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Electronic publishing (was: reproducible research in the neurosciences)

EJ Chichilnisky ej at white.stanford.edu
Fri Apr 5 18:06:13 EST 1996

    |>         I am very much interested in the idea of electronic
    |> publishing, not only of papers but also of the data sets upon which
    |> the papers are based and of the code for the analysis of the data.
I certainly agree with the idea, and the spirit of the comments written by
P. Bush. However, beware! The second-most-recent issue of the Neuroscience
Newsletter (published by Society for Neuroscience) mentioned that some
publishing houses apparently consider items that appear on the Web to have
already been published, and therefore won't publish them. I would imagine
this problem will only grow. Obviously, this could greatly hinder the
transition toward electronic publishing.

Publishers and readers will have to figure out a standard for dealing with
the problem of double-publishing. The future is here.

In the meantime, I think that quantitative data that is used to create
figures that appear in published papers should be placed on the Web for
all to scrutinize and re-analyze, with a pointer to the Web site appearing
in the published paper itself. I have done this with my most recent paper,
but have yet to see if it gets used. The great difficulty here is: what
happens when Web site names change, and the pointer in the paper becomes
stale? Yuk.


EJ Chichilnisky
ej at white.stanford.edu

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