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Table of Contents
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Glossary
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Next: Communication in physics Up: Contents Previous: Contents

  
Introduction

Sir Isaac Newton wrote: ``If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants''1.1 And if Newton stood on the shoulders of giants, it is because he had located helpful giants and found the means to climb on their shoulders. Without communication, he wouldn't even have been aware of their existence. In the words of Francis Crick, who won a Nobel prize for the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA: ``Communication is the essence of science''.1.2

The problem is that this communication is not always as effective and efficient as it could be. These days, two major trends can be identified: firstly, scientists are increasingly dissatisfied with the communication process; secondly, new, electronic communication channels are emerging. These two trends invite the question of how the new technology can contribute to a substantial improvement of scientific communication. Only part of the answer to this question can be found in further technical developments for it. It is also important to examine the organisation of the communication process, as well as the organisation of the scientific information that is communicated.

Against this background, we will propose in this thesis a new, modular structure for electronic scientific articles. In the introduction, we flesh out the context in more detail in section 1.1, before giving the outline of the thesis in section 1.2.



 

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