TechBlog: eLife replaces commenting system with Hypothesis annotations

The next time you feel moved to comment on an article in the open-access online journal eLife, be prepared for a different user experience. On 31 January, eLife announced it had adopted the open-source annotation service, Hypothesis, replacing its traditional commenting system. That’s the result of a year-long effort between the two services to make Hypothesis more amenable to the scholarly publishing community.

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eLife enhances open annotation with Hypothesis to promote scientific discussion online

eLife, in collaboration with Hypothesis, has introduced open annotation to enable users of its website to make comments, highlight important sections of articles and engage with the reading public online. The open-source Hypothesis software has been extensively customised for use by eLife and other publishers with new moderation features, single sign-on authentication and user-interface customisation options now giving publishers more control over its implementation on their sites.

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How to improve Wikipedia citations with Hypothesis direct links

Wikipedia aims to be verifiable. Every statement of fact should be supported by a reliable source that the reader can check. Citations in Wikipedia typically refer to online documents accessible at URLs. But with the advent of standard web annotation we can do better. We can add citations to Wikipedia that refer precisely to statements that support Wikipedia articles. Continue reading “How to improve Wikipedia citations with Hypothesis direct links”

PubFactory partners with Hypothesis to extend collaboration tools across the platform

pubfactoryhypothesisWe are thrilled to make Hypothesis annotation technology available across the PubFactory platform. Hypothesis’ mission, “To enable conversation over a world of knowledge”, so simply and precisely conveys the problem that they are tackling head on. We like this – we like this a lot.

Continue reading “PubFactory partners with Hypothesis to extend collaboration tools across the platform”

Syndicating annotations

Steel Wagstaff asks:

Immediate issue: we’ve got books on our dev server w/ annotations & want to move them intact to our production instance. The broader use case: I publish an open Pressbook & users make public comments on it. Someone else wants to clone the book including comments. How?

There are currently three URL-independent identifiers that can be used to coalesce annotations across instances of a web document published at different URLs. The first was the PDF fingerprint, the second was the DOI, and a third, introduced recently as part of Hypothesis’ EPUB support, uses Dublin Core metadata like so:

<meta name=”dc.identifier” content=”xchapter_001″>
<meta name=”dc.relation.ispartof” content=”org.example.hypothesis.demo.epub-samples.moby-dick-basic”>

If you dig into our EPUB.js and Readium examples, you’ll find those declarations are common to both instances of chapter 1 of Moby Dick. Here’s an annotation anchored to the opening line, Call me Ishmael. When the Hypothesis client loads, in a page served from either of the example URLs, it queries for two identifiers. One is the URL specific to each instance. The other is a URN formed from the common metadata, and it looks like this:

urn:x-dc:org.example.hypothesis.demo.epub-samples.moby-dick-basic/chapter_001

When you annotate either copy, you associate its URL with this Uniform Resource Name (URN). You can search for annotations using either of the URLs, or the just URN like so:

https://hypothes.is/search?q=url:urn:x-dc:org.example.hypothesis.demo.epub-samples.moby-dick-basic/xchapter_001

Although it sprang to life to support ebooks, I think this mechanism will prove more broadly useful. Unlike PDF fingerprints and DOIs, which typically identify whole works, it can be used to name chapters and sections. At a conference last year we spoke with OER (open educational resource) publishers, including Pressbooks, about ways to coalesce annotations across their platforms. I’m not sure this approach is the final solution, but it’s usable now, and I hope pioneers like Steel Wagstaff will try it out and help us think through the implications.

Collaboration and Annotation Tips for Students Using Remarq®

Remarq Lite offers students tools to boost their participation and collaboration, and enrich their online reading experience. You can use the Remarq Lite browser extension on any site you read, whether for projects, hobbies, or schoolwork. If your instructor or professor has suggested you to use this tool, here are a few ways you can use it: Continue reading “Collaboration and Annotation Tips for Students Using Remarq®”

Remarq™ Launches “Lite” Version to Support Students, Instructors

Remarq™, the decentralized scholarly collaboration network, has launched a Chrome browser extension to facilitate annotation, collaboration, and connection across the Web, specifically to help students and instructors be more effective in their classroom collaborations, while also extending the value of Remarq for scholarly users generally.

Called Remarq™ Lite, this browser extension allows users to seamlessly integrate notes and highlights from any online source into their unified Remarq profile. It also allows users to create and join public and private groups for collaboration.

The plugin is free, and available for download now. Remarq Lite works best with Chrome. It is also compatible with Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari as a bookmark users can activate (fully integrated plugins for these browsers are being developed).

Designed specifically to support users in the education market, Remarq Lite allows:

  • instructors to create private classroom groups for collaboration
  • students to create private groups for project work
  • other teams to create private or public groups for various purposes.

