(2017-05-05) Udell Weaving The Annotated Web

Jon Udell: Weaving the annotated web. The set of URL-addressable resources has two key properties: it’s infinite, and it’s interconnected

“This is amazing!” he kept saying, over and over. “Every UPS package now has its own home page on the world wide web!”

So let’s stare in amazement at another interesting URL: https://hyp.is/LoaMFCSJEee3aAMJuXhO-w/www.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/pubs/dissertation/software_arch.htm

Here’s what it looks like to a human who follows the link: You land on a web page, in this case Roy Fielding’s dissertation on web architecture, it scrolls to the place where I’ve highlighted a phrase, and the Hypothesis sidebar displays my annotation which includes a comment and a tag.

the resource it points to, which describes the highlighted text and its coordinates within the document, is — since February of this year — a W3C standard.

The way I like to think about it is that the highlighted phrase — and every possible highlighted phrase — has its own home page on the web

Science in the Classroom

First up is a AAAS project called Science in the Classroom, a collection of research papers from the Science family of journals that are annotated — by graduate students — so teachers can help younger students understand the methods and outcomes of scientific research.

DigiPo / EIC

Next up is a toolkit for student fact-checkers and investigative journalists. You’ve already heard from Mike Caulfield about the Digital Polarization Project, or DigiPo, and from Stefan Candea about the European Investigative Collaborations network. Let’s look at how we’ve woven annotation into their investigative workflows.

I did the investigation of this claim myself, to test out the process we were developing. It required me to gather a whole lot of supporting evidence before I could begin to analyze the claim. I used a Hypothesis tag to collect annotations related to the investigation, and you can see them in this Hypothesis view

One final point about this toolkit. Students don’t like the writing tools available in wikis, and for good reason, they’re pretty rough around the edges. So we want to enable them to write in Google Docs. We also want them to footnote their articles using direct links because that’s the best way to do it. So here’s a solution we’re trying. From the wiki you’ll launch into Google Docs where you can do your writing in a much more robust editor that makes it really easy to include images and charts. And if you use direct links in that Google Doc, they’ll still show up as Footnotes.


When neuroscientists write up the methods used in their experiments, the ingredients often include highly specific antibodies.

the Neuroscience Information Framework, NIF for short, has defined a namespace called RRID (research resource identifier), built a registry for RRIDs, and convinced a growing number of authors to mention RRIDs in their papers.

Claim Chart

Andrew Schulman who works nowadays as a software patent attorney. There’s a tool of his trade called a claim chart.

When statements in documents become addressable resources on the web, we can weave them together in the way Vannevar Bush imagined.

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