Scholarly publishers have long thought in categories such as journals, monographs, textbooks, and reference. Reference as a category is splitting in two.
The majority of time spent in editing and formatting citations in the publication process is time wasted. We now have in place nearly all the components to use persistent identifiers, linked metadata, and style sheets to improve how citations can be structured and processed. Using these tools can significantly improve the accuracy of references and reduce the time editors spend on this production function. Even when automated, we bounce between linked metadata, then to text, then to metadata again.
A new study suggests that reference works can be created cheaply and effectively through only mildly organized collaborations. Have we been missing a critical contribution of peer-review? Does it suggest that post-publication won’t review won’t be very effective?