Just as a driver wants to find the brake pedal at the same location in every car, a reader of research documents wants a few standard commands to explore the scientific contents of any electronic document. The ReDoc rules offer four such standard commands:
Consistent standard commands to remove and reproduce a document's result files not only help a reader access and study an unknown document, but also enable an author maintain his own software. A reproducible document is a research and software filing system. Authors document their scientific computations in the article and preserve the computational details in fully functional examples. Over the years, a researcher may assemble a portfolio of former research and software projects. The portfolio serves as reservoir of reusable programs and as exhibition of the author's abilities. The standardized commands of the ReDoc reader interface allow authors to easily test their archived research software by occasionally removing and regenerating the document's results. Furthermore, a community can develop automatic scripts to verify any document's completeness and reproducibility before its publication (see Figure 1). Publishers may envision that an electronic scientific journal could be refereed by testing the reproducibility of its illustrations.