Electronic publishing

Mon Jan 2 02:04:52 EST 2006

Electronic publication to the biological sciences is an idea whose
time has come. But what steps are being taken to ensure that material,
once deposited, is not interfered with. Who guards the guards? Who
guards Paul Ginsparg who runs a service for the physics community?

    I would love, for example, to publish an article discovering the
structure of DNA which I would date 1952, the year
before Watson and Cricks' famous paper.

               The only way to cover this point would seem to be to have
simultaneous deposition in multiple sites (>2), and have a search engine
of some kind constantly monitoring the sites to ensure that all copies
remain identical. This would be something like GenBank,where depositions
of DNA sequences are made simultaneously in the USA, Europe and Japan.

              There is also the question of how to cite this
information. Rather than some abstract number, why not follow the
pattern of joural citations. e.g. Harnad, S. Cogprints 1999, 4:10-1610.
In this case the "volume" number (4) would be the month and the "page"
numbers would be the day and hour-min (preferably corrected to GMT).
Thus the citation would contain an implicit time-stamp.

Sincerely, Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader. Bionet.journals.note


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