Grants

Planetwork NGO, Inc.

To develop and launch a system for web-scale annotation and review of online documents

  • Amount $525,800
  • City San Francisco, CA
  • Investigator Dan Whaley
  • Year 2012
  • Program Digital Technology
  • Sub-program Scholarly Communication

In a conventional journal, the mechanisms for feedback on published articles are limited to a letter to the editor or direct correspondence with the author. As an increasing quantity and diversity of scholarly products are disseminated on the web, one could imagine much more efficient and constructively visible commenting mechanisms. Initial experiments in so-called "post-publication review," however, have fallen flat. Comment boxes on online articles and other research materials overwhelmingly lie empty. Perhaps comment boxes are the wrong tool. Rather than asking a reader to comment on a full article, a much more granular approach might fare better, allowing readers to comment on a particular point, equation, or assumption in a published work. Funds from this grant support the development of hypothes.is, a particularly promising effort to build precisely such a granular web annotation system. This one-year grant to Planetwork NGO will support the design, testing, and launch of hypothes.is, bringing an innovative new pilot platform to fruition that has the potential to reshape how researchers communicate and interact with one another and with online scholarly resources.

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