Open-source technology in publishing: Explore the latest community updates

From online authoring, to a submissions wizard, annotations, endorsements for published research, reproducible manuscripts, screening figures for accessibility, and indexing data availability statements – February updates from the community call are now available.
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Users and developers of emerging open-source technology for publishing and science communication came together this February. Seven presenters gave an update on their work, including progress on Plaudit, Libero Reviewer, as well as Jetfighter, and more.

The projects presented this month were:

Vincent Tunru from Flockademic gave an update on Plaudit – a platform-independent widget for public endorsements of open research. Originated from the eLife Innovation Sprint 2018, Plaudit links researchers, identified by their ORCID, to research they endorsed, given by their DOI. The browser extension is now available for Chrome and Firefox, and Plaudit is looking for opportunities to integrate the prototype into preprint servers.

Maël Plaine demonstrated the capabilities of the Reproducible Document Stack (RDS) tools. Published recently, eLife’s first computationally reproducible article showcases how code can be viewed, edited and executed within the web browser, allowing readers to explore methods behind graphs in the article.

Hannah Drury presented the initial submission wizard for Libero Reviewer, part of eLife’s in-development Libero suite of open-source publishing tools aimed at streamlining the article submission process for researchers and editors. The wizard makes use of ScienceBeam for automated title extraction, as well another open-source technologies, and is currently being tested, with a full launch due in the next few weeks.

Shyam Saladi from Caltech/the eLife Early-Career Advisory Group introduced Jetfighter and Fixthejet – efforts to improve the accessibility of scientific figures by discouraging the use of colour maps which introduce visual artefacts and are illegible for colour-blind readers. Jetfighter aims to detect problematic colour maps from preprints, while Fixthejet provides a solution for published articles.

Heather Staines from Hypothesis shared exciting novel use cases of open annotation across various publishers. Hypothesis is developing best annotation practices, providing training materials to different types of users and exploring new ways to enhance the open annotation experience.

Aravind Venkatesan from EMBL-EBI discussed Europe PMC’s effort in indexing data availability statements. Europe PMC built a search filter specifically for data availability statements, which allow readers to easily track underlying data from papers.

Matias Piipari gave an update on – a simple, open-source writing tool to facilitate collaboration on composing complex documents. is encouraging the community to try its alpha prototype.

The next open-source community call will be organised in June 2019. If you’d also like to present your work then, please get in touch with us on innovation [at] or @eLifeInnovation on Twitter – the community will be interested to hear about your open-source tool for improving the way science is communicated.

Full notes, including questions and comments that were made in writing only during and/or directly after the meeting, are available here:

We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at innovation [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

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