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GPB Media

Operation: Annotation

November 17, 2016

Just recently Francis Ford Coppola, the director, released an entire book filled with his notes as he was making the movie. That’s right. Even the director of The Godfather engaged in annotation.

KQED Learning

Embracing Annotations: The Know How

November 17, 2016

In my previous post I outlined what students should be annotating for in a complex text or novel. But what about the how?

Tool for journalists:, a Chrome extension for annotations

October 26, 2016 can help journalists collaborating on a project or investigation to collect, organise and discuss their research in one place.

News – New tool for (collaborative) digital annotation of websites

October 20, 2016

Non-profit organization wants to bring a new, conversational layer of digital annotation to the web. Investigative journalists are a community that can make powerful use of it.

Freedom to Tinker (hosted by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy)

Open Review leads to better books

October 5, 2016

My book manuscript, Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age, is now in Open Review. That means that while the book manuscript goes through traditional peer review, I also posted it online for a parallel Open Review. During the Open Review everyone—not just traditional peer reviewers—can read the manuscript and help make it better.

Scholarly Kitchen

Annotations as Peer Review: An Interview with Maryann Martone of

September 22, 2016

Almost exactly three years ago, The Scholarly Kitchen posted a podcast with Peter Brantley about the then relatively new start-up, Find out what the organization is up to now, and why they believe in the power of annotation as a form of peer review.


Annotation might be the future of fact-checking

May 25, 2016

Climate Feedback, a scientist-led effort to "peer review" the world’s climate journalism, is closing in on its $30,000 crowdfunding target. A successful conclusion to the campaign would bolster one of the most prominent efforts yet to conduct fact-checking via web annotation.


The Future of Ebook Annotations Is Near & the Possibilities Are Endless

May 13, 2016’s Dan Whaley and EPUB.js lead developer Fred Chasen envision a future where consumers can participate in ongoing and real-time discussions within the ebooks they’re reading.

The New York Times Dot Earth

Scientists Build a Hype Detector for Online Climate News and Commentary

May 3, 2016

As longtime readers know, a prime focus on Dot Earth has been testing ways to clarify disputes over consequential science — a need that’s amplified in complex arenas laden by persistent uncertainty.

Newsweek Tech & Science


April 30, 2016

Earlier this year, a group of climate scientists were outraged about a Wall Street Journal editorial. In an earlier era, they might have written a letter to the editor, or meekly submitted their opinion piece for publication. Instead, they did what scholars have long done in academic circles: they annotated the WSJ broadside.


How to annotate the web for the world, your group, or your students

March 16, 2016

Look at Facebook or Twitter and you'll see plenty of links and comments. But, to understand and discuss a post, you have to follow a link, read an article, and return to comment.

Fast Company

Are We Finally Ready To Annotate The Entire Internet?

March 4, 2016

Larry Hanley, an English professor at San Francisco State University, is the kind of man who aggressively annotates his books. He believes a particularly beautiful verse of poetry deserves to be underlined; a thought-provoking line of prose requires an equally intelligent comment scribbled next to it.


Critiquing climate coverage

February 29, 2016

A solitary bear peers into the ice melting under its feet. A short skim through the text below this classic climate change image is often all it takes for glaciologist Twila Moon to find the words that set her teeth on edge: polar ice caps.

New Scientist

Climate change credibility tool shows what news you can trust

January 13, 2016

“GLOBAL warming is the greatest scam in history.” Denialist headlines like this one litter the internet, confusing the public and frustrating climate scientists.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

What I Like About

January 13, 2016

Whenever people have encouraged me to use for web annotation, my first question had always been, “so how is it different from Diigo?” and Google didn’t seem to have an answer to that (some of us should probably do the world a favor and update the outdated wikipedia page comparing web annotation tools).

