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A web platform for academic paper readers

Talking Papers is a free web app which aims to advance scientific research by helping people who read academic papers.

Kelly Kuo

Talking Papers (talkingpapers.herokuapp.com) is a free web app which aims to advance scientific research by helping people who read academic papers. It helps them keep papers and organize their notes on each paper, but also share their notes with other users and start conversations.

Hello! We are Matt, a developer and data scientist from France, and Kelly, an ex-data-scientist and current research assistant / campus ministry worker from Singapore.

We started on this project because we found that reading paper could be a long and a bit daunting task. Academic papers are often filled with specific jargon, technical words and complex ideas that can be quite inaccessible to the competent but new reader, though we did find the process and results to be very rewarding. Reading papers provided us with much interesting insights into the fields that we were interested in, but it quickly becomes complicated to stay organized when we were reading articles several times or when we read several articles at the same time.

That got us thinking: many other people have struggled through this same paper, spending lots of time understanding and summarizing it. Why not share this knowledge about the article? Any small annotation that clarified a definition, a sentence or even a graphic would help and save time for us or someone else. With that thought, we set out to create Talking Papers, a platform which helps people to share their notes with the world.

The homepage of Talking Papers is composed of 2 sections. The top is section is a search bar a to search for already commented articles or to add new ones to keep or comment.It is essential to note that Talking Papers neither save nor download any article but references them with the URL to list the associated notes.

The bottom section of Talking Papers main page contains a kind of news feed where you can see the latest community commented articles with the number of public notes on each paper. This section is essential and much improvement remains to be developed. However, the papers with only private notes don't appear and you must go through your profile to see your private note on it.

After copy and articles on search bar and click on Search you will arrive on the page below.

From this page you can start to write notes about the article. These notes can be a simple note, a question, a summary of the article etc. These notes can include Markdown, Latex or images. Don’t forget to save the note after writing it. Once the note is created, it will appear at the bottom of the page. You can edit it, delete it or make it public by clicking on More.

Clicking through a paper from the main page or from your profile, you can view your private notes and the public notes that others have saved and made available. You can also reply to a note for example to add a precision, thank the person who posted the note and many others.

Each note also has a discussion thread where other users can comment on the note, sparking discussions and clarifications. Likewise, it is also used to answer questions that some person may have left about some specific part of the article.

This is still a first version but a bunch of new features and improvement are coming. We hope that Talking Papers can serve the academic world and facilitate much more knowledge-sharing and discussion. If you think this platform can be of help to you or you want to help us, you can sign up at https://talkingpapers.herokuapp.com/signup. Furthermore, if you have any idea or suggestion to improve the project, do not hesitate to send us a message at the following address: [email protected].

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