Developments in net based academic publishing since 1999 are reviewed in light of the requirements of the Deconstructed Journal (DJ) academic publishing model. This model proposes that all the activities of traditionaljournal publishing could be carried out by a group of co-operating independent agents without the necessary requirement of a publisher to co-ordinate them. It is shown that most of the elements required for the DJpublishing model to operate are now available. The one major element missing is the independent Certification Agent (CA). The role of the CA in the DJ model is to provide quality control (refereeing, etc.) and to confirmthis it should affix its ‘seal of approval’ to the document. Document integrity and authentication are described and the operation of Digital Signatures (DSs) reviewed including current usage problems. It is concluded that easy to use DSs or similar tools are needed to allow the emergence of truly independent CAs but the reward will be documents that are completely free.