3.i Collaborative Annotation

Abilian SAS. 2010–15. co-ment. http://www.co-ment.com/.

co-ment is a web service for viewing, creating, and interacting with annotations. With co-ment, a user may upload or create texts online, invite designated users to comment on files, and revise drafts. According to its website, co-ment is “the reference Web service for submitting texts to comments and annotations.” Plug-ins for multiple content management systems and platforms can be created using an API. Notably, co-ment is open source and web-based.

Diigo, Inc. Diigo. 2017. https://www.diigo.com/.

Launched in 2006, Diigo may be best conceived of as a platform for collecting and managing research (including text, bookmarks, images, and documents). With a professed focus on enhancing the e-reading experience, Diigo enables a variety of online practices, from social bookmarking to comprehensive search to multi-user annotation. This service’s strength lies in its double role as collaborative research tool and social knowledge-sharing site. Users can perform their own research and use Diigo to manage and facilitate those practices, but they can also engage with other users via the built-in social network and repository of shared bookmarks. In this way, Diigo encourages social knowledge by both taking the individual’s needs and desires seriously and providing an online forum for inter-user interaction.

Evernote Corporation. 2017. Evernote. http://evernote.com/.

Evernote is a platform for capturing and archiving digital content. Applicable content includes formatted text, web pages, images, audio, and handwritten text. In the tool, every individual file or document becomes a note, and these notes can be easily shared, organized, and archived. Although primarily geared toward individual research and project management, Evernote can facilitate collaborative work through sharing practices.

Glass, Geof. 2005. Marginalia. http://webmarginalia.net/.

Although Marginalia could feasibly be adopted for other endeavours, it was primarily designed with education, collaboration, and online discussion in mind. As a web annotation system, Marginalia integrates with learning management systems like Moodle. Marginalia acts as both a straightforward tool for personal and collaborative annotation as well as a more comprehensive forum discussion. Of note, this tool is open source.

Google Inc. 2012. Google Drive. https://www.google.com/drive/.

Google Drive is a browser-based application for document storage, creation, and sharing online. More than 30 file types can be saved, and common file types (documents, presentations, spreadsheets) created, in the Google Drive environment. In addition to allowing users to develop and save files online, Google Drive also facilitates easy collaboration, as it enables multiple users to chat, comment, and work on the same document simultaneously. The documents also contain a versioning system for users to revert to previous versions or view specific changes.

Hammond, Adam, and Julian Brooke. 2011–12. He Do the Police in Different Voices. http://hedothepolice.org/.

Hammond and Brooke created the website He Do the Police in Different Voices for the specific exploration of T.S. Eliot’s notoriously complex poem, The Waste Land. (The title is an allusion to Eliot’s working title for his poem.) So far used only in a classroom setting (at the time of writing), He Do the Police in Different Voices encourages students to annotate The Waste Land for voice. The website incorporates versions of The Waste Land that have already been marked up for voice and automated through an algorithm. Although this website is not a tool, per se, it does demonstrate the various ways in which collaborative annotation can instigate social knowledge creation; in this case, new insights and explorations are garnered by focusing group work on a shared text.

Harvard University Herbarium and University of Massachusetts Boston (UMASS-Boston) Biodiversity Informatics Lab. 2010–15. FilteredPush. http://wiki.filteredpush.org/wiki/FilteredPush.

The goal of the FilteredPush project is to create a cross-institutional infrastructure for biologists, particularly taxonomists, making it easier to share and manage digitized natural history collections data. The development of such a network across multiple remote sites would facilitate identification and annotation of specimens (for example, insects or plants), and address issues of quality control and dissemination.

Haystack Group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). n.d. http://nb.mit.edu/.

nb was initially conceived for use in an educational context. It is a web-based annotation tool and service designed with online discussion in mind. nb can be used to write, share, and respond to annotations in PDF files collaboratively. To date, nb has been used primarily in MIT classroom settings.

Massachusetts General Hospital. 2013. Domeo. http://dbmi-icode-01.dbmi.pitt.edu:2020/Domeo/login/auth.

Domeo encourages social knowledge creation through shared annotation practices. Domeo is an extensible web application for creating and sharing ontology-based annotations on HTML or XML documents. This application facilitates sharing through the Annotation Ontology (AO) RDF framework. Notably, Domeo supports fully automated, semi-automated, and manual annotation, as well as both personal and community annotation with access authorization and control.

