Liquid journals: Knowledge dissemination in the Web Era

Marcos Baez Fabio Casati Aliaksandr Birukov Maurizio Marchese

In this paper we redefine the notion of "scientific journal" to update it to the age of the Web. We explore the historical reasons behind the current journal model, and we show that this model is essentially the same today, even if the Web has made dissemination essentially free. We propose a notion of liquid and personal journals that evolve continuously in time and that are targeted to serve individuals or communities of arbitrarily small or large scales. The liquid journals provide "interesting" content, in the form of "scientific contributions" that are "related" to a certain paper, topic, or area, and that are posted (on their web site, repositories, traditional journals) by "inspiring" researchers. As such, the liquid journal separates the notion of "publishing" (which can be achieved by submitting to traditional peer review journals or just by posting content on the Web) from the appearance of contributions into the journals, which are essentially collections of content. In this paper we introduce the liquid journal model, and demonstrate through some examples its value to individuals and communities. Finally, we describe an architecture and a working prototype that implements the proposed model.