E-documents:  The term e-document or e-text is a broader term that includes the document in ASCII text format. It may be content from a website, blog, wiki, discussion forum, discussion group, online journal and so on.

The salient features of electronic documents are:

i) They can be delivered to the desktop (although the desktop needs a computer)

ii) They can be read by more than one person at a time.

iii) The text can be searched.

iv) They can include multimedia and graphics, in color, at marginal cost.

v) They can be published more quickly than paper publications.

vi) They can be interactive; that is, they can foster an online exchange of ideas by e-mail.

vii) Have the ability to make hyperlinks, both internally and to other publications. This means that readers can link directly to references cited in an article and also, with additional effort on the part of publishers and indexers, to later articles that cite the article they are reading.

viii) Articles can be retrieved directly through links from abstracting and indexing databases.

ix) The content can be reproduced, forwarded, modified leading to possible problems with copyright protection and preserving authenticity.

            The main disadvantage is that, unless they are also printed on paper, they require specialized equipment for reading.

a) E-journal: E-Journal is an all-electronic, peer-reviewed periodical in a specific field or in a general field of interest. In the E-Journal environment the creation, transmission, storage, interpretation, alteration and replication of electronic "text" including "display" takes place in electronic form. Some electronic journals are online-only journals; some are online versions of printed journals, and some consist of the online equivalent of a printed journal, but with additional online-only material.

Some journals are subscription-based, or allow pay-per-view access. An increasing number of journals are now available as open access journals, requiring no subscription. Most working paper archives and articles on personal homepages are free, as are collections in Institutional repositories and Subject repositories.

Most electronic journals are published both in HTML and Portable Document Format (PDF) formats, but some are available in only one of the two. Some e-journals are available over the internet while some others are distributed on CD-ROMs, or by way of e-mail.

b) E-book: An e-book also called eBook, ebook, electronic book, is an electronic (or digital) equivalent of a conventional printed book and is a proprietary file formats.

Some e-books are produced simultaneously with the production of a printed book, though in many instances they may not be put on sale until later. Often, e-books are produced from pre-existing hard-copy books, generally by document scanning, sometimes with the use of Robotic Scanners, having the technology to quickly scan books without damaging the original print edition. Scanning a book produces an image file, which must then be converted into text format by an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program. Occasionally, an e-book may also be produced by re-entering the text from a keyboard. As a newer development, sometimes only the e-book form is produced by the publisher; it is usually possible technically to convert this to a printed book by short-run printing.

A writer or publisher has many options when it comes to choosing a format for production of e-book. Formats available include, but are by no means limited to image file (.png, .jpg), Microsoft Word or plain text files (.doc or .txt), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) (.html), Open Electronic Book Package Format (OPF), Portable Document Format (.pdf), etc.

The hardware device used to read books in digital format is known as an e-book device or e-book reader. The e-book reader includes FlipViewer®, Haali Reader and FBReader, Plucker, Acrobat Reader or Adobe Reader, Mobipocket (.prc), Cybook (Bookeen), iRex iLiad (based on eInk), Sony Reader (based on eInk), eBookwise-1150 (based on former Gemstar technology), Jinke Hanlin Reader (based on eInk), DNL Reader (http://www.dnaml.com/), eReader (formerly Palm Digital Media) (.pdb), etc.

Among the first Internet-only publishers of new e-books were Boson Books, Hard Shell Word Factory and Online Originals, all founded in the mid-1990s. Online Originals was the first e-book publisher to win mainstream book reviews (in the London Times) and a nomination for a major literary prize (the Booker Prize). Some of the free notable e-book repositories that are available over the web are

i) Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/).

ii) Facsimile Books & other digitally enhanced Works from: The University of Georgia Libraries (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/).

iii) The Internet Public Library Online Texts Collection (http://www.ipl.org/div/subject/browse/hum60.60.00/)

iv) ManyBooks.net  (http://manybooks.net/)

v) Econlib (http://www.econlib.org/)

vi) Higher intellect project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_intellect_project)

vii) epalm.org (http://www.epalm.org) 

viii) Explorion (http://explorion.net/).

vix) PocketPCBooks.net (http://www.pocketpcbooks.net/)

            The main advantages of e-books are

i) Searching: Text can be searched, except when represented in the form of images.

ii) Take up Little Space: Hundreds (or thousands) may be carried together on one device, Approximately 500 average e-books can be stored on one CD (equivalent to several shelves' worth of print books).

iii) Royalties Generation for Authors: E-books can be offered indefinitely, with no “out of print” date, allowing authors to continue to earn royalties indefinitely, and allowing readers to find older works by favorite authors.

iv) Zooming Facility: Type size and type face may be adjusted.

v) Backup Copy: A backup can be kept in a remote place, so cannot be lost by fire, etc.

vi) Low Cost: Can be distributed at low cost since coloring copy also does not cost much.

vii) Speedy Distribution: Distributed instantly, allowing readers to begin reading at once, without the need to visit a bookstore.

viii) Sharing: Can be simultaneously shared with many readers.

ix) Environmentally Viable: Economically and environmentally viable by cutting down on paper and lumber production, economically viable by cutting down on ink production

x) Preservation: Does not wear over time, no risk of damage, vandalism, etc. on the pages.

Some of the disadvantages of e-books are:

i) Can be incompatible with the development of new hardware or software.

ii) To avoid damage or loss care must be taken in handling and storage of the books.

iii) Continuous reading can be harmful to the eyes.

iv) Always need some equipment to read the book.

Since the late 1990s, the many newcomers to e-book publishing have included most major print publishers. At the same time, many established e-publishers started to offer print versions of some of their titles. Thus the line between the two is fast blurring.

E-books have their own bestseller lists, including those compiled by IDPF and Fictionwise. They even have two yearly awards for excellence in e-books. The longest-standing and most inclusive of these is the EPPIE award, given by EPIC since 2000. The other is the Dream Realm Award, first awarded to speculative fiction e-books in 2002.