Alf Eaton and Gavin Bell (Nature) out together a lively BOF this evening on scientific publishing. They presented many of the key components – XML, persistent identifiers, ontologies, etc. Nice to see credit being given to PLoS for its pioneering use of these things (e.g. IDs for supplemental data).
A strong feeling from all that PDF must be supplemented of replaced by greater structure. “XML” is a useful mantra – although XML by itself is sometimes too constraining – and we need RDF. Maybe XMLRDF is a better mantra – it needs the XML to emphasis the difference from PDF and the RDF to point towards the future.
An anecdote of how the bite gets bitten – a publisher had acquired a chunk of content from another source (? merger/acquisition) and found that the PDFs were read-only – the hamburgers had been encrypted and the password lost. So they could be viewed but not re-used . Time for a change!
[ADDED IN PROOF] A much fuller post from Paul Miller

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