IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - 41

same set of particles, different atoms
are formed.
Of course, this vision of subpapers
and modular papers raises many challenges. How do we give credit to authors under the proposed new scheme?
If someone publishes a subpaper, this
person gets less credit than the author
who publishes the whole paper. Editing a subpaper is useful but should
result in less credit. How much credit
should we give? We should give more
for technical innovations and less for
simply writing a new introduction. But
exactly how much should be provided?
How do you count credit for citing a
combined paper, and which part of the
credit should go to authors with different contributions?
We also must consider how to modify copyright regulations to allow for
free subpaper combination. Currently,
regulations do not allow editing of
another author's work without explicit permission.
There are surely many other challenges, but what new idea comes with-

out challenges? The future of scientific publishing is in our hands; let us
continue to brainstorm.
About the Author
Vladik Kreinovich (vladik@utep
.edu) earned his Ph.D. degree from the
Institute of mathematics, Soviet Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, in 1979.
He is the vice president for publications of the IEEE Systems, man, and
Cybernetics Society and a professor of
computer science at the University of
Texas, El Paso. His main research
interests are the representation and
processing of uncertainty, especially
interval computations and intelligent
control. He is the vice president of the
International Fuzzy Systems Association (IFSA) and the European Society
for Fuzzy Logic and Technology. He is
a fellow of the IFSA and the mexican
Society for Artificial Intelligence. He
has published seven books, 19 edited
books, and more than 1,300 papers.

IMAGE LICENSED BY INGRAM PUBLISHING

that others do not need but would be
helpful for novice readers?
Considering current publication processes, the idea of multiused subpapers
and modular papers formed from these
subpapers may sound like heresy, but
this is exactly how software is written.
At the very beginning, all programs were
written from scratch; now, this is very
rare. In most cases, new software uses
parts of software designed by others,
sometimes taken verbatim and other
times slightly modified.
This idea of modular programming
led to a drastic improvement in programmers' productivity. Why not do
the same for publications? If authors
are no longer required to waste time
rewording the motivation for writing, their time will be used for more
creative activities and, thus, further
increase productivity.
In physics terms, a paper is like an
atom. Atoms were originally thought
to be indivisible, but we now know
that to be false. They are formed of
elementary particles, and from the

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