First Monday


The Idea

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. Since its start in May 1996, First Monday has published 690 papers in 120 issues; these papers were written by 823 different authors. First Monday is indexed in Communication Abstracts, Computer & Communications Security Abstracts, DoIS , eGranary Digital Library, INSPEC, ISI’s Web of Knowledge, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, LISA,PAIS, and other services.

First Monday was born in the summer of 1995 in a proposal by eventual Chief Editor Edward J. Valauskas to the Danish publisher Munksgaard, to start a new Internet–only, peer–review journal about the Internet. Munksgaard, an internationally renowned publisher of scientific and medical journals, agreed to publish the journal in September 1995. Valauskas began to organize an editorial board as well as a group of senior editors to manage the journal. Esther Dyson joined First Monday as Consulting Editor and Rishab Aiyer Ghosh joined as International Editor. The Editorial Board was formed, including Vint Cerf, Tony Durham, Bob Hettinga, Ed Krol, Bonnie Nardi, Ian Peter, and Rich Wiggins.

In October 1995, Valauskas, Dyson, and Anders Geersten, then Vice President of Journals for Munksgaard, met in Copenhagen, to discuss operational and other aspects about the journal. The name of the journal was chosen, First Monday, based on its planned frequency, with issues appearing on the first Monday of every month. Harvey Macaulay, Munksgaard’s graphic designer, developed the graphic design and interface for the journal, and Mondo Media in Copenhagen handled mark–up, illustrations, and other duties for each issue.

Manuscripts were solicited over the next few months, by Valauskas, Dyson, and Ghosh as well as by members of the Editorial Board. A scheduled first issue on January 1996 was missed due to a lack of high–quality papers. Finally, by early spring 1996, a number of excellent papers were available, ready for publication in the first issue. It was agreed that this first issue would appear at the Fifth International World Wide Web Conference in Paris, on the first Monday in May 1996 (6 May). At the Web Conference, diskettes with the first issue were distributed, plus tee–shirts with the distinctive First Monday logo. The server was accessible from Copenhagen at and press releases were widely distributed online.

The original publication model devised by Munksgaard provided open access to First Monday for its first year, if readers registered with Munksgaard and secured a password. A password permitted access to both the current issue and all archival issues. A subscription fee of 100 Danish kroner was suggested, but not required. In 1997, on its first anniversary, open access to the entire content of First Monday was provided, without passwords or fees.

In 1998, Munksgaard decided to sell First Monday. Valauskas, Dyson, and Ghosh purchased First Monday in December 1998. The server was moved from Copenhagen to Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University’s Library. The technical staff of the Library agreed to provide a server and support for First Monday, and this support continues to this day. First Monday’s address changed from to, with pointers from to to provide a smooth transition for all of First Monday’s readers.

The first successful First Monday conference took place in November 2001 in Maastricht, the Netherlands at the International Institute of Infonomics.

To celebrate First Monday’s tenth birthday in 2006, a conference will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 15–17 May 2006. The theme of the conference is Openness: Code, science and content. More information can be found at

First Monday’s editorial group has expanded, with the welcome addition of Varol Akman, Virgilio Almeida, Ricardo Baeza–Yates, Ellen Christiansen, Andreas Harsono, Ahmed Kassem, Andrew Odlyzko, Tony Rutkowski, Guido Sohne, Ilkka Tuomi, and Naoki Ueno.

The Editors and Editorial Board welcome manuscripts on a variety of Internet issues. Over the course of its history, contributions to First Monday have arrived from 30 countries around the world. Contributors to First Monday include Phil Agre, Virgilio Almeida, Aleksander Berentsen, Howard Besser, Sandra Braman, John Seely Brown, Steve Cisler, Paul Duguid, Esther Dyson, Simson L. Garfinkel, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Nathan Glazer, Michael H. Goldhaber, Andreas Harsono, Bernardo A. Huberman, David R. Johnson, Brian Kahin, Ethan Katsh, Jessica Litman, Clifford Lynch, Lev Manovich, Mary Minow, Miranda Mowbray, Bonnie Nardi, David F. Noble, Beth Simone Noveck, Andrew M. Odlyzko, Ilya Prigogine, David Post, Trevor Pinch, Eric S. Raymond, David Ronfeldt, Pamela Samuelson, Abigail Sellen, Linus Torvalds, Ilkka Tuomi, Hal R. Varian, and Richard Wiggins. We look forward to your continued support and interest in this unique publication, as a reader, contributor, and friend of First Monday.

The People Index

Copyright © 1996–2006, First Monday