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Abstract

For the welfare of the scientific community, we intentionally “rock the boat” about the way we conduct, recognize, and disseminate scholarly contributions. As a scientific community, we are doing ourselves a great disservice by ignoring the insights, artifacts, discoveries, and conversations that naturally occur in the scientific process of advancing knowledge that do not fit into the narrowly defined form of print-style papers. By failing to recognize, reward, and publish the wide variety of scholarly contributions that do not suit print-style papers, we hinder scientific progress, devalue important and necessary contributions to science, and demotivate these types of vital contributions. Although over three centuries of scientific publishing has demonstrated the effectiveness of the print medium for conveying scholarly knowledge, the print-style paper captures only a single form of scholarly contribution in a highly limited media format. Unfortunately, the current tenure and promotion process recognizes only this one form of scientific contribution. As a result, science at large advances inevitably only by this single type of contribution. Given the radical advances in audiovisual technologies, storage and bandwidth capacities, public virtual infrastructure, and global acceptance of user-generated open content, the time is ripe to exploit the possibility of publishing more forms of scholarly contributions in a publicly available multimedia format (e.g., video). In this paper, we examine the feasibility of this proposal, develop a model to demonstrate the sustainability of this approach, and discuss potential limitations.

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