Does a self-contained environment for authoring research papers exist? Clearly, the concept might be a little unclear, so here's an attempt to better define what I mean:
- All sources used would be within the system; for example, a static-clone of Wikipedia.
- The workflow for researching, tracking source notation, fact validation, text-editing, and final review, would all be within the system.
- Use would be for basic education, not professional writing.
General use of such a system would be based around reducing the overhead to learning to write research papers. For example, the first "research paper" would simply be finding a topic, rephrasing the supporting topic sentences, and writing a conclusion sentence. The expert/last would be manually tracking the citation of sources, doing original research external to the system, etc.
UPDATE: Thought I might share additional "logic" on why I believe such a system would be of value. For starters, creative thinking/sourcing/independent research to me easy to separate from the action of rephrasing and summarizing information gathered in sources and presenting that information in a meaningful, yet interesting way. Beyond that, facts changed, but the skill required to present them roughly stays the same. By having a static source, it would allow all research, phrasing, etc. to be traced real-time, possibly even in a semi-automated way. Beyond that, Wikipedia is big enough, to write enough research papers to learn to write research papers, but allow people to select topics on their own. By keep the version of Wikipedia static, no links between the source and research would ever go broken, and as a result, ever paper on written on the system would be able to be used to teach other people and good and bad choices in writing a research paper, since the papers would also be wikis.