Software publishing - an "electronic scientific journal" ?!

"Rainer Fuchs ", EMBL FUCHS at embl.bitnet
Tue Feb 13 11:21:00 EST 1990

 I include an extract of a mail message that I received the other day from a
 Spanish scientist, Ricardo Sachez Carmenes.

 I think that his proposal can serve as a good starting point for an
 interesting discussion.

 Rainer Fuchs, Ph.D.
 EMBL Data Library
 fuchs at embl.bitnet

>          I also have a few more small utility programs already develloped
> or being devellopped that might be useful to others. I have just had an
> idea that could benefit both bench molecular biologists and computer
> molecular biologists. Some of ours spend long hours making small or big
> pieces of software that help making life easier to bench scientists.
> Sometimes these pieces of software might be useful to many, but do not
> justify by themselves a full article on a ordinary molecular biology
> journal. You might argue that CABIOS is there for that, but what I am
> thinking of is in an alternative way of making programs public (that is,
> publishing them and making them promptly available to others). I think
> that everytime a new algorythm method is devellopped, it should be
> published following the ordinary way, but in many other cases the tools
> being devellopped could benefit of a different "publication" procedure.
> Many of these pieces of software just stay in the lab where they were
> devellopped because of the lack of a mean and / or a stimulus to be
> published.
>          I would like to make an informal proposal of setting a sort of
> "electronic scientific journal", based on the EMBL server as a very
> appropriated link between European molecular biologists. The aim of such
> "journal" could be "publishing" molecular biology software tools submitted
> for "publication". Some kind of selection procedure ("referees") should be
> settled to select what is worth and what is not. Those submissions that
> would pass the selection procedure would go to the software server, together
> with a short text (in the style of a short paper or short communication)
> describing the pogram included. At some kind of regular intervals, and index
> of the newly accepted "articles" could be sent to other similar servers in
> the world and to Current Contents and the like.
>          This kind of "electronic scientific journal" would allow select
> pieces of software that are worth to be made available, and would simulta-
> neously allow a kind of formal publication of these kind of work. Obviously
> this would be intended only for computer scientists or molecular biology
> scientists making pieces of software useful in molecular biology or the
> like, and made freelly available provided they users properly reference
> their use; commercial pieces of software or pieces of software that are
> not to be made freelly available would be, from my point of vue, excluded
> from these scheme.

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