Appendix C in "A modular structure for scientific articles in an electronic environment"

Examples of modular publications


Introduction: modular structure

In the PhD thesis titled A modular structure for scientific articles in an electronic environment (see the summary) we have developed a `modular model' for the creation and evaluation of modular scientific articles. Here, we provide the electronic versions of two `modularised' articles to illustrate our work. We have created this demo using available technology; for an adequate implementation of the modular model more sophisticated tools are needed.

A `modular article' consists of modules and explicit links between them, so that it represents an information network within the network of all published information. See for example this map of contents of a modular article.

A module is a uniquely characterised, self-contained representation of a conceptual information unit, which is aimed at communicating that information. In such a module, similar information is grouped, so that the reader can locate, retrieve and consult it separately, as well as in conjunction with other modules. We determine what is `similar information', and subsequently label the resulting modules, from four complementary points of view. In addition to the traditional domain-oriented and bibliographical characterisation, we have defined different types of information that can be distinguished by the conceptual function and the range of the information:

  1. Conceptual function, i.e. the role the information plays within the problem-solving process reported in the article: positioning, method, results, interpretation or outcome. This figure gives an overview of the modules that can be distinguished from this point of view.
  2. Range:
  3. Physics content as expressed traditionally in keywords and other index terms.
  4. Bibliographic data as traditionally used to identify documents

The coherence of the information is firstly expressed in the composition of modules. An elementary module contains information that cannot be represented in more than one separate module. Elementary modules can be composed into complex modules, which consists of a coherent collection of (elementary or complex) constituent modules and the links between them. The cohesion of the constituent modules in a complex module is made explicit in a `module summary' that, like the abstract at the level of the article as a whole, provides an overview of its components. Example: Interpretation (A08-m5)

Secondly, the coherence of the infomation is expressed in links: uniquely characterised explicit, directed connections (between entire modules or particular segments of modules) that represent one or more different kinds of relevant relations. We distinguish various types of organisational relation (overview) and scientific discourse relations (overview). Each link is characterised by the source and target it connects and by a label specifying the relations it represents and providing, when necessary, additional information. The bibliographical characterisation of the link is left implicit in this demo, as it corresponds to the bibliographical characterisation of the source.

In this demo, we present the modular versions of two published articles on experimental molecular dynamics. The demo includes a set of mesoscopic and macroscopic containing information relevant to both articles, as well as our comments on the modules.

The features of this demo are summarised in the Legenda. You can start at the top of an articles and then consult it sequentially by following one of the sequential paths. You can also consult the article selectively, by pretending to have performed a specific search or by starting from the lists of modules given below. Then, you can browse through the article, following the links, using the navigation menu and the `map of contents' of the article (see the legenda for an overview of the buttons to click to get the navigation menu and the map of contents and to follow the sequential paths).

Modularised articles

  1. Article A05: C.A.L. Delvigne and J. Los, The differential cross section for chemi-ionization in alkali atom--halogen molecule collisions. Classical interpretation, Physica 59 (1972) 61-76.
  2. Article A08: C.A.L. Delvigne and J. Los, Rainbow, Stueckelberg oscillations and rotational coupling on the differential cross section of Na + I Na+ + I-, Physica 67 (1973) 166-196.
  3. A set of related mesoscopic and macroscopic modules

Annotated table of contents of the modular version of A05

Annotated table of contents of the modular version of A08

Annotated table of contents of the set of mesoscopic and macroscopic modules

Searching...

Search parameters:
  • Characterisation:
    1. Conceptual function: Experimental methods
    2. Physics: Molecular beam techniques
    3. Range: Mesoscopic
Hits:
  1. [...]
  2. MESO-m3a
  3. [...]
Search parameters:
  • Characterisation:
    1. Conceptual function: Theoretical methods
    2. Physics: Landau-Zener coupling
  • Embedding:
    1. Linked to: any module (characterised with physics: Differential cross section)
    2. link type: 'article'
Hits:
  1. [...]
  2. A08-m3ci1
  3. [...]
Search parameters:
  • Characterisation:
    1. Conceptual function: Findings
    2. Physics: Differential cross section[chemi-ionisation;alkali atom,halogen molecule;eV range].
  • Embedding:
    1. Linked to: Experimental methods (characterised with physics: Molecular beam techniques)
    2. link type: 'depends on'
Hits:
  1. [...]
  2. A05-m6a
  3. A08-m6a
  4. [...]
Search parameters:
  • Characterisation:
    1. Conceptual function: Experimental methods
    2. Physics: Iodine atom, source
    3. Range: mesoscopic
Hits:
  1. [...]
  2. MESO-m3a-I
  3. [...]




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Additions, corrections and comments are always welcome. Please send them to: harmsze@wins.uva.nl.
Last modifications: 9-11 1999