, CEEOL will offer a huge collection of annotated links to Central European websites. It will also publish information about the authors and publishers, digital art, and documentary exhibitions.
Central and Eastern European Library Online - CEEOL
CEEOL has become an online archive, which provides access to the full text of more than 70 thousand articles from 340 journals in humanities and social sciences, and re-digitised documents pertaining to Central and East European topics. The collection includes many literary and cultural journals from Central and Eastern Europe.
CEEOL provides publishers also with a digital re-edition of books and a distribution platform for eBooks, DiBiDo.
Compared with the cover price, the production costs of Central and East European journals are often too high. The cover price should be raised, but publishers are hesitant to take such measures because they fear - not without reason - that their reading public will decrease. If, however, they could offer subscriptions at a cheaper rate, the risk would be diminished, while their source of income will improve. Larger numbers of loyal subscribers are a guarantee for the continuing existence of journals.
The CEEBP offers quality journals a gradually decreasing three-year subsidy to cover the difference between subscription rate and cover price. In this manner, the CEEBP will finance the lower subscription rates. The subsidy will decrease from 100 percent of the difference (first year), to 70 percent (second year) and then to 40 percent (third and last year). Until recently, such a scheme was offered only for library subscriptions. The new set-up is meant for individual subscribers, too. The support will include money to be used for promoting subscriptions.
The CEEBP also encourages journals to find a new public via the Internet. Journals can apply for support to develop a new website or improve the existing site, as well as for assistance in defraying the costs of using a server or computer equipment. Electronic publishing offers opportunities for promotion, distribution, redesigning the lay-out, reducing printing and distribution costs, and attracting advertisers.
The editor of the Belgrade monthly Alexandria is very enthusiastic about the effect of his website, which has been up and running for about a year. New readers and advertisers are being attracted, visitors are offering articles and manuscripts that may be of interest to him, and through the website, all kinds of national and international contacts are being made. Other magazine publishers, such as the Hungarian BUKSZ, have similar experience.