What we read this week (9 Feb 2018)

Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ’s Digital Group members. These are articles we’ve read and liked, things that made us think and things we couldn’t stop talking about. Check back every Friday for a new post.

Voice UI

Voice UI is definitely coming but the big question is what will researchers use it for? We have plenty of anecdotal evidence that users are listening to academic articles via a range of apps and browser functionality . BMJ is experimenting with voice driven interactions but even simple things like indexing the BMJ in TuneIn to allow users to ask Alexa to play them has proved tricky. “Alexa play Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery podcast” usually works but “Alexa play Heart podcast” isn’t going to bring up the Heart Journal podcast – especially near Valentine’s Day! Continue reading “What we read this week (9 Feb 2018)”

It’s Gonna Get a Lot Easier to Break Science Journal Paywalls

ANURAG ACHARYA’S PROBLEM was that the Google search bar is very smart, but also kind of dumb. As a Googler working on search 13 years ago, Acharya wanted to make search results encompass scholarly journal articles. A laudable goal, because unlike the open web, most of the raw output of scientific research was invisible—hidden behind paywalls. People might not even know it existed. “I grew up in India, and most of the time you didn’t even know if something existed. If you knew it existed, you could try to get it,” Acharya says. “‘How do I get access?’ is a second problem. If I don’t know about it, I won’t even try.”

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