Users can include rich media, math, annotated text, and more in their group conversations using Remarq Lite.

Users of Remarq Lite will see their notes, highlights, and group activity reflected in their full Remarq profiles. Remarq is available on a growing number of journals. Users of Remarq on journals can also benefit from using Remarq Lite, as the plugin notifies them of activity in Remarq, while allowing them to extend the value of their profile across other sources and media.

Collaboration is central to our vision of a healthier web. Try Remarq Lite today, and see what you’re missing.

 

TLDR: The voice interface is the future of news and media

By Nieman Lab (these highlights provided for you by Annotote)

The future of news is humans talking to machines #voice interface #no UI #end-to-end audio

AI-driven voice interfaces, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home and Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s upcoming HomePod [are] potentially bigger than the impact of the iPhone. In fact, I’d describe these smart speakers and the associated AI and machine learning that they’ll interface with as the huge burning platform the news industry doesn’t even know it’s standing on. Continue reading “TLDR: The voice interface is the future of news and media”

Towards the digital preservation of DOM-node-keyed scholarly web annotations

The current generation of web annotation technologies use a set of keying techniques, often based on the Document Object Model (DOM) for representing HTML content, that link an annotation to its target content. However, when the DOM structure changes, for any reason, or browser rendering engines parse the underlying source differently, annotations can be orphaned and incorrectly re-attached. This article explores the preservation strategies that are required to ensure the longevity of scholarly annotations that use such technologies. These recommendations range from the social changes needed for the perception of annotations as first-class scholarly objects through to the technological changes and infrastructures that are needed for the preservation of such objects. It concludes with a series of recommendations for changes in practice and infrastructure that work towards the digital preservation of DOM-node-keyed scholarly web annotations. Published on 2017-06-07 20:13:42

Eve, M.P., (2017). Towards the digital preservation of DOM-node-keyed scholarly web annotations. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2178

Thoughts on Audrey Watters’ “Thoughts on Annotation”

Back in April, Audrey Watters’ decided to block annotation on her website. I understand why. When we project our identities online, our personal sites become extensions of our homes. To some online writers, annotation overlays can feel like graffiti. How can we respect their wishes while enabling conversations about their writing, particularly conversations that are intimately connected to the writing? At the New Media Consortium conference recently, I was finally able to meet Audrey in person, and we talked about how to balance these interests. Yesterday Audrey posted her thoughts about that conversation, and clarified a key point: Continue reading “Thoughts on Audrey Watters’ “Thoughts on Annotation””

Towards the digital preservation of DOM-node-keyed scholarly web annotations

The current generation of web annotation technologies use a set of keying techniques, often based on the Document Object Model (DOM) for representing HTML content, that link an annotation to its target content. However, when the DOM structure changes, for any reason, or browser rendering engines parse the underlying source differently, annotations can be orphaned and incorrectly re-attached. This article explores the preservation strategies that are required to ensure the longevity of scholarly annotations that use such technologies. These recommendations range from the social changes needed for the perception of annotations as first-class scholarly objects through to the technological changes and infrastructures that are needed for the preservation of such objects. It concludes with a series of recommendations for changes in practice and infrastructure that work towards the digital preservation of DOM-node-keyed scholarly web annotations. Published on 2017-06-07 20:13:42

Remarq — The Power of the Profile

Remarq goes beyond annotations to create an entire system of engagement around journal articles, with levels of engagement that users can use as they see fit:

  • Private engagement with content – highlighting and private annotations
  • Semi-private engagement – article-sharing, following articles, polls, profiles
  • Public engagement – qualified comments, post-publication reviews, and author and editor updates

This combination of features delivers what David Worlock described succinctly in a recent blog post after he saw Remarq demonstrated at the recent UKSG Meeting in Harrogate, UK:

“Remarq . . . enable[s] any publisher to create community around annotated discussion and turn it into scholarly exchange and collaboration.”

A major component of exchange and collaboration is the ability for users to find one another and connect. In a survey of academics, Nature News found that major reasons for using professional networks were “In case contacted” and “Discover peers.”

Clearly, “to see and be seen” are important behavioral incentives for researchers, and collaboration networks provide new means to achieve these ends.

Remarq’s profiles upon launch provide basic information and functionality. As adoption grows, user profiles will gain new dimensions, including:

  • Statistics about the articles users have published, including citations and social media mentions
  • Recommendations for articles to read, other users to follow, and authors to follow
  • A “virtual home” for article-level metrics, updates, and personal notes and comments
  • Search capabilities to find colleagues and collaborate

By providing increased prominence and ways to “see and be seen ” — along with a legal article-sharing solution, private notes and annotations, and qualified users and comments — Remarq provides publishers with solutions that go beyond solving immediate challenges by extending into answering the challenges users face in a crowded information environment.

