There is an interesting article that was just posted by James Hendler on the recent 2007 Science FOO Camp held at the Googleplex in Mountain View California. Hendler led a session on August 4th regarding the future of academic publishing and out of that session came 12 topical areas including (paraphrased, reordered and augmented):
ID, logging, review status tag, trust mechanisms
Data processing and workflow reuse; digital object provenance
Review as a service that can be applied to an object
Downstream Tracking / History (Cross Article or Domain Correlation)
Community Enhanced (Social Networking)
Citation Labeling (Citation Ontology)
Annotation/metadata for non-text scientific objects
Extensible geo-tagging / GIS / Unique Ids for any domain
Semantic Authoring Aids
Authoring Tools that add value for metadata
Unique ID for people (w/o necessarily revealing identity) - persistent ID
Fantasy Genetics - prediction market for science
When a document is place in a workflow, information obtained from each lifecycle state is very valuable yielding product quality control information regarding the personnel who have edited, review, or collaborated on the documents content. Information that is a little more difficult to track but is included in the list is the post release information (basically who touches the information after it is made available). This might be what Hendler refers to when he talks about the peer review status and downstream tracking capability for the document.
Embedded objects in the document carry their own tagging information depending on where it was obtained. There are a couple of new startups that are building around a new tagging idea called Deep Tagging. Deep tagging is extremely useful in organizing and sharing lengthy video and audio files online. Here is how deep tagging works in Veotag:
Users upload a video or audio file to Veotag
Using a web-based deep tagging tool, users can assign tags (Veotags) to specific clips from the file.
When other users are viewing this file, they have the option to play the whole file from the beginning to the end or jump back and forth between different Veotagged clips.
Citation labeling is a different animal all to itself. There are a number of different up and coming products that assist in citation labeling including Zotero. The ability of Zotero to query page content across links is pretty cool because it has the ability automatically capture citation information from the linked source. The added benefit to the product is that it is currently free and open source. It is kind of raw at the moment but it has promise.
Community enhancement is a hot topic at the moment in fact I recently posted an article entitled the Social Networking Revolution.
There is a great workshop coming up called Semantic Authoring, Annotation and Knowledge Markup (SAAKM 2007) which is the 4th International Conference on Knowledge Capturing to be held at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada October 28-31, 2007.