"Publication forms the core structure supporting the development and transmission of scientific knowledge" (Galbraith2015). Yet, with the WorldWideWeb a dominant part of current scientific publication and information-dissemination, internet "publication" is still paper-based in its style and methods. As will become painfully obvious, such a paper-based "publishing model" is NOT adequate for a Web-based world.
Consider that in 2011, an estimated 5,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles were published per day (Outsell2013), and that in 2014 just the English-language scholarly publications on the Web were about 4,900 per day.
In 1980, the distinguished scientist Garrett Hardin wrote [Hardin1980]:"Who can keep up with such a torrent? When I was young and foolish I vowed that I would read all the articles in my small field of science. Discovering that this was impossible, I tried to read all the abstracts. That, too, proved too much. Now I know that I cannot even read all the titles."
To help reduce scholarly information-overload, this article proposes using Knowledge-Step Forums for the purpose of creating a new type scholarly publication, Web-based Compendia. Each Compendium is about a very narrow topic and is presented in a MultiLevel Format. When all these features are combined, the scholarly article is called a Knowledge-Step Compendium, and it is posted on the Web by the scholar, either on an institutional server, or on one of many web-hosting servers. Web-search engines will be automatically notified about the new posting (and later changes, too).
Forum-Compendors need not be a senior faculty member (as is the case in traditional literature-reviews), but can be pre-docs, post-docs, and senior medical/surgical residents. These graduate-students will be aided by their mentors and online experts to create these Knowledge-Step Compendia. All participants (students and faculty) will be motivated by their own self-interest and everyone gains from the activity, which self-organizes groups of like-minded scholars. Such groups can be the basis for early reviews of new data, for discovering new ideas, and for finding jobs.
Knowledge-Step Forums will speed publication on the Web because it will easily support Publication of Preprints using the software's automatic collection of online "peer-review" comments.
In order for the Internet to be an efficient searchable repository of current and developing knowledge, one additional feature will be needed: ForwardLinks must be available in any given publication to those articles that, in the future, cite the given publication, as fully described in a Supplement to this article. Open-source software for this functionality should be on all Web-servers that contain scholarly articles, so as to make the WWW a distributed web full of linkages, of both ForwardLinks and RetroLinks.