Figure 2.1: A model for the process of scientific communication via articles is sketched. The main stages are: creating, disseminating, acquiring and assimilating. The arrows indicate the idealised sequence in which the steps are taken. There are several possible short cuts in the process. Usually articles reach the receiver by way of an archive (a traditional or digital library), but they might also be delivered personally to a particular set of receivers, jumping from step (9) to (13). In communication by way of preprint archives, rather than publication in scientific journal, the document is not explicitly subjected to quality control: steps (6) and (8) are skipped in that case. The author can also give the preprint personally to particular receivers, cutting from (4) immediately to (13) [back to the text]