Grid-based dynamic electronic publication: A case study using combined experiment and simulation studies of crown ethers at the air/water interface.
Esther R Rousay, Hongchen Fu, Jamie M Robinson, Jeremy G Frey, Jonathan W Essex
School of Chemistry, University of Southampton,
Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract The Publication@Source Paradigm and Challenges Body Molecular Dynamics Simulations Comparisons and Conclusions Acknowledgements Appendix:The TriScapeRDF browser References Glossary Search
Introduction Introduction .2 Introduction .3 Introduction .4 Implementation of Publication@Source Implementation of Publication@Source .2 Implementation of Publication@Source .3 Implementation of Publication@Source .4

Introduction .2

It is worthwhile pausing to consider that technological proposals for improving the dissemination of scientific knowledge have been suggested for some sixty years. Immediately prior to the Second World War, the novelist and scholar H.G Wells proposed a microfilm-based index to all human thought and knowledge6. The experience of co-ordinating thousands of American scientists during that war led Vannevar Bush to propose a similar system complete with what we would now call "hypertext links" 7. However, it was not only the technical advance provided by the printing press in the late 15th century, but also the emergence of a reliable postal system and the development of the experimental method in the 16th century that led to the production of the first Scientific Journal in 1665 8. Similarly, it may not be simply the technical ability to reproduce and distribute articles electronically (e-publishing), but also the emergence of highly collaborative, large-scale investigations and analyses (e-science) that is likely to lead to significant change in the field of scientific communication and significant changes in the way such communications are produced, curated and disseminated 9.

A simple example that exemplifies the need to improve the dissemination systems is the common, but very frustrating experience, of finding a paper containing your desired data, but to find that it is in a figure with no access to the actual numbers; needing to measure the plot or using a scanner and optical character recognition (OCR) is not ideal. Even if the paper is available as a PDF the problems are not much simpler. In a few cases the numeric data may be provided separately and sometimes, but rarely with a direct link to a database or other similar service. In many cases if the information required is not of the standard type anticipated by the author, then the only way to request the information is to contact the author and hope they can still provide this in a computer readable form.

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