Wiley Exchanges

Annotating all knowledge: what it means and why it’s important

December 8, 2015

What does “annotating all knowledge” mean for authors and readers of scholarly content? Why is it important for Wiley to participate? Annotating All Knowledge is a coalition driven by the Project involving over 40 scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries and technology partners. Scholarly publishing is undergoing a sea change. As governments and institutions strive to make the results of research more and more accessible, the publishing industry is adapting. Open Access was an important step towards authors providing unlimited access to their research, and Wiley has fully embraced this. In the meantime, the way readers intellectually engage with the substance of what is written has evolved very little, even as the interpretation of what writing is and how it is represented has broadened. There has been much progress in getting machines to understand things on our behalf, but comparatively little in enabling people to understand each other in more meaningful ways. Social media have given us a plethora of channels through which we can talk about things, allowing thought to spread with efficiency undreamed of even twenty years ago. However, these channels are not designed for depth and analysis. While ‘free’ in the commercial sense, they silo our interactions in exact opposition to the principles on which the Web was founded, namely the democratization of knowledge.

News from ~ search tool for open access content

December 5, 2015 lets visitors annotate your Web pages, via a pop-out sidebar filled with a Twitter-like stream of visitor comments/links. It’s the perennial idea of re-inventing the classic footer comments box as a uniform annotation layer, something that has been tried many times over the past 20 years. Google ran such a tool for three years before closing it down. Such services tend to end up as dank wastelands filled with Viagra ads, troll spoor and link-rot. But this time might be different. There’s a couple of somewhat workable-looking early W3C standards (more are on the way), new options for moderation and closed group working, and an impressive range of publishers and universities are now planning to discuss how social annotation might proceed for scholarship… "Our goal is that within three years, annotation can be deployed across much of scholarship.”



December 1, 2015

Today marks the launch of an informal annotation coalition, organized by the Project, a W3C Member. W3C is excited to be part of this growing effort of over 40 leading organizations in the technology and scholarly publishing communities, including W3C Members IDPF, MIT Press, and Wiley. The partners in this coalition share a vision of how annotation can benefit scholarly publishing, and of open collaboration for integrating web annotation into their platforms, publications, workflow, and communities. W3C sees an important role for Web Annotations as a new layer of user-generated content and commentary on top of the Web, and across digital publications of all sorts. Today, comments on the Web are disjointed and often disruptive; a unified mechanism for creating, publishing, displaying, and sharing annotations and other comments in a decentralized way can aid in distributed curation, improving the quality of comments that a reader sees for Web content, and improving the reading experience. In parallel, Web users want to organize and remember useful sites on the Web, and want to synchronize their favorite sites across multiple devices, or to share their thoughts about a site with friends or colleagues; Web annotations enable all this by allowing users to make highlights or detailed notes about a site, to add tags for categorization and search, and to share these links and notes across multiple conforming social media services. This is ideal for casual users, or for focused reading circles or classrooms.

BioMed Central

The Importance of Annotation: A Q&A with Director of Biosciences, Maryann Martone

December 1, 2015

Maryann Martone is Director of Biosciences for and current President of FORCE11, an organization advancing scholarly communication. She tells us about a new open annotation tool,, and why the ability to annotate scholarly objects is so important. “To enable a conversation over the world’s knowledge” is the slogan for, a open annotation layer that allows anyone to annotate anything. With an innovative open source tool, having the ability to annotate published work, be it data, methods or peer review comments, further enhances reproducible science and transparency – an ethos of GigaScience.


Annotating the scholarly web

December 1, 2015

On 1 December, announced partnerships with more than 40 publishers, technology firms and scholarly websites, including Wiley, CrossRef, PLOS, Project Jupyter, HighWire and arXiv. Whaley hopes that the partnerships will encourage researchers to start annotating the world's online scholarship.

NY Times Blog

Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create

Nov 12, 2015

The Learning Network has an entire lesson plan devoted to doing it the old-fashioned, analog way — but if you’d like to experiment with doing it digitally, you might look at what Sarah Gross, a high school teacher and contributor to our blog, did recently using Hypothesis with her senior class as they read the Opinion piece “What Really Keeps Women Out of Tech.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Visualizing Your Searches with Trailblazer

October 14, 2015

I’ve been writing about my use of as a collaborative annotation tool this semester with the students in our introduction to literature class (see my ProfHacker post from this summer on my selection process). The tool so far has been a huge success and the students have been getting a lot out of the process.

