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Category: Deep Literacy

Deep Linking for eBooks

This is based on the idea of a citation having two parts (document name and location/page number), just as it did in the physical world, and that the reader should be able to choose how to access the cited book or journal article. The proposal was then this:

1) Author selects text in a digital book (Kindle, iBooks, whatever) and chooses the option ‘Copy Location’ (same as we can do in YouTube videos). No copying of text is necessarily necessary.

2) The author then pastes this in their own book/article as a citation, which, importantly, has two parts:

• The document identifiers (name of book plus authors, ISBN and/or more – the more the better, for redundancy)
• The internal location (which different document types already have, this proposal is partly to establish a common standard which libraries will endorse)

3) The reader then has the option to follow this citation reference and the system presents a dialog (this is one of the key innovations we are talking about):

• This book is available on Amazon. Purchase it?
• This book is available on ‘Whatever online Store’. Purchase it?
• This book is available on Google Books. See the page? (full book not available)
• This book is available digitally from your university library. Access it?

At this point the user can choose whatever way they want to access the book – and here is the big deal: Once they choose how to access it (‘own’ it and the reader system knows what books are in what access application), the system will open the book to the very location referred to!

This means that copyright is not an issue but we have high resolution addressing. VERY useful I was told by many, which is nice.

Issues include

• Researching current in-document location systems and seeing which systems can be used universally
• Building relationships with book vendors to allow for what is sometimes called ‘deep linking’ where you can have a link and specify what application to launch it in. (We can of course build our own for testing before anyone else agrees to join us)

I have a friend who works at Audible but is very well connected within the rest of Amazon who I’ll present this to, in order to have it presented further in the company. Amazon already has a location system, which is why you can listen to a book on audible and then the Kindle page you are on will automatically update.


The benefit is that it makes it more easy to find, access and buy books, which is good for authors and publishers and it the benefit to the reader and author is the fluidity of movement within their knowledge environment.


Current & Ideal Academic Discourse

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) provides a basic definition of scholarly communication as “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.” (2003,

The subject for my work is augmenting scholarly document discourse to increase clarity and credibility in the following document lifecycle:

•  discovering document of relevant and of high quality to read,
•  reading to critically understand,
•  write/enter text to get thoughts cleanly and quickly out of head onto a substrate
•  construct argument to more deeply understand your text
•  cite external & internal material to tie into the web of scholarly discourse and to increase credibility
•  copy-edit document to present a clear and coherent argument
•  review of the work (primarily by supervisors/teachers but also by peers and editors) to increase quality and chance of publication/pass grade
•  publishing credibly (logically presented and correctly cited) and clearly (in a readable and clear format) & archiving to augment the first spoke in the cyclical wheel
•  archive document for future access, also to augment the first spoke in the cyclical wheel



Approaching Ideal Academic Discourse

The subject of my work is not to simply replicate the early generations of digital work where a serious focus was on replicating the capabilities (and, more importantly,) the limitations of the previous media of paper (WYSIWYG to WYSIAYG). The subject of my work is to explore and develop new digital capabilities far above what the previous capabilities of paper publishing would allow.

This will not be linear process. With new technologies come new opportunities, which are often spent on flashy demos which simply aims to sell the technology itself. To find out what truly useful utility the new opportunities offer is an exploration of the new capability space – we can not know how to map the opportunities fully until we explore the territory.

I am therefore a proponent of the facilitated evolution (Engelbart, 2009) model where the human system and the tool system co-evolves through trial and error towards a continuously re-defined and refined future of ever deeper literacies (my term, I did not get a chance to discuss that term with Doug but I have a feeling he would have appreciated it).

This is why I have engaged in dialog with academics to work to uncover how to provide augmentations to remove impediments to the scholarly communications process, to make tasks smoother and thus more likely to be carried out, and by providing advanced functions to go beyond anything we have been able to do before.



Here is the above mapped onto potential future work/features for Author:


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