Casati, Fabio and Giunchiglia, Fausto and Marchese, Maurizio (2007) Liquid Publications: Scientific Publications meet the Web. UNSPECIFIED.
The world of scientific publications has been largely oblivious to the advent of the Web and to advances in ICT. Scientific knowledge dissemination is still based on the traditional notion of “paper” publication and on peer review as quality assessment method. The current approach encourages authors to write many (possibly incremental) papers to get more “tokens of credit”, generating often unnecessary dissemination overhead for themselves and for the community of reviewers. Furthermore, it does not encourage or support reuse and evolution of publications: whenever a (possibly small) progress is made on a certain subject, a new paper is written, reviewed, and published, often after several months. We propose a paradigm shift in the way scientific knowledge is created, disseminated, evaluated and maintained. This shift is enabled by the notion of Liquid publications, which are evolutionary, collaborative, and composable scientific contributions. Many Liquid Publication concepts in this document are based on a parallel between scientific knowledge artifacts and software artifacts, and hence on lessons learned in (agile, collaborative, open source) software development. Liquid Publications concepts are reified by a model based on i) Scientific Knowledge Objects (SKOs), which are the digital instantiation of liquid publications, by ii) the processes involved in their creation, evolution, and quality assessment, and by iii) the people and roles that contribute to knowledge creation (authors, reviewers, bloggers..). Various models (including social reputation models) are developed to analyze and improve publication quality assessment and the process for attributing credit to and measuring reputation for individuals.
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