*Open Knowledge Foundation. 2009–12. AnnotateIt / Annotator. http://annotateit.org.

AnnotateIt is an effective and easy to use system that enables online annotations. A bookmarklet is used to add the JavaScript tool Annotator to any web page; users can then annotate or comment on various elements on the page, and save the annotations to AnnotateIt. This sort of tool readily facilitates social knowledge creation through collaborative annotation. User annotations may contain tags, content created using the Markdown conversion tool, and individual permissions per annotation. Annotator is also easily extensible, allowing for the potential inclusion of more behaviours or features. Of note, the Open Knowledge Foundation has developed many social knowledge creation tools, including BibServer (https://github.com/okfn/bibserver), CKAN (http://ckan.org/), and TEXTUS (http://textusproject.org/)—all of which are annotated in this bibliography.

2011–13. TEXTUS. http://textusproject.org/.

TEXTUS is an open source platform that aims to encourage online discussion and enhance professional reading environments. More specifically, this service was designed for students, researchers, and teachers to collaboratively work with texts. With TEXTUS, users can individually or collaboratively annotate texts as well as view others’ annotations.

Protonotes. 2008. Protonotes. http://www.protonotes.com/.

Protonotes is a simple, straightforward collaborative annotation tool for prototype development. Protonotes enables the direct addition of notes onto a prototype, for the purpose of collaborative development. It is free to use and simply requires installing a JavaScript library into the desired prototype. When the installation is complete, anyone who visits the prototype may view, add, edit, or delete notes.

Scholars’ Lab (University of Virginia Library). 2012. Prism. http://prism.scholarslab.org.

Prism is an open access user-friendly tool for crowdsourcing interpretation where users can highlight different words or sections of the text according to certain predetermined, bounded categories. By allowing the same section of the text to be matched to different categories, Prism demonstrates the multiplicity of possible interpretations while conducting close reading, rather than having one falsely unified category that leaves out space for uncertainty. When annotations are completed, Prism portrays a pie-chart for every word or section, which displays the percentage of all the categories tagged by different users. It can easily be adapted to the classroom environment and is helpful in collectively analyzing literary texts, especially poems with multilayered meanings.

Tejeda, Eddie A. 2008–11. Digress.it. http://digress.it/.

Digress.it attempts to alter e-reading practices by facilitating vertical, rightside commenting on online documents. By shifting the comment space from the more conventional blog style (comments below post) to side-by-side text and commentary, Digress.it aims to facilitate greater engagement in online reading environments. In this way, Digress.it strives to emulate the longstanding textual ritual of marginalia. Digress.it is a WordPress plug-in, and thus primarily intended for use on WordPress blogs and sites. Of note, Digress.it developed from the Institute for the Future of the Book’s CommentPress project. The tool is also open source and free to use.

Textensor. 2008. A.nnotate. http://a.nnotate.com/index.html.

As a browser-based tool, A.nnotate allows users to privately or publicly annotate and index documents, images, and snapshots of webpages. In this way, A.nnotate can be used by an individual as a personal indexing tool or by a group to collaboratively comment on a shared document. A.nnotate facilitates further document management practices, including reviewing drafts, compiling corrections for revision, and noting passages for future reference.

Whaley, Dan. 2011. Hypothes.is. https://hypothes.is/.

Hypothes.is facilitates the annotation of web content and has a reputation system that ranks the credibility of the annotations. Its goal is to create a layer of annotations on top of existing knowledge content, and to facilitate discussions and collaboration. Hypothes.is is an open access platform where users can contribute and share comments. The primary aim is to create an open, ubiquitous, interoperable, and lasting tool that will ensure the preservation and reuse of data far into the future.

Zurb. 2011–17. Bounce. http://www.bounceapp.com/.

Bounce attempts to improve prototype development via an open, shared feedback structure. As a ZURBapp, Bounce was created to facilitate productive, collaborative design work. Specifically, Bounce was designed for colleagues to provide each other with feedback on ongoing projects. Users can upload an image or submit a URL, and comment directly onto this file. In the framework of collaborative annotation, Bounce could ostensibly be used to share basic notations on a shared document easily. One may also copy and paste a Bounce-generated URL for dissemination after commenting on a page.