Off-the-shelf solutions for open pub/review

Utopia Documents + PDF Upload = Preprints with Commentary

Utopia Docs is a desktop app (PDF reader) + web service that allows users to annotate PDFs in a localized (anchored), conversational format. Annotations are universally visible: if another user opens the same PDF, they’ll see other users’ annotations.

Stack Overflow

Upvoting/downvoting of questions/answers/comments, credit accumulation, new capabilities as credit is accumulated (e.g., can only upvote comments after some number of points have been gained).

Mismatch between length of questions & the long-form articles we want to be able to handle.


Fine-grained commenting theme for WordPress, so that conversations can happen on paragraphs. Big advantage over Utopia: in the browser; in WordPress and therefore more hackable.


WordPress theme for “journal” publication/review used for PLoS Currents

PLoS Hubs

“Portal” platform, currently only one example.


  • Pull Utopia Docs/other annotations could into a Stack Overflow or other-like service via an API?
  • WordPress-based solution using Annotum/CommentPress/ratings plugin, etc., etc.
  • Some other content management system/framework (Drupal etc.)

Collaboration readiness


Thanks for allowing me to sit on this morning – cool stuff.

Here are those refs to work on collaboration readiness:

Olson, G. M. & Olson, J. S. (2000). Distance Matters. Human-Computer Interaction, 15(2/3), 139-178.

Olson, G.M., Teasley, S., Bietz, M. J., & Cogburn, D. L. (2002). Collaboratories to support distributed science: the example of international HIV/AIDS research, Proceedings of the 2002 annual research conference of the South African institute of computer scientists and information



Survey We Will Conduct

Issues Addressed by Survey

  • Gaps in publishing – desirables, impediments, and what I hate about the current process
  • Metrics of reputation from scholarly publishing
  • Incentives to try something new

This survey will address the ‘readyness’ of the community for a publishing 2.0 solution, and what will help guide people forward as quickly as possible

Survey #2 will be a post-‘experiment’ survey