The Collage Authoring Environment
The Collage Authoring Environment is a software infrastructure which enables domain scientists to collaboratively develop and publish their work in the form of executable papers. It corresponds to the recent developments in both e-Science and computational technologies which call for a novel publishing paradigm. As part of this paradigm, static content (such as traditional scientific publications) should be supplemented with elements of interactivity, enabling reviewers and readers to reexamine the reported results by executing parts of the software on which such results are based as well as access primary scientific data. Taking into account the presented rationale we propose an environment which enables authors to seamlessly embed chunks of executable code (called assets) into scientific publications and allow repeated execution of such assets on underlying computing and data storage resources, as required by scientists who wish to build upon the presented results. The Collage Authoring Environment can be deployed on arbitrary resources, including those belonging to high performance computing centers, scientific e-Infrastructures and resources contributed by the scientists themselves. The environment provides access to static content, primary datasets (where exposed by authors) and executable assets. Execution features are provided by a dedicated engine (called the Collage Server) and embedded into an interactive view delivered to readers, resembling a traditional research publication but interactive and collaborative in its scope. Along with a textual description of the Collage environment the authors also present a prototype implementation, which supports the features described in this paper. The functionality of this prototype is discussed along with theoretical assumptions underpinning the proposed system.