Web Annotation Adds Good Layers

CakeTwo years ago, SSRN joined a team of coalition members that recognized a need to annotate knowledge. At its simplest description, the coalition recognizes that a single layer of information, especially in scholarship, is not enough. A robust conversation can deeply enrich knowledge by enhancing the communication amongst readers. Realizing the challenge, Hypothes.is worked on making scholarly annotation available and connecting experts to novices through annotated communication. Since SSRN is all about sharing tomorrow’s research today with the broadest possible audience, joining this group was a no-brainer.

Dan Whaley (CEO & Founder, Hypothes.is), and the team have been very successful in growing their community. Early in 2017, they saw the 1 millionth annotation made by a student engaging with current events as part of a class project; a perfect example of annotation in the education space. Perhaps most significant to their efforts was the very recent standardization of web annotations by the W3C, which will affect the way annotations are received, used, and presented for all web users.

We see this as a pivotal milestone– where moving forward all major domains of human inquiry can project their expertise over the Web

Search and profiles were recently added and Hypothes.is isn’t close to taking a break. With web standards in place after more than 20 years, Hypothes.is will be releasing Organization and Community layers over the web so that groups of people can share their collective expertise on top of any web document. Hypothes.is is focusing on key public interests including vaccines, technology, immigration, and human rights. One organization, Climate Feedback, looked to Hypothes.is to discuss climate change and they got a lot of attention. If you’re eager to have your own community, let Hypothes.is know. They are working hard to release this functionality before Summer.

Dan described the recent accomplishments as “a pivotal milestone– where moving forward all major domains of human inquiry can project their expertise over the Web”. When that milestone is reached, as we hope it will be soon, SSRN will be there along with Hypothes.is and the others that made it happen.

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