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Cover Introduction to Bioinformatics

Scientific publications and archives: media, content, access, and presentation  

This chapter assesses the trajectory of the development of the scientific literature, and how it has affected the practice of science. Classically, scientists presented their major results as full-length books. Today, in addition to journals, formats of scientific publication include presentations at meetings; books, or chapters contributed to books; material on the web, including blogs; films; radio or television programmes; podcasts; and social media such as Twitter. Indeed, the World Wide Web provides an alternative to paper as a mechanism of distribution of the scientific literature. The chapter then looks at the differences in accessibility and convenience between paper and computer access to scientific journals, as well as the differences between traditional and digital libraries. It also considers the explosion of scientific information; the principles of markup languages; the different types of computer languages; and the power and limitations of natural language processing by computer, and its applications in bioinformatics.