The high costs asociated with the traditional method of publishing magazines – print on paper – are the main reason for the irregular issuing of many low print run cultural periodicals. The costs of offset preparation, paper and print constitute the highest entries in the magazine’s budget. Considering the distribution costs and the insufficient means devoted to advertising and promotion, the traditional distributing and publishing system proves inefficcient.

During the last several years the amount of subscribed cultural magazines has dropped, especially in comparison to the level of retail sales. The custom of subscribing to magazines is gradually disappearing. Public libraries, the major subscriber of ambitious cultural periodicals, are now facing serious financial problems, due to which many of them do not extend the subscription.

Additionally - if we consider the rising cost of a single copy due to the lowering of print run - the publishers face the problem of an often inadequate calculation of the desired amount of printed magazines, and, consequently, additional costs of returns.

Poor financial conditions causing the magazines to appear irregularly are only one reason for the rising popularity of the Internet as a medium. Online publishing allows cultural magazines to gain a wider auditorium, improves their accessibility, quickens the exchange of ideas. It also allows to lower the production costs of printed versions and to gain new subscribers. Apart from the subscription of the traditional, paper version of a journal, the publisher can now offer an online subscription: full versions of the magazine may be supplied in an electronic form, for example as a .pdf file. Furthermore, the Internet provides a chance to reach the inhabitants of small cultural centres and allows them to present their achievements to the wider public.

By means of the Journal Showcase program and the Witryna.Czasopism.pl project the Open Source Culture Foundation helps editorial offices of low print run social and cultural magazines to publish their material online. The Foundation supports new technical solutions which allow to reduce the costs of production and distribution of printed magazine editions. As part of the Journals Showcase project we have prepared web applications which allow to create electronic versions and archives of cultural magazines. The Foundation will also support and promote the usage of Open Source software for creating an online environment for cultural periodicals.

The Foundation will also conduct classes concerning the methods of increasing the sale rate of publications available online. Other points of interest include adjusting the print run to the real amount of readers by means of Internet solutions and the print-on-demand technology. The Foundation develops, implements and provides sample technical solutions concerning the abovementioned field and issues grants, which enable the editors and publishers of low print run, non-commercial cultural magazines to publish and popularise their material online.