Last updated on October 13, 2019
This is a request for comment regarding notification of PDF which mention authors, sent out to a few thoughtful friends. Please comment any way you choose but blog posts would be greatly preferred :-)
I am working on the basis of building a system to allow people to carry out a thoughtful dialog via documents, in the manner of academic publishing but without the publishers. This approach is called ‘Scholarly Copy’ wordpress.liquid.info/10/scholarly-copy/frode/ and it uses PDF documents though I am not a natural fan of the medium: wordpress.liquid.info/10/pdf/frode/
I briefly blogged the meeting with my advisor Les: wordpress.liquid.info/10/phd-status-scholarly-copy/frode/. The approach uses Visual Meta as the starting point and Citation Meta for copying: /wordpress.liquid.info/10/citation-meta/frode/ and the focus and goal is described better here, please read this if you have not already done so if you are interested or involved in this work: http://wordpress.liquid.info/10/statement-of-focus/frode/
There are three main research questions posted at wordpress.liquid.info/10/statement-of-focus/frode/ :
- Citing (Visual-Meta & Citation Meta), which is largely conceptually done (credit to collaboration with Jacob Voß) and will be implemented in software once complete (by Jacob Hazelgrove)
- Addressing (high resolution and document based), which is also largely done conceptually (paragraph anchors in WordPress and page numbers with section highlight for PDF). Where addressing is applied is dealt with here: http://wordpress.liquid.info/10/scholarly-copy-citation-payload/frode/
- Notifications (of replies and updates) which is the main question currently:
- It should be trivially easy to thread conversation both in terms of creating addresses (document and in-document for high resolution) and for being updated about who has cited a document you have authored or that you are following.
- It should be similarly easy to notify and to be notified that a document has been updated/revised.
- Author publishes document to PDF or WordPress with Visual-Meta automatically attached. Please refer to Jacob Voß’s technical notes on this: https://gist.github.com/nichtich/c20d95f077df8a268f0ed6b60768b349
- Reader copies text from PDF or WordPress (in a Visual-Meta aware PDF reader or WordPress site with Scholarly Copy plugin).
This text is added to the clipboard as an extended BibTeX export format to make it easy to parse on pasting.
- Reader pastes into email or Non-Scholarly Copy aware application and what is pasted is the selected text plus URL or document name plus author name and publication date, for a basic citation which can be followed with a click. Multiple versions of the clipboard is possible and we have it in Liquid | Flow and Liquid | Author since it’s possible currently to copy text from a web browser and paste it into Mail as just text, no options, or into Author as a citation–in other words Author can see an attached URL. This mechanism also allows users to copy the BibTeX Export format from download sites for legacy academic documents such as on this page and paste that with the same mechanism:
- It is crucial for adoption that this paste looks good and is useful
- Reader pastes into Scholarly Copy aware application such as Liquid | Author and citation appears and can be clicked on to change display format etc. This means that the application must be able to parse extended BibTeX
- Reader then exports own PDF or WordPress post with Visual-Meta which retains the citations correctly formatted for a second reader to interact with
(Not for this project): Reader can also decide to reformat citations in document and present headings and sections as a graph or other view and extract data from tables etc. Visual-Meta provides enough data to enable this.
Now the question is how the original or prior authors can/will be notified of updates. For WordPress this is a largely solved problem with ping back and trackback and so on so I ask how we can best do this for PDF documents.
Notifications is the key issue to be dealt with at this point. How to do the ‘Scholarly Copying’ is almost a solved problem but how to alert those in the dialogue that a reply has been created is not. Various options can be explored:
- Automatically post the PDF to WordPress with basic text in the article and use trackback or pingback. Must have the wordpress IDs of those mentioned
- Auto-post to Twitter to anyone mentioned. Must have the twitter ID of those mentioned.
- Use IPFS, blockchain or other mechanism. Must have the IDs here as well.
- Email mentioned or cited people. Must have the email IDs
This immediately highlights the importance of being able to address people, not just documents. What are your thoughts on how best to do this? How would you like to be notified if someone in your circle mentions/cites a document you have written?
Should the mention be based on you or a addressable aspect of you or the document itself somehow?
If you need a reminder as to why I think this is a good idea, please have a look at http://wordpress.liquid.info/10/statement-of-focus/frode/ which was also listed above.
Thank you for having a look, I very much look forward to any comments.