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Interactive Publication: The document as a research tool.
The increasing prevalence of multimedia and research data generated by scientific work affords an opportunity to reformulate the idea of a scientific article from the traditional static document, or even one with links to supplemental material in remote databases, to a self-contained, multimedia-rich interactive publication. This paper describes our concept of such a document, and the design of tools for authoring (Forge) and visualization/analysis (Panorama). They are platform-independent applications written in Java, and developed in Eclipse using its Rich Client Platform (RCP) framework. Both applications operate on PDF files with links to XML files that define the media type, location, and action to be performed. We also briefly cite the challenges posed by the potentially large size of interactive publications, the need for evaluating their value to improved comprehension and learning, and the need for their long-term preservation by the National Library of Medicine and other libraries.