The publishing industry like many other industries has not escaped the impact of information technology in both the production and distribution of the information it creates. From earliest DTP techniques to the selling of books over the internet and the publishing of electronic journals the publishing industry has readily accepted technological innovation. Many publishers are now ready to embrace the potential of the web as a method of publishing and distribution rather than as a purely marketing tool. The main aim of this paper is to suggest an appropriate business model which will enable commercial electronic publishing to occur via the internet. When this model is in place it is likely that the traditional print information chain, will be redefined, the main changes occurring at the distribution and delivery level. However the end-user input also changes as electronic commerce provides the user with the ability to purchase smaller customised fragments of information sometimes directly from the source, i.e: the content creator. Although copyright and security are crucial to developments in this area, the paper does not attempt a detailed discussion of these issues and readers should refer to Swindells et al (1998).Likewise this work does not attempt to provide a detailed history of the publishing industry or of the internet. There are software applications which facilitate electronic commerce transactions, however this paper is concerned with the development of an appropriate model which could be adapted to the electronic publishing industry and not a discussion of software packages. The paper commences with a brief definition of electronic commerce. The relationship between electronic commerce and electronic and on-line publishing is discussed. Current models of internet commerce are presented in order to form a basis for an appropriate business model. This paper defines the traditional information chain in the print publishing context and attempts to define changes in the information chain arising from application of electronic commerce in the electronic and on-line publishing industries. There is a slight bias toward the academic environment as this is the area most familiar to the author.