Annotation for Transparent Inquiry Shortlisted for ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

By Nate Angell | 26 June, 2018

Finalist badge for ALPSP Awards 2018.Cambridge University Press (the Press), the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) and Hypothesis are honored to announce that their joint project, Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI), has been shortlisted for the 2018 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing. The ATI entry was selected along with five other finalists out of 45 submissions, a new record for the ALPSP Awards.

The ALPSP Awards recognize “any new development, product, service, launch or project which is both innovative and of significant value to scholarly communication”. In our entry, the ATI team strove to demonstrate how our collaboration among researchers, data repositories, publishers, and technologists demonstrates ALPSP’s call for “excellence in terms of originality and innovation, significance and value to its community, utility and long-term viability”.

Transparency about methods and data are key to the scientific process and its published scholarly record. Recent years have revealed significant advances in transparency and reproducibility for quantitative analyses, but the same progress is missing from the qualitative analyses so central to much research. ATI harnesses open-source technology and a unique collaboration between a publisher, data repository, and software provider to increase transparency in published qualitative research by creating a digital overlay on top of articles that connects specific passages of text to author-generated annotations. These annotations include ‘analytic notes’ discussing data generation and analysis, excerpts from data sources, and links to those sources stored in trusted digital repositories.

As a result, ATI enables readers not only to access the underlying data but also to understand how it was collected and analysed and why particular sources and methods were chosen. Readers can view annotations immediately alongside the main text, removing the need to jump to footnotes or separate appendices. Sharing data sources via a secure repository ensures that they are findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, preserved for the long term, and that human participants are protected. Visit the Press’s ATI webpage to see the technique in action.

Diagram showing schema for elements of the Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI).

As finalists, members from the ATI team will showcase the project 12–14 September at the 2018 ALPSP Conference and Awards in Berkshire, UK. Join us at the conference and awards dinner, where winners will be announced, chosen from the six finalists.

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 50,000 titles covering academic research and professional development, as well as school-level education and English language teaching. Playing a leading role in today’s international marketplace, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.

About the Qualitative Data Repository

QDR is a domain repository dedicated to curating, preserving and publishing the data underlying qualitative and multi-method research in the health and social sciences. Its operations are supported by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


For further information about ATI, please contact QDR’s Associate Director, Sebastian Karcher.

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