eLife Partners with Hypothesis to Advance Open Scholarly Annotation

By dwhly | 13 September, 2016

We’re thrilled to announce our first customer today, eLife — an open access life sciences journal. The press release announcing our partnership is attached below.

eLife partners with Hypothesis to advance open scholarly annotation

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

eLife, a non-profit initiative inspired by research funders and led by scientists, is working with Hypothes.is to bring publishers and researchers an open annotation platform for important online discussions.

CAMBRIDGE, UK and SAN FRANCISCO, CA | Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – First announced in summer 2011, eLife aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research collaboration that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. Backed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, eLife took the first step in this initiative by launching an open-access journal for outstanding advances in life science and biomedicine, before expanding into a platform for experimentation and showcasing innovation in research communication. Today, eLife is announcing another important step in that mission.

Giuliano Maciocci, eLife’s Head of Product, says: “Open web annotations will be an essential ingredient of the future scholarly experience. Hypothes.is’ leadership in forming the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition, bringing together some of the world’s key scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries, and technology organizations to create an open, interoperable annotation layer over their content, and the powerful open-source platform the company has developed, make it a strong partner to work with.

“Working closely with the Hypothes.is team, we have been able to inform the platform’s roadmap to accelerate the development of critical features addressing real-life publisher use cases. These features, ranging from user interface enhancements to moderation and authentication, will give publishers such as eLife more control over how the Hypothes.is tools are deployed on their sites, ensuring a more seamless user experience for authors and readers, as well as higher-quality discussions and annotations around published content.”

eLife will take full advantage of Hypothes.is’ open and interoperable annotation platform, its software development services, and its focus on bringing the scholarly community together around open standards. The web annotation platform allows authors, reviewers and readers the opportunity to create annotations for personal use, or as part of conversations with private groups or the general public.

Mr. Maciocci adds: “Every day, researchers work across multiple publications, platforms and other applications and services. It makes sense that the collaborative tools that they rely on, and the groups and communities that they are a part of, are able to be brought to whatever context they are operating in.”

Dan Whaley, Founder and CEO of Hypothes.is, says: “eLife has been ambitious in redefining scholarly publishing since its inception, and we’ve been following the organization from the start. We’re thrilled that the team understands and embraces the mission of Hypothes.is, and we’re eager to work together to create a beautiful, functional and well-integrated collaborative experience.

“The Hypothes.is platform is designed to allow publishers to highlight and curate the notes and conversations that they want to promote as part of their content, while giving users the freedom to bring other conversations to the same content.  This represents a new and exciting phase of our organization as a service provider to the global community of researchers, scholars and knowledge makers.”

Mark Patterson, eLife’s Executive Director, adds: “Hypothes.is is a leader in the annotation ecosystem, and has worked closely with key stakeholders, including the W3C Annotation Working Group, to establish the standards that will make an open and interoperable annotation layer over the web a reality. These goals are highly consistent with eLife’s focus on open-access publishing and a new scholarly experience, through innovations such as eLife Lens.

“We look forward to working with our colleagues to share experiences and best practices as we find our ways ahead in this exciting and ever-changing environment.”

Hypothes.is is supported by the new eLife Innovation Initiative, a program introduced to provide dedicated, strategic guidance to the organization’s ongoing efforts in developing new products and technologies that support its open-access mission. In 2015, 22% of eLife’s £3.9m annual expenditure was devoted to technology and innovation, including the creation of the open-source publishing platform, eLife Continuum.


For more information, please contact:

Emily Packer, Press Officer, eLife


01223 855373

Peg Fowler, Operations, Hypothes.is


+1 303 587 5513

About eLife

eLife aims to make the communication of results more beneficial for the scientific community as a whole, by operating a platform for presenting research that encourages and recognizes the most responsible behaviours in science. While eLife has made its name largely through its consultative approach to peer review and the papers it has published, the organization seeks to improve all aspects of research communication in support of excellent science – from technology and infrastructure to the ways individuals receive recognition. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at elifesciences.org.

About the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition

In December 2015 Hypothes.is announced the formation of the Annotating All Knowledge (AAK) Coalition — an informal partnership of like-minded scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries, and technology organizations that are working together to bring about an open and interoperable conversation layer over the web for the purpose of advancing scholarship and research. The Coalition launched with ~40 organizations and now numbers over 70 partners.  You can find a complete list here: https://hypothes.is/annotating-all-knowledge/#founding-members.

An AAK steering committee was formed to provide leadership and guidance for the coalition, and the coalition had its first face to face meeting in Portland, OR in April, 2016 as part of FORCE 11’s annual conference, with a follow-up gathering at the I Annotate 2016 conference in Berlin in May. To learn more about the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition, visit the AAK Working Group page on FORCE11’s website.

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