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Swapnotes

Proposal for an interactive repository for student e-prints and working papers

For a PDF version of this proposal, see File:Student repository.pdf. Note that this wiki page contains additional notes not included in the PDF.

Name

We need a cool name for this. Suggestions?

What is it?

  • Repository
    • Open access
    • Online database
    • Not formally peer-reviewed
      • cf. arXiv: "Papers will be entered in the listings in order of receipt on an impartial basis and appearance of a paper is not intended in any way to convey tacit approval of its assumptions, methods, or conclusions by any agent (electronic, mechanical, or other). We reserve the right to reject any inappropriate submissions. This site should not be used to distribute non-technical information (such as news or information about political causes of potential special interest to the academic community). Submission of an abstract without an accompanying paper will be rejected outright."[1]
      • cf. PLoS ONE: "Each submission will be assessed by a member of the PLoS ONE Editorial Board before publication. This pre-publication peer review will concentrate on technical rather than subjective concerns and may involve discussion with other members of the Editorial Board and/or the solicitation of formal reports from independent referees. If published, papers will be made available for community-based open peer review involving online annotation, discussion, and rating."[2]
    • Open to papers in all disciplines
    • OAI-compliant
    • Run on free & open source software
    • Open API: allow export of data to other services
  • Interactive (cf. PLoS ONE)
    • Allow user ratings, comments, annotation
    • Employ readership data
      • e.g. "Most popular papers this week / month / year," "Most popular papers in this field," "Highest user ratings"
      • e.g. "Users who liked this paper also liked..."
  • Student e-prints and working papers
    • E-prints: Papers accepted for publication, theses, dissertations
      • May or may not have been through formal peer-review process
      • May or may not have been published in formal journal (may have been published in ad-hoc, student-run journal)
      • May or may not be accepted in institutional repository (if available)
      • May or may not be accepted in subject repository (if available)
    • Working papers: Papers for class or academic requirements, drafts
      • Generally will fail all of the criteria above

How students could use the site

  • Read
    • For enjoyment or intellectual advancement
    • For help with a paper or assignment
      • See what others have written about a given topic
      • See what sources others have used in papers about a given topic
        • Could build in "Web of Science" feature: Find other papers that have cited the same source, "Papers that cited this source also cited..."
        • For open access / freely-licensed / public domain sources, could link to a copy online (e.g. Wikisource, Project Gutenberg) (via Opensearch / Open Library)
  • Upload
    • For visibility / to increase readership
    • For the advancement of science
    • For a class
      • Allows professor to read online, export to PDF, see time submitted, leave comments, etc.
      • Allows students to read classmates' papers, annotate, etc.
      • Could be used in distance education, virtual learning environments
      • Professors could assign students to read, discuss, annotate papers on site as examples
      • Professors could award extra credit for posting paper on site
    • For feedback on a paper
      • Could publish drafts anonymously
      • Note: Early adopters likely to be more academically-minded students
      • Note: See swapnotes.com and Campus Open Course for an example of students sharing class notes online
      • Note: Could have submission system to OA journals
      • Note: Could import/export from/to students' institutional repository
  • Annotate
    • For enjoyment or intellectual advancement
    • For the advancement of science
    • For a class assignment or extra credit
    • Note: In comments, could use InterWiki-style links to Wikimedia projects. e.g. instead of requiring the user to paste the URL to a Wikipedia article with title k, the user can simply type "Wikipedia:k", or click a button that says "Link to a Wikipedia article" which opens a dialog box that asks for the title of the article the user wants to link to.

Issues to consider

  • Plagiarism-detection / anti-cheating. We should plan technical, design, and/or rhetorical responses so the site isn't accused of being a tool for plagiarism.
  • Copyright
    • "Kids have to give away their copyright when they post their paper on this site, that's not fair"
      • We should plan design and/or rhetorical responses so the site isn't accused of "taking" students' copyright
    • "Papers on your site are infringing my copyright, take it down"
      • Have a mechanism to respond to complaints

Potential Partners

Taglines

  • Tired of writing papers no one will ever read?
  • Get feedback before you turn it in
  • Share your work with the world

Interest list

Feel free to add yourself! Anyone interested in volunteering should email Gavin at the address below.