A digital edition is an online magazine or online newspaper delivered in electronic form which is formatted identically to the print version. Digital editions are often called digital facsimiles to underline the likeness to the print version. Digital editions have the benefit of reduced cost to the publisher and reader by avoiding the time and the expense to print and deliver paper edition. This format is considered more environmentally friendly due to the reduction of paper and energy use. These editions also often feature interactive elements such as hyperlinks both within the publication itself and to other internet resources, search option and bookmarking, and can also incorporate multimedia such as video or animation to enhance articles themselves or for advertisement purposes. Some delivery methods also include animation and sound effects that replicate turning of the page to further enhance the experience of their print counterparts. Magazine publishers have traditionally relied on two revenue sources: selling ads and selling magazines. Additionally some publishers are using other electronic publication methods such as RSS to reach out to readers and inform them when new digital editions are available.
Current technologies are generally either reader-based, requiring a download of an application and subsequent download of each edition, or browser-based, often using Macromedia Flash , requiring no application download (such as Adobe Acrobat). Some application-based readers allow users to access editions while not connected to internet. Dedicated hardware such as the Amazon Kindle and the iPad is also available for reading digital editions of select books, popular national magazines such as Time, The Atlantic, and Forbes and popular national newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Archives of print newspapers, in some cases dating hundreds of years back, are being digitized and made available online. Google is indexing existing digital archives produced by the newspapers themselves or by third parties.
Newspaper and magazine archival began with microform film formats solving the problem of efficiently storing and preserving. This format, however, lacked accessibility. Many libraries, especially state libraries in the United States are archiving their collections digitally and converting existing microfilm to digital format. The Library of Congress provides project planning assistance and the National Endowment for the Humanities procures funding through grants from its National Digital Newspaper Program.
Digital magazines, ezines, e-editions and emags are sometimes referred to as digital editions, however some of these formats are published only in digital format unlike digital editions which replicate a printed edition as well.