The Guardian

Scientists get tool to mark online climate science media coverage and it’s not a rusty teaspoon

August 13, 2015

Vincent says the idea came from conversations with Dan Whaley, the founder of an online platform called Hypothesis - the same tool scientists are using to annotate the online text.

International Literacy Association

Massively Open Online Reading With

September 25, 2015

There’s no doubt that our students will get a lot more practice annotating online. In fact, annotating the Web is nothing new. The developers of Mosaic, one of the earliest browsers from the ’90s, envisioned a Web that anyone could annotate. And there’s no shortage of web annotation tools—AnnotateIt, Bounce, Diigo, Genius, and Marqueed, to name a few. But one tool I’ve been incorporating into my teaching lately is was developed using the standards of the W3C (the major governing body of the Internet), specifically the standards of the W3C Annotation Working Group. The mission of is to enable a conversation over the world’s knowledge by creating an open platform for the annotation of any web document—images, videos, and data. The easiest way to use is to find a webpage you want to annotate and paste the URL into the search bar on the homepage of the website. After that, a sidebar on the right of the screen appears allowing users to begin annotating. If anyone else has annotated the page, their public annotations are visible too. Another way to see what’s been annotated is to scroll through a webpage and then click on any highlighted areas.

Inside Higher Ed

Cool Tools for School

September 3, 2015

Finally, something I haven’t used much yet, but which I imagine could be really useful for close reading, analysis, or debate, is, an annotation tool for web documents. I really like the fact that this project doesn’t rely on monetizing user data (what Shoshana Zuboff recently called “surveillance capitalism”), and it’s a non-profit that uses open standards and isn’t operating on magical venture capital dust like so many for-profit tech ventures. You can create an account (and don’t have to give away a lot of personal information to do so – all you need is an email address) and in quick order have the ability to highlight passages and add notes. I can imagine this being quite useful for a group of students digging into a web text, but one problem I have with it is that you have a choice of your annotations and highlights being public or private – you can’t have a private group, so far as I can tell. Still, since students don’t need to use their real names, and a course tag can be added to comments to pull them all together, I may try it someday. There are more ideas for using it in the classroom at their blog.

Adam Croom Blog Post

A Reclaim Hypothesis (Part II)

August 23, 2015

I explain as the ability to annotate line-by-line to any page on the web (kind of like brining Medium everywhere). The original intention of this post was to retell his story from my point of view and sort of go line-by-line from his recollection. Instead, I decided to use this as a test case to use for the first time. You can see that my annotations have also been aggregated to my own public stream.


Pope 1, Lomborg 0

July 23, 2015

The Climate Feedback project opens a new channel of communication. The project uses the Hypothesis online annotation platform to allow scientists to subject media reports about climate change to a process akin to peer review. Scientists can trawl through online documents sentence by sentence, chart by chart, highlighting inaccuracies and misrepresentations or adding context. Hypothesis places these annotations in the public domain, allowing readers to see exactly how the article aligns with the latest science. The scientists also provide a score for scientific credibility; the average of these scores, converted into a simple scale, is presented along with a pithy summary of the credibility of article.

the engine room

Bringing a text to life: 6 platforms for annotating text online

May 19, 2015

The engine room asked me to take a look at how the book could be put online, to facilitate this conversation online, and try to make the book a little more engaging for people we’d love to learn from and hear from. This blog post is a summary of what we learned along the way.

NPR's On The Media

Blame, Shame, or Deny?


Climate change is arguably the most urgent story in human history, but journalism has struggled to address the threat. This week, an exploration of new efforts by the press to understand and explain the science – and to get you involved.

Sharing and Learning for web annotation

Mar 11, 2015

I also like because it is an open project. I don’t just mean that it allows the content of annotations to be shared creating open discussion, though it does, and I like that. I don’t just mean that it works on the open web rather than within the confines of a single site, though it does, and I like that. I just don’t mean that it’s Open Source, though it is, and I like that. And I just don’t mean that it’s supporting open standards, though it is, and I like that. What I really like is the openness in discussing the projects goals, approaches, plans that can be found on the project wiki and blog.


