OpenSocial Gadget Contest

Adding new features to Profiles and/or VIVO

Sharing and Collaborative highlighting, commenting, annotating of manuscripts and internet full-text articles

Proposal Status: 

Problem. Researchers spend a lot of time reading articles, but it's increasingly difficult to keep up with the explosion of information (volume, velocity, variety). Pubmed and other tools exist for culling articles relevant to our interests, but might generate more results than one has time to read. Often, while reading an article, one might wish to discuss part of it with a colleague or forward it for some interesting detail. However, an emailed pdf or link to an article leaves a recipient with a large amount of matter to read and to further cross-reference with the sender's comments.


Suggested Feature, Utility. If highlighting, comments and annotations can be overlaid on, or linked to specific parts of, an internet full-text article- and viewed openly (or by a chosen audience)- that will make it easier and more time-efficient for scientists to share. discover and discuss new information. It will also enable transparent critique of information. Possibly, this system could be used to save the article as a complex of "original article"+Extras/Comments, or print to a pdf file or appropriate digital format. Lastly, scientists will have the option of sharing articles of mutual interest, complete with Comments to their social networks. Or, even solicit comments by linking to the articles from their Profile pages. "Social commenting" can also include "Like" or "Not Like" etc buttons to rate the +Extras/Comments appended to an article.


Potential issues. Institutional library subscriptions often dictate whether scientists at any given institution may or may not access the full-text of an article. This idea may initially be implemented on open-access articles, eg. freely accessible via Pubmed.

Abstracts are often always accessible to all, and many institutions share materials via interlibrary loan. So, possibly, the +Extras/Comments electronic versions of articles, or printable files, can still be shared.


This is an important idea, but doing it well would take a significant amount of work, and might be out of scope for a standalone Profiles/VIVO plugin. Does anyone know of preexisting systems that do this kind of thing, that one could integrate with? Could platforms like Mendeley or Qiqqa meet your needs?

Selected comments from Reviewer(s): "I don't see this as a very useful tool for Profiles. But this technology would be TERRIFIC for all the journal clubs that go on out there with expert opinions/analyses of journal articles that just evaporate into the atmosphere with the JC is done.  If the expert/presenter would use the software to capture their comments and opinions about the article, overlaid on the actual article, then this could be a terrific archived document for sharing and learning."

On behalf of Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, thank you for participating in this contest.

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