eLife Partners with Hypothesis to Advance Open Scholarly Annotation

We’re thrilled to announce our first customer today, eLife — an open access life sciences journal.  The press release announcing our partnership is attached below.   eLife partners with Hypothes.is to advance open scholarly annotation Wednesday, September 14, 2016 eLife, a non-profit initiative inspired by research funders and led by scientists, is working with Hypothes.is to bring … Continued

Preventing abuse

Recent events (here, here, and here) have prompted us to rethink how the technology we are building can be used not only to discuss and enlighten, but also to harass and abuse. Here’s the heart of the matter: most web annotation systems, ours included, don’t currently provide adequate tools to prevent abuse. We’re a non-profit … Continued

A Coalition of over 40 60 Scholarly Publishers

Today we’re announcing a coalition of over 40 scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries and technology partners that share the goal of building an open conversation layer over all knowledge. Over the next several years this coalition will be working together to define, design and implement a common framework for scholarly collaboration from peer-review through post-publication discussion, … Continued

Annotations at the W3C

For a while now, a dedicated group of individuals has been working towards a web annotation standard– the idea being that annotation is something that will be fundamental to the future of web and should be interoperable, and eventually incorporated into browsers. This effort began first as two separate groups, Annotation Ontology and Open Annotation … Continued


As of today, we’re making our general purpose annotator available from our homepage. If you use the Chrome browser, you can download and install it as an extension. An equivalent extension for Firefox is coming shortly. The annotator allows you to bring note-taking and conversation capabilities to any page on the web. The application has … Continued

Helmsley Trust Supports Open Annotation in Biomedical Research

The Hypothes.is Project together with partners at the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) and ORCID has been awarded a 3-year, $2.1M grant by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to bring annotation to biomedicine. Web annotations, a new standard for digital notes on top of an existing online resource, are proving transformative in … Continued

Older browser support in Annotator

Bill Hunt is a developer with the OpenGov Foundation, his article below is cross-posted from there. The Annotator Problem: New Tech in Older Web Browsers A few months ago, The OpenGov Foundation was awarded a grant from Hypothes.is’ Open Annotation Fund to add cross-browser support for Annotator, the tool powering inline annotation on government policy … Continued

Fund: Cross-browser support

We are very proud to announce the first award under our Open Annotation Fund of $7500 to the Open Gov Foundation for work by Chris Birk and Bill Hunt for cross-browser support in Annotator. Their funded proposal is included below: Summary The OpenGov Foundation is dedicated to developing and deploying technologies that support every citizen’s … Continued

An Open Annotation Fund

Today we are formally announcing the availability of a $50k USD fund for Open Annotation software projects. Overview: Interest in annotation is making big strides. Specifically Open Annotation, the web-based, implementation of an interoperable, standards-based annotation paradigm that promises to become a new layer over human knowledge. In just a few short years a worldwide … Continued

A Grant from the Knight Foundation

This is a cross-posting of an article that first appeared at the Knight Foundation Blog. Journalism is moving from something that a small number of professionals perform to something that citizens and journalists can collaborate on. The Internet has played the central role in enabling this trend, and emerging technologies can accelerate it. Open annotation, … Continued

Q2 Update

2013 has been an exciting year so far. We last sent out news in January. Moving forward we’ll be providing quarterly updates. Launch time We are working on a few remaining features necessary before we begin a gradual release process this fall. Beginning in September we’ll be testing annotation in a number of college classrooms … Continued

501.c3 Determination

Hypothes.is has received its official US IRS 501.c3 letter of determination, meaning we can enjoy tax-exempt status as a US non-profit corporation. While it’s an administrative detail in support of our larger strategy, it’s a substantial milestone for us and means that we can now accept funds directly without the need for the services of … Continued

Designers and Geeks

Recently we had the opportunity to present to Joe Robinson’s excellent Designers and Geeks series, which we gladly accepted. Several hundred local designers gathered this last Thursday at Yelp, and they graciously videoed the presentation.

I Annotate: A Workshop.

After two decades of progress in infrastructure and web technologies, we believe the time is finally at hand to realize the widespread annotation of human knowledge. On a recent call a suggestion was made to bring together people building annotation solutions with those that ultimately will use them. The obvious sensibility of that idea led … Continued

Welcoming Peter Brantley

As Hypothes.is moves from an early concept to a functional prototype and ultimately to a deployed application, it is essential that we organize ourselves to understand the primary communities of interest that we’re targeting. Of these, the scholarly community (scholars, scientists, journals, publishers and their various institutions) is certainly the most important. Members of this … Continued

2012 End of Year Update

Friends of Hypothes.is, While we’ve been fairly regular in our code contributions on github, in our tweets and more recently on our blog, we’re past due for an outbound communication to everyone who’s supported us over the last year and is curious about the state of activity here. A lot happened in 2012. We secured … Continued

Threading. When and why.

To encourage true conversation, people must be able to discuss annotations as well as creating new ones. We tested prototypes of several different options, and settled on a threaded discussion approach, similar to that used by Reddit, Hacker News and other sites. We’re well aware that the choice between threaded and unthreaded discussion is a … Continued

Shuttleworth Fellowship

Hypothes.is has just been awarded a Shuttleworth Fellowship for the 2013 year. Though the fellowship is technically awarded to an individual, the considerable funding it provides will help us bring on additional folks to deliver a fully functioning prototype and begin launching within early communities of interest by the end of this next year. The … Continued

An Open Letter to Marc Andreessen and Rap Genius

When I got up this morning, I saw the remarkable news that VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz had announced a $15M investment in rap music annotation site Rap Genius. Congratulations to the team. I’m a huge fan of Rap Genius, and really look forward to seeing where they’ll take this next. (Plus, it’s always great to close … Continued

Soul searching

We’ve been busy. In particular we’ve been thinking hard about the multitude of design decisions that inevitably present themselves in a project like this. How do we build an experience capable of showing hundreds or thousands of annotations on a page simply and elegantly. How do we create functionality that’s there when you want it, … Continued

Why we do what we do

Recently we became aware of an opportunity to join ReadyForce’s Hacker Tour 2012 of top US Computer Science and Engineering schools, as they reach out to graduating students interested in opportunities with startups.  We were offered a position as one of two non-profits on the tour, and we gladly accepted. As we begin to bring … Continued

New Scientist covers fact-checking

Jim Giles has written perhaps the best piece yet on the landscape of fact-checking in a New Scientist piece that published today (archival PDF). He details a range of efforts, both editorial and automated, current and proposed, methodically addressing both the promise as well as the challenges and obvious questions in a remarkably balanced way. It’s … Continued


We’re now the proud recipient of a $525k grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Digital Information Technology program. We were first approached by Josh Greenberg, the program director, last fall during our Kickstarter funding drive. Later that year, they provided an initial $20k grant for our Reputation Modeling Workshop this past February. After the … Continued

Reimagining peer-review

Late last year I was approached by Hilmar Lapp at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center to keynote their iEvoBio conference in Ottawa this July, immediately following the historic Evolution 2012 conference also in Ottawa this year – the “First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology.” I was impressed by the Open Source Commitment that captures the central … Continued