When inspecting an unknown electronic document, we usually burn all result files, clean the document of potential secondary files, and rebuild the result files. Having isolated the source files (after make burn; make clean), we then watch as the makefile accomplishes the reproduction of the document's results (make build).
The same mechanism allows an author to test his own electronic document frequently. He can burn and rebuild the entire document even without remembering a certain executable invocation or a particular parameter setting.
Furthermore, the ready-to-use makefiles of an electronic document invite a reader to change source files and to observe the effects on the result files after burning and building them.
The reproducible electronic document creates an environment in which the author shares his research to the fullest extent with a reader. He provides a general description of his research in the form of a (often online) report. Additionally, he provides a complete set of files which allow a reader to reproduce his results in a transparent and standardized fashion: no secret parameters, no incomplete set of source files, and no forgotten processing sequence. Overall, the reproducible electronic document facilitates an increased efficiency in maintaining, communicating, and reusing an author's research.