In this paper we discuss the experience of publishing a journal in both a traditional and an electronic edition. In particular, we take into account our journal Doctor Virtualis, devoted to the history of medieval thought, trying to understand what the limitations and problems of electronic publishing are and where the paper edition is really different from the electronic one. Starting from our experience, we then try to better understand what electronic publishing actually is. We critically discuss the usual analogy between traditional publishing and electronic publishing, by proposing a new analogy between the web and the medieval cultural environment. This new analogy helps in understanding some complex processes on the web and in proposing new approaches to transform paper texts into electronic products. To this end, we show how rhetoric plays a crucial role in adapting the text to the medium and how new paradigms for text editing could help in finding a (preliminary) definition of electronic publishing.