Also, of course, we like to maintain a link to the full text of the paper itself, as often as such a link can be obtained. The paper may be physically stored in the computer system used by its author, or by the conference or journal where it was presented, or we may have a copy of it in the host computer of ECSTER - all these three cases occur in practice.
In such a bibliographic reference structure, the user shall be able to browse the current literature, see it in overview, and read selected articles as she goes along. This is the basic idea. At present, the software exists, but so far we only have a limited number of publications in the database, partly from conferences and workshops during 1995 and 1996, and partly from European events earlier in time. The scope of the database is limited to articles about actions and change (the "frame problem" literature), omitting other aspects of spatial and temporal reasoning.
The immediate next step will be to gradually put more publications into the database. This work is going on. Extensions to spatial reasoning, planning, reasoning about time itself, and belief revision are the most obvious broadenings of the present scope. They will follow as soon as someone volunteers to edit them.
Every author of a scientific article wants to have his or her article read and noticed. This agrees with the interests of the ECSTER visitor, who wants as convenient access as possible to the article. Problems may arise with articles which have been published in conferences or journals, if the publisher actively disallows free electronic distribution of "his" articles. One possible way of resolving this problem is to include direct but chargable links from structures such as ECSTER, into the publication bases maintained by the publishers. (Of course, it is anyone's guess how the competition between freely distributed and charged-for publication media will turn out).
We foresee that additional services and additional kinds of information will be attached to the BRS in due time, but that will be after the database has grown to reasonable size.
Using the list of research topics that are used in the BRS.
Using the list of conferences that have been entered into the BRS.
In the list of researchers, click the expression [brc] to visit the list of those of his or her papers which are presently represented in the structure. At present, papers are only listed under their first author. If there is no [brc] indication, it means that no paper with this first author has been entered yet.
Note the limitations of the author list: it does not of course offer a good way of finding out what a particular author has written, in particular as long as the database has its present small size. The raison-d'Ítre of the author list only to facilitate finding out whether a particular paper is in the database or not.
Questions of judgement arise in particular for two aspects of this structure: the selection of articles from a conference or a journal, and the classification of articles into research topics. Which articles should be considered to belong to the area of "reasoning about actions and change", and which do not? And exactly what fits under each of the research topics in the classification? Here again, we appreciate feedback and will try to follow advise, but complete agreement is unlikely. Therefore, at some point we'll just set and instantiate our own policy.
Please address all comments, suggestions, contributions, and contrary opinions to our BRS-master.