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Hello everybody,

I want to share my recently-opened academic article aggregator website: paperkast.com. Reason why I opened this is that the academic discussion online is happening in a handful of websites. Twitter is the most important niche for this. Unfortunately a debate over one paper is all over the place. I wanted to create an environment where each paper can be discussed and voted in one place. Lobsters platform is the perfect install for me. I want to thank everybody who has contributed the codebase.

What do you think of it?

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    You should add Paperkast to the list of sister sites.

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      Done. Thank you very much for the suggestion.

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        Maybe there should be some sort of standardized directory?…

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          How is https://github.com/lobsters/lobsters/wiki not a standardized directory?

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            I suppose it is, but it was not obvious to discover.

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              I also wish I’d discovered it sooner. However, other than nesting it under the “Wiki” link at the bottom page, I don’t see a solution that wouldn’t start cluttering up the site with information most people won’t need.

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                It’s linked from the about page.

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            Can you expand it a little bit?

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          I frickin’ love it. Already signed up.

          Even if there is no discussion, having one place for all papers (tagged) is a valuable resource.

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            Exactly. But in the long term I would love to see detailed discussion about the bits and pieces of a paper.

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            Nice idea.

            Do the papers have to be new, or can old papers be discussed?

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              This is also a question I had, along with what expectations there are on commenters. I’m a “casual” reader of the primary literature in that I’m not a researcher myself so have different expectations and social norms than someone who’s in the community, do I engage with the conversations at paperkast, or is it for academics?

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                This is for everybody. However, If the community consists of academics, grad students there will be technical discussions.

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                I think each paper has to have a link in the Paperkast. Old, new doesn’t matter.

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                Research gate and academia.edu have similar aims and are closed source, I think. Both have had trouble keeping the lights on.

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                  Academia and research gate are more like Facebook for academics where you post your papers instead of cute pictures of your cat. I don’t think there is much discussion about the papers there.

                  Source: I have an account on both websites.

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                    I would agree on this. I’ve been using these services for a long time and I don’t remember any case in RG that I had a discussion about a paper. In my field, it’s always experimental questions. Not the papers.

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                  I think you should also host something like fermats library and make every PDF link that gets posted reuploaded to there. Then the community can annotate the PDF itself instead of just putting comments below it.

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                    Noted. Thanks!

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                      To expand a little bit on this, I would prefer a way to collectively annotate a paper rather than providing comments on it.

                      The former feels closer to the way that I read and annotate papers (that is, making comments and highlights on specific parts of the paper). The latter feels like reviewing a paper with the goal to provide overarching commentary about it.

                      The commenting features should depend on the kind of community you want to build (one around conversations about specific parts of the paper or one around public peer review of papers).

                      I wonder if “thematic” comments (either by tagging them or by breaking ten down in sections) would allow you to implement the discussion part but within the lobsters codebade.

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                    Cool stuff, and I like the idea of spurring discussion about academic papers. But… is it intended for computer science papers? It looks like the vast majority of the submissions are in the field of medicine, minus a few more recent submissions. The two fields are different enough, and have a different enough audience, that I’m skeptical that a single site can usefully serve both.

                    At very least you’d have to use some very heavy tag filtering.

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                      It’s intended for any discipline as long as the community is there. That’s why I started with tags that I thought it can start discussions.

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                      Awesome idea! I’ve made an account.

                      I had a similar idea for https://quasa.rs, but narrowly focused on Meteorology, Astrophysics, and Atmospheric Sciences.

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                        Yeah saw your site before!

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                        Awesome idea. Almost makes me want to run my own for something but the effort would be pretty big.

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                          Cool site. I had a similar idea. The problem was I’d need key academics in the discussions, esp paper authors, to join the platform and move discussions to it. Essentially, the problem was really building the network effects. I wasn’t sure if I could do that without constantly pushing the site on everyone I could, most of whom wouldnt join.

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                            Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys!