Education And Debate

Variation adds value to the author's logic

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7123.1693a (Published 20 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1693
  1. Anne Dixon ([email protected]), electronic publishera
  1. a Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol BS1 6BE (http://www.iop.org/)

A primary research article purports to be an objective record of a discrete piece of work that addresses, in sequence, the introduction of the problem at issue, the approach and methods adopted, the results, and the conclusions to be drawn. One of the key questions for publishers of scientific papers is whether and how one can retain the author's logic but also provide the variety, segmentation, and ancillary information that electronic publishing can allow, and which end users may want.

But firstly let's look at the work of scientists themselves. In five years' time it will be almost inconceivable that some part of their work, or more likely all of it, will not have been created using computing power. The output could be data, tables, pictures, texts, sound, images, animations, computable formulas, three-dimensional movable …

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