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How can selectedpapers.net be used to increase the usefulness of the Review section ?

+ 3 like - 0 dislike
104 views

https://selectedpapers.net/ is a site that, in the words on its intro page, states:

SelectedPapers.net lets you recommend papers, comment on them, discuss them, or simply add them to your reading list.

But instead of “locking up” your comments within its own website - the “walled garden” strategy followed by other services - it explicitly shares these data in a way that people not on SelectedPapers.net can easily see. Any other service can see and use them too. It does this by usingexisting social networks such as Google+, so users of those social networks can see your recommendations and discuss them, even if they’ve never heard of SelectedPapers.net.

For example, if you’re a Google+ user, you post comments on SelectedPapers.net using your usual Google+ identity and posting process, with key hashtags automatically added to identify the paper you are discussing. And of course your post will be seen by your usual Google+ audience – in addition to people who see it on SelectedPapers.net.

So: if you want to strip the idea down to one sentence, it’s this: given that social networks already exist, all we need for truly open scientific communication is a convention on a consistent set of tags and IDs for discussing papers. That makes it possible to integrate discussion from allsocial networks – big and small – as a single unified forum.

What features of selectedpapers.net could increase the usefulness of the Review section here?

asked Mar 15, 2014 in Discussion by physicsnewbie (-20 points) [ no revision ]

2 Answers

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Having flipped through the "selected papers" site, the goal is nearly identical to the "reviews" section here, except they wish to close off the review process after a limited time, while here it can be open indefinitely. There are good folks contributing there, like Terrence Tao and Urs Schreiber, so perhaps one can cannibalize their classification system they are building up (although it seems that they haven't done much classification to date).

They seem to have the goal of making classification for all arxiv papers, as a first step to review, we might be able to do this as well. They certainly solved the problem of linking to arxiv very efficiently, so perhaps their website code is useful. The difference is that we can give solid review and coercively induce people to participate, while so far they simply have classification, commentary, and discussion on top of arxiv, without the goal of being complete peer review.

But for sure one should look at what they are doing! Thanks physicsnewbie.

answered Mar 17, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,295 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 17, 2014 by Ron Maimon
+ 2 like - 0 dislike

In my opinion, integrating with social networking sites is a terrible idea. It is not sufficient to simply make a set of tags for science commentary to work, you need an active community, with voting, moderating, ensured openness, and good visibility for the highest quality comments. Just aggregating internet comments is not enough, there is no place, other than mathoverflow, where high quality comments on technical papers are positively selected for.

The social media is usually nonsense fluff comments of zero scientific value. You want real biting review, refereeing review, with technical meat, and you won't find that anywhere in physics, mathoverflow is an exception. Besides, the existing social networks aren't worth a dime.

But to answer the question, if someone wants to link their post somewhere else, facebook or twitter, or something like that, that's a good feature perhaps, you can make it easy to do so, although I don't see that as a high priority on the "to do" list.

answered Mar 16, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,295 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 16, 2014 by Ron Maimon

Yes, they (rightly so) dont think much of Facebook etc either on MathOverflow. I even think that integrating such social networks can do harm to PhysicsOverflow by attracting the wrong kind of audience ...

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