Policing the Online Climate Conversation

Feb 24, 2015

Dan Whaley, the founder of, said future iterations of the tool will address this by creating group modes or channels. This would allow a user to visit Bjorn Lomborg’s op-ed and quickly isolate only the annotations of the Climate Feedback Project’s team of scientists. It will also allow the project to restrict its membership only to those scientists it has vetted for commenting under its name. The long-term goal, Whaley said, “is to have high quality content discoverable publicly as an annotated layer over the Web.”

Future Publications in den Humanities und das Potential von Social Annotation

December 28, 2014

Nimmt man den Twitterstream als Fenster zur Welt, so war heute auf der SWIB14 – Semantic Web in Libraries Conference (#swib14) der Webannotator von das Thema. Es ist schwer einzuschätzen, wie erfolgreich er bisher ist. Der Echtzeit-Annotationsstrom für öffentlich sichtbare Annotation weist derzeit noch nicht auf eine allzu hohe Nutzungsintensität hin. Es ist jedoch zu erwarten, dass sich das, sofern die technische Performanz das zulässt, bald ändert.

Skeptical Software Tools

Crowdsourced climate feedback via the newly launched

December 15, 2014

So what is web annotation? It’s very simple – it’s a way of attaching comments, criticism and so on directly to original content on the web. Unlike conventional comment threads, which are often a distant scroll away from the text to which they refer, annotations appear right next to the original. And since annotations reside in, they are not subject to the censorious whims of the owner of the original content.

The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture

Scalar Feature Update: Annotation Sidebar

December 11, 2014

We’re pleased to announce that the powerful annotation plugin developed by the folks at is now a fully supported feature in Scalar books. Good for reader responses, collaborative authoring and even copyediting, allows users to highlight, comment on and form discuss threads around selections of text in a Scalar book.


New app lets scientists fact-check the media on climate

December 4, 2014

Scroll through the annotations, and you can read in detail why the six climate scientists who reviewed the article — all post-doc researchers in the field — gave its “overall scientific quality” a rating of 0.5 out of 4. The reviewers note where Koonin’s claims are misleading, incomplete or patently false and explain their reasoning for each point.


This browser plug-in will offer a credibility meter for bad climate change reporting

December 7, 2014

Vincent partnered with the web application that is creating a browser plug-in, so that Climate Feedback’s scientists and experts can annotate news stories, blogs and scientific articles with community-reviewed commentary, references, and insight. Each article is rated overall for its accuracy.

MIT News

Improving media coverage of climate science

December 2, 2014

Climate Feedback, an application of the platform to climate science communication, will allow active climate scientists to evaluate the scientific accuracy of an article by adding comments on the right-hand side of the screen. Everyone — especially journalists, writers, and other scientists — can learn from this pool of knowledge to improve their reporting or find resources on a topic.

Library Journal

Video: Experts Share Perspectives on Web Annotation

November 19, 2014

Today, posted a 15 minute video (embedded below) where several experts share some of their perspectives (Why the interest in the topic? Biggest Challenges, Future Plans, etc.) on the topic of web annotation. The video was recorded at the recent W3C TPAC 2014 Conference in Santa Clara, CA.

Open Science – the launch of October 2014

November 10, 2014 is an annotator, the tool designed to advance commenting and discussions on every piece of content on the Internet (scientific or non-scientific). From the point of view of academia, it might be seen as another tool to make science more open and to make scientific communication faster.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

At Mellon, Signs of Change

June 29, 2014

Mr. Waters, meanwhile, sketches out several broad topics of current emphasis for the scholarly-communications-and-information-technology program. He and his colleagues are keenly interested in the ability to annotate scholarship online, he says; Mellon has made serious investments in annotation tools and the development of open annotation standards by the university community and projects like, which just received a two-year, $752,000 grant from the foundation to look into digital annotation in humanities and social-science scholarship.

Wiley Exchanges

Adding a new layer of thought online

Apr 16, 2014

What has been most interesting to us, just over this last year, has been a fairly significant burst of interest in the utilization of annotation in a research context. For instance, among the scholarly communication grants The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is considering for funding this summer, approximately half involve annotation in one guise or another. This is quite striking.

Book Business Mag

Building an Open Annotation System to Curate a “Cacophony of Perspectives”

Jan 2014

To do this, aims to create a cross-platform annotation systemOpens in a new window that would essentially function as a layer on top of the existing web, allowing users to comment on pages, pictures, video, documents, or data. This open annotation would allow discussion to take place on any web real estate, not beholden to those who control the pages.

CBC Radio - Spark

Open Annotation & The History of Marginalia

Nov 1, 2013

Dan Whaley is the founder of, a company that promises an open annotation web experience where anyone can comment on anything.

Say Books

Books in Browsers 2013 – Reflections

Nov 1, 2013 showed their impressive contribution with two open source projects with huge potential: Epub.js and their own

Publishing Perspectives

Big Ideas from Books in Browsers IV

Oct 31, 2013

One example comes from the San Francisco non-profit, where Books in Browsers’ Peter Brantley is based. The company is working to develop “an open platform for the collaborative evaluation of knowledge” — annotation. Their explanatory video takes you from from the beginning of recorded information to our current moment of the search for universal collaborative commentary.

The Scholarly Kitchen

Podcast: Scholarly Kitchen interview of Peter Brantley

Oct 9, 2013

In this episode, Peter Brantley, the director of scholarly communication at the start-up, talks with host Stewart Wills about the firm’s efforts to build an open annotation layer on the Web, his thoughts on how in-line annotation differs, in both spirit and potential, from the more common practice of online comment streams, and some possible applications in scholarly communication, publishing, and peer review.


Peer Review für’s Netz:

Aug 31, 2013

Was Mosaic nicht schaffte, will nun das Projekt erreichen. 2011 als Crowdfunding-Projekt gestartet, macht das Nonprofit-Projekt seitdem immer wieder kleine Fortschritte. Am Ende soll eine verteilte, offene Plattform stehen, über die Nutzer wie im Peer-Review-Verfahren der Wissenschaft einzelne Sätze markieren und Informationen bewerten können. Statt Kommentar-Inseln auf einzelnen Websites oder bei Twitter entstünde ein über das Netz waberndes Band an Anmerkungen – so zumindest die Idee.

Nieman Lab

Exegesis: How early adapters, innovative publishers, legacy media companies and more are pushing toward the annotated web

Aug 12, 2013

I think the way tech first evolved, it was highly community-oriented and focused on shared goals and shared objectives, and I think we lost some of that,” says Whaley. “But I think there are elements of it that are coming back, because of the explosion of open source and collaborative systems, and also some fatigue with the commercial infrastructure we conduct our affairs on — Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. They give us service we want, but impose a tax for doing so, and, for me — I think there’s a different future.

Ryan Branzell / Drop Your Shoulders just might make the web relevant again

Aug 15, 2013

This kind of tool has the potential to further democratize the web, by making the comments and conversation surrounding a piece of writing just as important — if not moreso — than the original text. That is something compelling that could, and would, bring me out of my RSS shell and back onto the open web.


L’avenir de l’annotation débattu à San Francisco

April 26, 2013

Première différence, cependant : est indépendante, open source, à but non lucratif et utilise les standards du W3C. Elle sera donc financée en partie par nous-mêmes et par des fonds publics. Le rachat de GoodReads par Amazon a démontré la nécessité de ce type d’argument : vos productions textuelles sont garanties d’être pérennes, parce que ce sont en partie vos dons qui assurent la viabilité de la plateforme.

The Scholarly Kitchen

Whatever Happened to the Web as an Annotation System?

April 30, 2013

Thinking back to the foundation of the World Wide Web, annotation was actually a critical component of what Sir Tim Berners-Lee conceived of as an interconnected store of research documents for CERN.

