Duncan Hull and company have just published a thorough (210 references..) review of the current state of scientific digital libraries. Anyone interested in the changing face of publishing or of the Web in general would likely find the article interesting. Out of the many ideas discussed, these two caught my attention:
"As we move in biology from a focus on hypothesis-driven to data-driven science, it is increasingly recognized that databases, software models, and instrumentation are the scientific output, rather than the conventional and more discursive descriptions of experiments and their results."and
"We suggest that the main obstacles to warmer libraries are primarily social rather than technical in nature. Identity, trust, and privacy are all potential stumbling blocks to better libraries in the future."To the first quote, I will say simply, hear hear! The idea that the units with which scientific progress is published and thus measured should correspond more directly to discrete, integratable chunks of knowledge and to sharable processes for knowledge generation rather than (often unparsable) stories is one whose time has clearly come.