The scientific publication process has been so far only marginally affected by the possibilities of the Internet. The reason is a lack of sound business models and pilots to demonstrate the ultimate benefits of free scientific publication. A team of universities, Internet publishers and applied research institutes proposes to demonstrate these benefits and re-engineer parts of the scientific publication process by:
a) building a fully functioning on-line service, where scientific work, including results of EU projects, would be available for free (with content from architecture and civil engineering) and where a virtual on-line community of authors and readers would meet. It will enhance the technologies for the;
b) self organising maintenance and;
c) agent supported adaptive user interface and;
d)define business models where scientific work would be wrapped by commercial sites that would make the content more appealing to people in the industry.
1) to enable the scientists time- and cost-efficient access to their peers' work by creating a repository of electronic publications;
2) to create an on-line community of authors and readers and;
3) to disseminate scientific work to non-scientists, like engineers or architects.
To do so we will propose solid business plans for re-engineering the scientific publishing process taking into account also the legal, social and psychological barriers to change, make the solution sustainable by automating the management of the service, simplify the use of the repository by making intelligent, personalised agent available to end users, wrap scientific content for the practitioner's use and monitorits use and impact on the scientific community.
An objective is also that the work would provide a basis for a general policy discussion on the copyrights to scientific information created with public funding.
The work leading to the fulfilment of the objectives is partly on the conceptual level, partly in the form of development and in the demonstrating and testing of pilot systems . The implementation will be in the research domain of information technology in architecture and construction. The tasks of the conceptual part are to study the current scientific publishing process (as-is model) and propose more efficient (to-be) models using formalised process modelling tools. Models will deal both with quality-assured peer reviewed publication and the publication of project reports, theses, conference and working papers.
We will: (1) collect requirements from the end users of scientific information (from the scientific community and the industry); (2) study the life-cycle economies, (3) investigate the social, psychological and legal barriers to the implementation of the more efficient to-be models; (4) develop a method to benchmark scientific journals; (5) suggest value added business models that can be added on top of free services.
The technological tasks include: (1) to re-use mostly available technologies to develop and implement the repository, (2) build an on-line virtual community infrastructure, (3) fill the archive with a critical mass of research papers, (4)develop technologies for the automatic maintenance of the archive as well as for adaptive, intelligent, agent based user interfaces; (5) create add on services;(6) further develop an existing peer-reviewed journal.
The work will be monitored through regular surveys of user requirements and satisfaction. The project should trigger a political discussion of an EU directive concerning free access to publications which are results of publicly funded research.
Results: new business models for scientific publishing, up-to-date survey data on alternative publication models, demonstration of a repository and technologies for managing and using it.
Products: production grade software for running the repository, populated and put to use on the Web:
Milestone M1: theoretical work;
M2 Prototype core repository service;
M3 Community services;
M4 Repository with smart features;
M6 Value added wrapper;
M7 Recommendations and studies.
Funding SchemeDEM - Demonstration contracts
28108 Alcobendas, Madrid
M5 4WT Salford