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The spectrum of activities that is called ``refereeing" or
peer review will still be necessary, perhaps more so than ever
before given the ``fire-hose" quantities of raw information the
Web can deliver. Electronic journals and documents will need
some mark of quality to stand out from the general stream, and
traditional peer review may well play a role here, though one
can imagine other ways of doing it (perhaps paying people
to referee paper as some paper journals already do).
Critical reviews and thoughtful summaries of forays into the stream,
generated by people with judgement and taste (and a high capacity for
winnowing the chaff), are also extremely useful.
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This means providing software tools to make the process easier. Part
of our goal for this project was to see how far we could advance
without broaching this issue directly. Instead of creating software
tools or mechanisms for refereeing, we provided interested and capable
readers who peer reviewed somewhat in the traditional manner, except
that they were known to the authors and worked directly with them to
improve the papers. It is clear that this was a satisfactory way of
preparing such conference proceedings but is equally clearly not
feasible for most forms of publication.