Much has been said about overlay journals (n.d.a/) The idea is simple; the journal essentially becomes a selector, a channel, with the paper itself being hosted elsewhere, such as arXiv.
This holds a certain amount of attraction for me; I already post my new papers on arXiv. I have been posting them here also (n.d.b) This works well, but is hampered by technology. Mostly I write papers in LaTeX, and I have written tools to make these suitable for Wordpress (n.d.c) these work well enough to publish an entire thesis (n.d.d/) However, the process of doing this is not slick (n.d.e/) For instance, when trying to publish one of my own papers, I have had problems as I used a theorem environment (Lord 2010) While PlasTeX is a nice tool, the key problem is that it is fundamentally a different interpreter from TeX. Eventually, perhaps, LuaTeX will get an HTML backend, but until this happens the system will always fail in some cases.
So, I wanted to investigate whether it was possible to build Overlay functionality into a personal publication framework, such as the Wordpress installation I host these articles on. Well, it turns out combined with the tools that I have written for manipulating metadata (n.d.f) it is relatively simple to do so; my first attempt at this is now available for my OWLED 2013 paper (n.d.g) The title, authors (just me in this case), date, abstract and PDF link all come directly from arXiv. Full text is not available from arXiv — anyway it would suffer from all the issues described earlier; in the end, the PDF is probably the best representation of this paper. I have supplemented this with a plain English summary, something that I have wanted to do for years, but have not managed to start. If the reviewers will allow me to do so, I will also attach these when they become available.
The code for this is not quite ready to release yet: however, it will potentially work over any eprints repository, and I have connected it up to Greycite also (n.d.h) so it can be used over any source that greycite can interpret.
All a little clunky, but I think that this is the future. The Journal is dead, Long Live the article.
———. n.d.b. https://www.russet.org.uk/blog/1713.
———. n.d.c. https://www.russet.org.uk/blog/1740.
———. n.d.f. https://knowledgeblog.org/kblog-metadata.
———. n.d.g. https://www.russet.org.uk/blog/2366.
———. n.d.h. https://greycite.knowledgeblog.org.
Lord, Phillip. 2010. “An Evolutionary Approach to Function.” Journal of Biomedical Semantics 1 (Suppl 1): S4. https://doi.org/10.1186/2041-1480-1-s1-s4.