You can find out more at https://remarqable.com.

Qualitative Data Repository Teams with Hypothesis to Develop Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI)

Originally published 12 May 2017 on the QDR blog by Sebastian Karcher.

Scholars are increasingly being called on – by journal editors, funders, and each other – to “show their work.” Social science is only fully understandable and evaluable if researchers share the data and analysis that underpin their conclusions. Making qualitative social science transparent poses several knotty problems. The Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) and Hypothesis have partnered to meet this challenge by developing a new way to cite, supplement, and share the data underpinning published work.

The Challenge: Achieving Transparency in Qualitative Research

Three aspects of qualitative inquiry complicate transparency. First, qualitative data are multi-format and non-numeric (text, audio, video, pictures). Second, they are analyzed and used to support claims individually or in small groups: each insight drawn from one or a handful of cited sources (e.g., books, archival documents, interview transcripts, newspaper articles, video clips, etc.) serves as a distinct input to the analysis. Third, data, analysis, and conclusions are typically densely interwoven across the span of a book or article.

Qualitative Research – Individual Pieces of Data
Qualitative Research – Individual Pieces of Data

Quantitative social science does not face the same challenges. Quantitative work involves the computational analysis of numeric data arranged in a matrix and approached as an aggregate body of information. The analysis is typically summarized in tabular form in the text or appendix of published work. To make quantitative publications transparent, scholars share the study dataset (and relevant information about its creation) and supplemental materials such as the code used for analysis.

Quantitative Research – Matrix Data
Quantitative Research – Matrix Data

Making qualitative research similarly transparent requires resolving at least two problems: safely sharing non-numeric data that may come in multiple forms, and placing those data adjacent to the claims and conclusion in the text that they support. Traditionally, qualitative researchers showed at least some of their work in extended footnotes in which they cited the data they relied upon; provided supplemental information about how the data were analyzed and support their points; and provided extracts from those materials. Traditional footnotes are a sub-optimal solution, however. Tight space constraints severely limit what can be included, a problem made even more acute by the increasing use of in-text citation styles. Moreover, even where extracts of the evidence are included in long-form footnotes, there is no systematic way to ensure that available underlying sources are held and curated in ways that make them accessible and useful to scholars.

The Solution: Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI)

Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI), developed through a partnership between QDR and Hypothesis, uses author-generated web annotations on academic publications. Annotations provide information about data analysis, excerpts from data sources, and links to underlying sources, housed in a data repository. The approach harnesses the power of open web annotations, displayed by Hypothesis. Authors annotate their work and deposit underlying data sources with QDR. The repository curates these deposits and converts them into a set of web annotations on the published article, and creates a data project (the aggregate of the underlying data sources). The annotations can be viewed alongside the article using the Hypothesis client, and interested readers can access the underlying data sources archived at QDR.

Annotation for Transparent Inquiry
Annotation for Transparent Inquiry

The new collaboration between Hypothesis and QDR is already bearing fruit. You can see an example of scholarship annotated using ATI here. This is a working paper by Sam Handlin (Department of Political Science, University of Utah), “The Politics of Polarization: Governance and Party System Change in Latin America, 1990-2010,” published by the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame University. The annotations you see on the side are served by Hypothesis. QDR curated the annotations and provides access to the underlying files, e.g. for this annotation.

Further, working with the Agile Humanities Agency, QDR has developed the function to use the g #annotations:query:<search phrase> at the end of a link to only show a subset of annotations on a given page using the Hypothesis proxy service. QDR uses this feature to present links to the set of annotations that make up the qualitative data underlying an article by limiting the view to annotations created from QDR’s Hypothesis account. You can see this at work in the link to Sam Handlin’s paper above.

Looking ahead, QDR will hold two workshops in late 2017 and early 2018 focused on evaluating and further developing ATI. The workshops are funded by a grant that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded to the Qualitative Data Repository to pilot and promulgate ATI and to encourage its use.

Further, QDR and Hypothesis are hoping to address the challenges created a large share of academic literature in the hard and social sciences residing behind a paywall. Access is provided to particular IP-ranges known to be associated with institutions that pay for access. Finding user-friendly solutions to allow viewing annotations on paywalled material is therefore high on our agenda. We hope to draw on our partnership with a wide range of academic publishers in the “Annotating All Knowledge” coalition to develop those solutions. While our immediate interest is motivated by rendering qualitative research transparent, the annotation of academic literature will benefit a much broader scholarly community.

QDR and Hypothesis will also work towards facilitating third-party authentication to the Hypothesis platform. For QDR, the ability to authenticate users against its own user base is critical to limit access to sensitive material that may be stored in annotations, e.g. in the form of interview excerpts.

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