puzzling over prints

I am trying to understand what constitutes an edition of prints..artists proofs and how one establishes,maintains and develops editions of prints. I sent a note off to my contact at Syracuse to see what he knew or if he knew someone I could contact about this. All the really basic reading I have done is about prints and printmaking surrounding an ink contacting a stone,a wood block, or a metal plate. With that sort of
print making, something wears out (besides the artist)--and it self limits. However, now that we are making prints or giclees from a tireless printer that needs some care and feeding, cleaning and ink cartridges replaces, the ability to make endless numbers of prints--all consistent and consistently excellent--the whole making process has changed albeit by creating a limit to print editions adds value for the end buyer and limits the artist from going haywire with quantities. Can anyone out there point me in a direction to get the low down on this?