Those of us working today in scholarly communications are surrounded by skeuomorphs on one side, truly new things on the other. We have the skeuomorph of Green open access, which attempts to take the materials of traditional publishing and bang it into a new form through self-archiving, but then we have the truly innovative PLoS ONE, which has no obvious or immediate forebear. (The flagship journals of the Public Library of Science, on the other hand, are full-blooded skeumorphisms, copying traditional publishing exactly and then adding a dash of open access.) We have scholars who print out articles before reading them, but we also have a growing number of APIs, data-mining services, and Big Data. The world is not one way or the other, at least not yet.

What is missing, though, is an industry-wide commitment to think about new media as new media. Rather than contrast and compare it to print, we could be thinking about digital media’s unique properties. We should not be replacing print collections with digital ones; we should be superseding them.