I just heard about the coolest thing, – a collaborative writing tool for scientific articles called Authorea. I was a little sceptical at first but now I’m seriously interested – see below for webcast screening time/date info, if you get interested too.
From their About page:
“Built by scientists. For scientists.
“Authorea is an online platform for the collaborative authorship of research papers. Authorea lets you publish, share, organize, version control, and source control all the components of your research. In the backend, Authorea uses git, a robust source and versioning control backend. On the frontend, Authorea adopts the web as its canvas, so that you can write your papers in LaTeX, Markdown, or any other web format, and render them in beautiful HTML5, right inside your browser.
“Authorea is a spin-off initiative of Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.”
Here’s an article-in-process:The Bones of the Milky Way, with a variety of authors coordinated by Alyssa Goodman, Harvard Professor of Astronomy. It’s not like a wiki, where anyone can contribute and edit, – it’s open science, with all the appropriate controls and key requirements to scientific authoring and publication.
The webcast above is by Harvard postdoctoral fellow Alberto Pepe*, co-founder of Authorea, speaking at a Berkman Center luncheon series in October 2012 about the newly launched tool and the problems in scientific collaboration and authoring that it addresses.
I’m going to air this webcast (it’s about an hour in length) in the Kresge Conference Room next Monday, Jan. 21st at 12:30. Bring a sandwich and join me!
* Alberto Pepe is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University and co-founder of Authorea, a science startup. At Harvard, he is the in-house information scientist at the Center for Astrophysics, a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and an affiliate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Pepe is interested in the study of socio–technical systems: networks of people, artifacts, data and ideas. He recently obtained a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles with a dissertation on scientific collaboration networks. Prior to starting his Ph.D., Pepe worked in the Information Technology Department of CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland and in the Scientific Visualization Department of CINECA, the Italian Scientific Consortium, based at the University of Bologna. Pepe holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.Sc. in Astrophysics, both from University College London, U.K. He was born and raised in the wine-making town of Manduria, in Puglia, Southern Italy.