During the many scientific meetings I had the occasion to take part,
I realised that posters have the greatest chance to stir up discussion, as they stay up facing the opinions and often the criticisms, of a large number of scientists. I then thought: why not putting up online scientific papers, in the same way as posters, but taking advantage of the Internet accessibility and diffusion?. Since then, I convinced myself of the potential breakthrough of this idea, based upon the following reasons:
1) possibility to overcome lack of information about scientific results
(either succesfully or not!). Any achieved result, if clearly explained in a simple way, allows to understand the rationale behind each research and the practical and theorical implications of the research;
2) informations are easily diffused and figures, often in full colour,
can be used extensively, taking advantage of the html language potential, to smooth out the difficulties behind scientific presentation;
3) a paper (or poster) can be accessible via internet for a much longer
time than any congress duration, allowing, therefore, a better "digestion" of the offered data and interpretation; this, in turn, favours the building up of sharper comments and criticisms;
4) the low cost, compared to journal publications, and the possibility
for the navigator to extract and print text and figures at the desired size and format;
5) finally, it is routinely updated.

For the lines of reasoning above exposed I am convinced that scientific
papers on line will become very popular, and I firmly believe that this way to diffuse scientific research could soon reach the dignity of the present printed papers;

The Editor

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Last Update 26 August 1997
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