Fast Company Co.Exist

This Ambitious Nonprofit Wants to Fact Check the Web

April 22, 2013

Using reputation-modeling that privileges people who actually know about stuff, the system creates information trails, showing what research or news preceded the text in question, and what other work it led to afterwards. "This is collaborative research that blurs the line between pre- and post-publication," he says.

GigaOM wants to add an annotation layer to the web

April 14, 2013

Obviously, the existence of such a system, as it is envisioned by the founders, would be a startling addition to human knowledge. And a very controversial one. Imagine reading an annotated NY Times, where the pros and cons of Paul Krugman's thoughts on the Euro could be argued by the world's great economists. Or your sister could annotate online recipes on Epicurious. Or a company's claims about their product's capabilities and value could be countered by disgruntled customers.

New York Times

Speak Up, the Internet Can’t Hear You

April 11, 2013

Maybe that is why there is now a renewed appetite for exploring ways of facilitating commenting across the Internet that give more control to individuals. Many of those interested in seeing that happen-- including start-ups, academics, libraries and early adopters-- came to San Francisco this week for the I Annotate conference. It was a discussion about discussion.

Marcus' World


February 17, 2013 aims to leave a digital trail of people's thought processes as they traipse across the Web. At the "I Annotate" conference this April, a wide swath of the digital publishing community will take the next steps toward building this infrastructure.

Library Journal

8 Questions with Peter Brantley about

January 23, 2013

Our goal is to realize a vision long held by the pioneers of the web, where we all create, consume, and collaborate interchangeably and easily.

ACM News

Two Apps Aim To Tell The Truth And Nothing But The Truth

November 27, 2012

" is not a tool to tell people whether something is true or not-- it's a tool to let people have their input and, by having more information, they can decide for themselves whether it is true or false," says Leeds.

Future Tense

Fact and Fiction

November 18, 2012

Facts and fact checking have a long history but in a world where the speed and volume of information are rapidly increasing how do we separate fact from fiction?

New Scientist

Reality Checker: How to cut nonsense from the net

September 19, 2012

Perhaps the most ambitious attempt to use the crowd to purge the internet of falsehoods is a tool called, which is due to launch next year.

Read Write Web

The Internet Will Get a Peer Review Layer Next Year

November 19, 2011

A team of long-time leaders of the Internet community have come together behind Dan Whaley, one of the forefathers of contemporary search engines, to build a system called

Read Write Web

How We’re Going to Fix Online Identity and Reputation

March 2, 2012

There are two fundamental, related cultural problems with the Web that wants to address: identity and reputation. Reputation is the main problem, but you can't approach it without fixing identity


Peer review should be more like than should be like peer review!

November 1, 2011

But I'm not sure about the direction of its foundational metaphor: peer review for the internet. It suggests that the future reputation and fact checking system of the internet should be more like academic peer review. But that's the wrong way to look at it. Academic peer review should be more like

TechCrunch A Kickstarter Project To Peer Review The Web

October 31, 2011

The Web: never before has there been a medium where it was so easy to find so much information. And never before has so much of it been so wrong. Somebody needs to fact-check the Internet.

Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence

The Internet, peer-reviewed

October 28, 2011

It could be one of the most important innovations on the Internet since the browser. Imagine an open-source, crowd-sourced, community-moderated, distributed platform for sentence-level annotation of the Web...


Interesting Ideas: Can You Peer Review The Entire Internet, Sentence By Sentence

Oct 24, 2011

One of the concerns many people have with the web is whether or not the content you come across is trustworthy. To be honest, to some extent I've always found this to be a feature, rather than a bug, in that it (hopefully) teaches people to be more skeptical of everything they read and to seek additional sources, opinions and viewpoints in determining what they really believe. However, it's definitely true that many people can get sucked in by less than credible information.

Skeptools could become a crucial tool for skeptics

October 21, 2011

The team is approaching it from a broader perspective, beyond that of scientific skepticism. They want to peer review any fact that appears anywhere on the web, on any site.


Would Your Blog Stand up To Criticism?

October 21, 2011

I am therefore going to become a very big fan of Before launched I was chewing over the problem of peer review. Do we get enough peer review in a world of open communications?