Following on toyesterday’s post, where I wrote about the four functions that traditional publishers claim as their space (registration, certification, dissemination, preservation), I want to revisit an argument I made last week at the British Library.
Inmy slides, I argued that the web brings us at least three additional functions: integration, annotation, and federation. I wanted to get this argument out onto the web and get some feedback…
Let’s start with integration. The article no longer sits on a piece of dead tree, inside a journal formatted by date and volume and page number. It exists as a digital entity, capable of dense integration into other digital entities. One way to think of this is to think of how the citation is truly weak tea compared to the hyperlink – an individual citation carries more weight than an individual hyperlink, but the hyperlink is so easy to create, and carriesso much power in aggregate, that we get Google. Citations are the only way most articles are integrated with other articles, and that simply has to change.
Articles need to be integrated with lots of other digital information. Media is an obvious one, and the Elsevier-Cell“article of the future” seems to start here with an interview with the authors. To me this is absurd, and the height of how a “big company” thinks “the users” use the web. I don’t want to hear an author interview with a reporter. I assume the author is going to say his or her work is sweets and sparkles and Nobel prizes. I’d rather see an embedded high-resolution video of all protocols necessary to replicate the experiment like the ones you get fromJoVE (I’d like them to actually be open access too, but that’s adifferent blog post).