The period in which ‘web publishing’ apparently meant ‘putting dead PDF’s on the Internet’ is as good as over. However, the so called ‘article of the furture’, in fact not more than a mishappened Christmas tree of hyperlinks in the text that was originally meant for reading, is not the way to go. The mistake is that publishers are apparently as of yet still unable to think enough out-of-the-box to depart from the ‘article’ as the principle unit of scientific cmmunication and migrate towards entirely new and computer enabled ways of scholarly communication. The brief period in which journals started to accept ‘supplementary data’ linked to classical articles is also coming to an end. The first journals are already abandoning this policy. First, because reviewers hardly ever come around to review these data sets. Second, because the data are frequently at the proverbial ‘laptop of the PhD student’ and therefore untraceable after a few years and third, because most data are in exotic, undoubtedly brilliant, but unreadable formats reinvented on a daily basis by bioinformaticians. On top of all of this, the archaic system used by universities and funding agencies to judge scientific output based on the article as the smallest unit of scientific communication is rapidly becoming one of the single most inhibitory factors in eScience.

« Evolution of web publishing »

A quote saved on Sept. 18, 2013.


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